V.R. Krishna Iyer once rightly said that “Alcoholism is an unmitigated evil and when it becomes a habit, multiple pathological consequences follow”. Today, such an Alcohol has become the national drug of India. Drugs and Drinks have become the order of the nation.
As a matter of fashion, modern men have developed a passion towards Alcohol.With 62.5 million alcohol users, the privilege for the evil drink is increasing day by day in India and consumption of drugs commences at the age of 12 – 14 years, I am tempted to quote the words of Nani Palkhivala - "We are the Masters of our Fate".
Today in India, the tendency to alcohol consumption has percolated down to the youth. The media has played a leading role in cheering the usage of such venomous drink among young people by such means as the portrayal of drinking in congenial social settings, by associating the habit with glamour and celebrity status, and by direct and indirect advertising.
Spirit behind such Spirit stands spiritless. Indian politicians have failed to curb this evil in the modern times. However there are no doubts on the past, the Indians were seriously fighting to forbid this “EVIL SPIRIT”. Some of the Alcoholic laws in India which needs appreciation in the past and present are:
- Legal Drinking age – only after the age of 18 years a person can generally purchase the drink in India
- C. Rajagopalachari (RAJAJI), who as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had implemented a prohibition policy in the successful manner
- The one politician who was above and against this vice was Morarji Desai. He introduced DRY DAYS on wage payment days and on festival days
- Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the states of Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep.
Inspite of this numerous measures in the past and present, India and Alcohol have become inseparable. Kerala which is most literate place is perhaps the “most drunken State” in India, with its per capita consumption of liquor rising by the year.
Tamil Nadu which was once an alcohol free zone of India under the regime of Rajaji, today the criticism should stand at the pinnacle for the marketing and selling of liquor by the Government itself. In Tamil Nadu, TASMAC is under the control of wholesale distribution of Indian Made Foreign Liquor from the Private Sector in the whole of Tamil Nadu from May 1983. The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 on 23.05.1983 with Registered Office at Chennai. TASMAC is vested with the exclusive privilege of wholesale supply of IMFL for the whole State of Tamil Nadu as per Section 17 (C) (1-A) (a) of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, 1937 (Tamil Nadu Act X of 1937).Under the COMMERCIAL PRUDENCE, The Authorised and paid up capital of the company is Rs.15 crores and the official website of TASMAC discloses turnover in the year 2005-06 as Rs. Rs.7335 Crores. For the year 2011-2012 the turnover is Rs.18000 crores. Much notable point in the given context is that TASMAC is a wholly owned State Government company.
We the Indians are in the exigency to save the nation from this filthy spirits. Priceless heritage can be protected only with the prohibition of liquor in India.
I hereby recall an incident, when Nehru was in power. Indian Embassies and High Commissionerates were asked not to serve liquor at Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. The Embassy officials wrote to New Delhi that many local guests may not attend if there was no liquor being served. Nehru promptly replied that if our National Days can be celebrated only if alcohol is served and people are only fascinated by the liquor that is served, then we had better not hold such celebrations.
Article 47 of Constitution of India should be cited at this juncture the for the knowledge of the readers - Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health: “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist quoted on the alcohol as “Two great European narcotics- Alcohol and Christianity”. Today for India, quote stands true.
Last but not least , I hold drink to be more damnable than thievery and perhaps even prostitution. Is it not often the parent to both?