A complaint has been filed with the Kerala government objecting to the name of the hugely popular brand of rum - 'Jawan' - produced by a state PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) and demanded that it should be changed as it is an 'insult' to the defence forces. The complainant first approached the Tax department with the complaint and it was later forwarded to the State Excise department.
The Travancore Sugars and Chemicals, the Public Sector Undertaking of the Kerala government, was formed in 1937 and is located at Mannar in Kerala's Alappuzha district. Initially, it was under a leading Chennai-based private company which was into manufacturing sugar as the central districts of Kerala had large areas of sugarcane cultivation.
In 1974, the factory was taken over by the Kerala government and production of the 'Jawan', a brand of rum to the defence canteens began. Due to various reasons, by the year 2002, the distillation operations stopped. But it re-commenced operations in 2008 and 'Jawan' rum is now being distributed through the sole wholesalers of IMFL (Indian-Made Foreign Liquor) and Bevco -- the state run Kerala State Beverages Corporation. The price in the open market in Kerala for Jawan rum is Rs 700 and upwards for 750 ml.
The brand is popular, especially among the lower and middle class sections of Kerala. The state PSU has now started making profits and despite COVID-19, it closed the 2021-22 financial year with a profit of Rs 4 crore. Sources, however, say that the brand Jawan has been in the market for a while and also was in the past given to the defence canteens, so it's doubtful about the complaint.