The distress of the laborers and the purchase of household goods of ordinary consumers is understandable, what does the panic of alcoholics mean? Alcohol does not require life. It is consumed hundreds of times as much as food and entertainment. It has entered our lives deeply. It has more political implications than economic. There is no need to tell the way alcohol is used during elections. It has become a symbol of reconciliation. In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, women have been agitated because of the deaths of poisonous liquor and the plight of the families, but there is no solution.
The start of the sale of liquor in several states amid the corona crisis and lockdown created a new crisis. Thousands and millions of people had to leave to buy liquor. In view of the start of sale after forty days of lockout and future uncertainty, the crowd was not unnatural. Almost a similar situation was in the markets of essential commodities just before the lockdown began. A similar situation arose in the last week of March when migrant laborers came out in Delhi. Such confusion takes place because of uncertainty and misleading information. The distress of migrant laborers and the purchase of household goods of ordinary consumers is understandable; what does the panic of alcoholics mean? There is a glut of jokes and comedy films in the name of alcoholics, but in fact, we have not been able to reach out to the citizens of the social price of drug abuse. Socio-cultural issues are associated with it. Intoxication also has a political role.
However, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court to stop the sale of liquor this week, which was dismissed on Friday. The Apex court said it is a policy issue of the States, and they are making home delivery or online arrangements. The Delhi government has introduced a token system under which the buyer will be informed of the date and time of purchase in advance. Basically, this is being done for social distance. The Delhi government has also increased the tax on liquor considerably, but the enthusiasm of buyers is not declining. WhatsApp is flooded with jokes these days, proving that the economy that collapsed in the corona round has been saved by alcoholics. Liquor and petrol are the two products on which the state governments charge the highest revenue by levying taxes as per their requirement. The economy of the States runs from them. In Uttar Pradesh alone, the annual revenue of more than Rs. Twenty-five thousand crores come from liquor.
In fact, it is not income, a new expenditure arrangement. The famous Institute of Psychology, Bengaluru, Nimhes, conducted a study of 113 patients who were victims of alcoholism several years ago. These people spent as much as they earned every month on drugs. Take loans for this. They spent their expenses with other people in their family—for example, wives, fathers, sons, or daughters. Often children of 14-15 years have to work. On the other hand, the revenue that the government was getting was going to be spent on double hospitals and other social facilities. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is behind 5.3 percent of deaths in the world. Not only that, but alcohol is also behind 13 percent of deaths between the ages of 20 and 39 years. After independence, prohibition was an important part of our national program. The directive principles of the Constitution also include prohibition. The Government of India had tried to enforce prohibition uniformly in the country. Experience shows that complete alcoholism is impractical.
Even today, there is a prohibition in some states, such as Bihar; consequently, other crimes increase. Smuggling of liquor increases, the practice of spurious liquor increases, and corruption of the agencies which enforce prohibition increases. Alcohol does not require life individually. It is consumed hundreds of times as much as it needs like food and entertainment. It has entered our lives very deeply. It has more political and cultural implications than its economic implications. There is no need to tell the way alcohol is used during elections in India. It has become a symbol of cultural harmony. In states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand, women have been agitated because of the deaths of poisonous liquor and the plight of the families, but there is no solution. Legal temperance is not a solution. In the last few years, we have seen a violent agitation against violence against women. The direction of those movements has also been distracted.
Alcohol abuse and violence on women are the faults of attitude. Both inspire each other. The thing that should be used in the mind of the child becomes an inspiration. This week, a social media chat of school children has been reported in which boys are planning a gang rape of some girls. These are the ill-effects of our cultural education. Parents and families of children are guilty. A study by Ingrid Wilson and Angela Taft of La Trobe University is that alcohol plays the role behind 50 percent of sexual violence in Australia and 73 percent of sexual assaults on near-friends. In Indian contexts, it is a fault of the standards of becoming a big man and proving himself big. Alcohol gives rise to a variety of crimes. Under the guise of its contracts, there are all kinds of offenses that have a direct relationship with politics and administration. With this, a very hypocritical culture is born. Though we blame the West for all our diseases, the fact is that as alcoholism is there, we are not in the West.
Recently, eminent sociologist Pratap Bhanu Mehta has written that alcohol has taken the form of ideology in the high-rise culture. He wrote that most of my non-drinking friends who come back from abroad believe that creating social contacts in the United States is easier than in Delhi, where drinking has become like a progressive and non-drinking reactionary. This is the cultural aspect of this problem. The alcoholism of the poor points to another problem. It is a kind of exodus. If we present examples of the consequences of good sanskaras before the children, it is possible that they understand the better way. But we want to make fun of well-cultured people; they want to prove to be submissive, backward, and substandard. Subscribe chauahnsameer.com for the latest news, opinions, and editorials.