AHMADABAD — Tainted home-brewed liquor that poor workers living in slums drank over the weekend has left at least 43 dead in western India, police said Wednesday.

Another 23 were battling for their lives in three hospitals in Gujarat state’s main city Ahmadabad, said S.S. Khandwawala, the director-general of state police.

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed cheap alcohol are common in India, where few people can afford licensed liquor. Known locally as desi daru (pronounced THEY-see DAA-roo), illicit liquor is often spiked with pesticides or chemicals to increase its potency.

The schadenfreude in me really wants to laugh at this, but the moral center (which is developing at an alarming rate) is keeping it in check.

I’d love to see a study on the methods poor people go to in an attempt to escape their surroundings. In Russia, they’ve taken to drinking mouth wash and cologne because it has a higher alcohol content than cheap vodka. Thousands have died in the last decade from it. You’ve got jenkem coming out of Africa, which is basically kids huffing the methane and other pollutants out of their own shit. Africa’s also got a huge problem with tainted bootleg liquor, too. There was a bit in Kenya a few years back that made this look like a minor blip on the radar. Hundreds died from the liquor. Turns out it all came from one crazy old crone out in the woods. She was cutting it with anti-freeze. A collection of cases like this would be absolutely fascinating.