“For every prohibition you create, you also create an underground.” Are these words true in real sense?
The prohibition enforced in Chandrapur District has completed 30 long days on April 30. The prohibition came under force from the first day of April as was promised by BJP during Assembly election trail. The Finance Minister, who hails from Chandrapur District, is going gaga over fulfillment of his promise and getting patted on his back over the move. However, a talk is making rounds that the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) of some brands has been increased in other parts of State apparently under the pressure from liquor mafia and for some “bountiful” reasons. The veracity of talk is, of course, not verified, said the sources.
Sources further revealed that the sale of liquor in Chandrapur District has, in fact, increased since the prohibition came into force on April 1. The prohibition paved the way for extra income to police department and other district administration babus. A bottle of any liquor brand is now being sold on premium of Rs 10-15. Naturally, all are getting ‘benefited’ except the ‘cheers’ shouters, said sources.
There are at least 26 distributors of liquor in Vidarbha. These distributors have a ring obviously for moolah. Most of these distributors do their business on cash and carry basis. But one aspect is forcing them to spend sleepless lights. Their fear is, the day LBT will be scrapped in Nagpur, the liquor manufacturers from outside Vidarbha would pour in their quality stuff in the market and boot out the inferior lot manufactured by them (distributors of Vidarbha). Hence, the formation of ring (Association) is the aim.
Interestingly, the prices of sugarcane and spirit that play a major role in manufacture of liquor are touching the skies. As a result, the liquor manufacturers thought it wise to exert pressure on bigwigs to increase MRP and survive in the business. The concerned authorities too, tapping the nerves of liquor enjoying people, go on increasing the prices for benefit of all.
The enforcement of prohibition has a number of darker sides and adverse effects as well. The prohibition creates disrespect for the law. Prohibition encourages people to see the law as whimsical and unimportant, instead of something good and protecting. Prohibition creates organized crime. Prohibition permanently corrupts law enforcement, the court system, and politics and at the same time the prohibition overburdens police, courts, and the penal system. Prohibition harms people financially, emotionally, and morally. Prohibition changes the drinking habits of the people — for the worse.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha(rajeev.nagpurtoday@