Ramar Pillai is back. This time with ‘Sri Ram Jerosene’, which he and his RSS backers are promoting as ‘domestic herbal fuel’. At the launch of ‘jerosene’ on May 24, Ramar swore by the RSS. "At a time when I was depressed and suicidal, and when I was toying with the idea of selling my formula to some US group, the RSS came to my rescue. I will die a swayamsevak," he declared. On the dais were the BJP MLA from Mylapore, K.N. Lakshmanan, local RSS chief M.N. Sundar, lawyer and sanghchalak S. Sampath Kumar and other BJP functionaries. Why was no scientist present to back this alternative to kerosene? "You have to believe us," Sampath Kumar thundered.
Ramar and Co are threatening to retail jerosene in a week. When the CBI had raided 11 outlets two years ago and seized ‘Ramar petrol’, it was revealed that the fuel was a mixture of toluene and benzene. Jerosene will be sold at Rs 13 per litre. But nobody is as fired up about it this time. What next? ‘Sri Ram Jetrol’, according to Sampath Kumar. But the swadeshi brigade’s new toy may remain just that—a toy.