Published On : Sun, Nov 29th, 2015

​Should alcohol be banned in Maharashtra ?

Mumbai/Nagpur: Bihar on Thursday joined the States that have banned liquor, with newly elected Chief Minister Nitish Kumar prohibiting sale and consumption of alcohol from April 1, 2016. But experts feel the decision should be “participatory” and not a “political agenda”.

Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur (in some parts), and Union Territory of Lakshadweep have banned liquor while Kerala has since August 2014 been implementing the ban in a phased manner. Nitish Kumar says the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, badly hitting their families and their children’s education. “Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption.”

Ban on liquor in different states of the country has not produced desired results as the decision was not “participatory” in nature and “forced” people to get involved in illegal production and consumption of liquor, experts believe.

Other experts also believed that alcoholism has a strong relation with distorted behaviour of the affected, who at times under the influence of liquor indulge in domestic violence or even attempt rapes.

Speaking to different experts in City, below is what Nagpur Today got in Favour and Aganist

Points in favour of :

  1. It is the obligation of the government to protect the citizens from the ill effects of harmful substances. Alcohol alters the mind of a person which can cause such individual to take actions which they would not take otherwise. It is not about loses inhibitions but extends to dangerous acts which can harm the person and others also. It is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens including those who behave irresponsibly by consuming harmful substantial like alcohol. Such a ban would help these individuals in making significant contribution towards the society which they could not make if they consume alcohol in large quantities.
  2.  A ban on alcohol would protect third parties like family members. Alcohol is the cause of a large number of disputes and distress in the society. It causes psychological problems for the children whose parents consume alcohol. They number of children with at least one alcoholic parent is increasing throughout the world. These children should not be made to suffer if their parents have decided to indulge in alcoholism.Psychological studies have shown that a large number of children coming from alcohol abuse families face problems like loneliness, guilt, fear of abandonment, feeling of helplessness, low self esteem and chronic depression. In some cases the children even start feeling themselves responsible for the problems created by the alcoholic person. Apart from the psychological damage it also causes great physical harm. Alcohol has always been an easy accuse domestic violence and the incidents of domestic abuse are higher in households where there is alcohol abuse.
  3. A ban on alcohol would result in healthier individuals. A ban on alcohol would also have a positive impact on the health of the individuals. Long lasting abuse of alcohol leads to several chronic diseases like pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure and different types of cancers including mouth, liver, larynx, throat and esophagus. A ban on alcohol would decrease the rate of consumption as has been seen in case of the present drug laws. Therefore a ban on alcohol would decrease the cases of alcohol addiction and also reduce the financial burden caused by health problems among the alcoholics.

Points against :

  1. Alcohol should be kept legal so that the rights of the citizens could be maximized. The government should allow the people to live freely as long as they don’t cause any harm to others. A government may wish to have a society which is obedient, productive and free from all flaws such a society would be without alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. While such a society may have some benefits in short term, in long term it would only result in a large number of unsatisfied individuals. A lot of people consumable alcohol responsibly and do not cause any harm to others. A free society has a high number of happy individuals who contributes significantly in the development of society.
  2. Ban on alcohol is impractical and can create a black market for alcohol. As compare to other drugs, alcohol can be produced easily moreover it is deeply engraved in a lot of cultures. Therefore any ban on alcohol would be ineffective due to its cultural acceptance and the ease of production. While the legal implications of the consuming alcohol would scare some people if a ban on alcohol is imposed, a large number of people would be attracted towards consuming more alcohol as there would be strong demand which would be met by illegal supply.
  3. Ban on alcohol is a quick fix treatment for the wider social problems. A ban on alcohol is like a quick fix treatment which ignores the real causes which make people drink excessively and make bad decisions under the influence of alcohol. For example drunk driving is a problem faced by many countries but with the help of strict laws, some governments have been able to reduce the number of accidents cause by drunk drivers. This is a battle which has to be fought by the governments for a long time and quick fix solutions will not work effectively.
  4. A ban on alcohol would harm the economy as the total revenue earned from liquor industry is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore. Revenue minister Eknath Khadse on Saturday said, “The state is reeling under financial constrain in wake of recurring drought and also major allocations required to take up big projects for state welfare. In such a situation, any move to ban liquor in the state would probe detrimental.” He acknowledged, “The state had earned Rs 18,000 crore from liquor sector in last year.”A ban on alcohol would not only infringe the civil liberties of the citizens, it would also cause great financial loss. A ban on alcohol would put thousands of persons out of work as the alcohol industry is an enormous industry of the world. Large amount of revenue is collected by the governments in the form of taxes and duties levied on alcoholic drinks. A ban on alcohol would take away a major source of revenue which used for public services.