Saturday, September 6, 2014

Will the Liquor Prohibition in Kerala Going to Drive the Last Nail to the Congress' Coffin?

Let me clarify this first. I am not an alcohol proponent. At the same time, I am also not a supporter of the prohibitionists. I do not consider social drinking a grave sin. I am not a social drinker. At the same time, I am also not a nut-headed puritan who claims to be a teetotaler or drink hater for life!

Fate of Toddy Shops Is Not Clear!
Similar is my view with regard to tobacco too. That is my view with regard to any thing for human consumption. 

Any thing in excess and without restraint or without proper application of mind is damaging and could cause problems. That is my take on it.

I am neither a smoker of tobacco nor a drinker of alcohol. But, at the same time, they are neither any kind of a taboo for me!

Of course, these substances may pose problems of addiction and behavioral complications for immature people when taken without restraint on a regular basis. Neither do they do any benefit to people!

But all such so called vices of drugs, wine and other taboo pleasures have been in existence from time immemorial among all communities of humans. These things do have some influencing attraction to many people.

The Bible has many verses that describe various aspects of drinking wine and such intoxicating liquors. But the Bible does not forbid the faithful from drinking alcohol containing drinks. For example, Psalm 104:14-15 it is written like this:


"You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart".

But the Bible surely advises people against drunkenness: In Ephesians 5:18 the Bible advises like this:

        "And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery"


But in 1 Corinthians 6:12 the Apostle Paul makes things very clear like this:

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any".

In a similar way, the Quran too does not categorically forbid drinking alcohol containing drinks. This article gives much details about what the Quran actually says.

Neither do the other scriptures of the other major religions say any thing against in this context. In fact, all religions and the human wisdom advise people to be wise in their decision making, just as St.Paul had summarized it. 

I have written this much because of the current controversy over the Congress led state government of Kerala deciding to ban liquor sale in this other wise liquor loving southern state of Kerala. The whole issue emerged suddenly out of some liquor politics that some politicians of Kerala played for some apparent advantage that they thought as wise from their point of view!

If any one makes a hue and cry for alcohol prohibition in that state, he or she is not doing it from the strength of any holy scriptures, but on the basis of shrewd politics with hidden vested interests.

Yes, alcohol business is indeed a big money business with high stakes involved. When a business is too obviously high yielding, rivalry among the various stake holders is just a matter of natural consequence. It is indeed a well known fact that in today's democratic politics, the so-called religious leaders play their own fiddles for and against politicians!
Hotels of 5 star and Above Would Not Be Affected!
If some religious leaders have done that in Kerala now, it is no big surprise. But by obliging them, the current in-power politicians have done a grave mistake of their life! 

Some people hate the thought of meat eating. They are pure veggies. At the same time, some others hate the thought of living only on vegetable foods alone. Even in these non-veg lovers, there are sub groups who hate one kind of meat from the other.

While admitting the possibility of having many immature males of this state spoiling their lives and families due to alcoholism, prohibition of liquor in the state, the way it is being proposed to be done in the state by the state government with the activist support of some religious leaders, to my view, is a political harakiri being done by the already routed Congress party. It is going to drive the last nail to the Congress party's coffin!

Liquor is undoubtedly a big booster of the travel and tourism business. While, liquor may be a problem for some individuals, it is not such a thing for many of the higher classes of people, especially the tourists to the state which is now highly dependent on the tourism industry. Nearly a million foreigners and ten million domestic travelers visit Kerala every year as per the latest available statistics.

Knowledgeable industry sources estimate an immediate drop of 40-50% of that tourist traffic because of the liquor prohibition that the marginalized Congress government is implementing in this state. Imagine the great loss to the already sick economy of this state! Imagine the great losses in employment opportunities! The ineffective Kerala governments have not been in a position to enhance the state's infrastructure and employment potentials in line with the demands. And by doing this, they would do further harm to the economy.

Had they been really worried about stopping drunkenness among some alcoholic Malayalees, they would have done some well thought mechanism other than this thoughtless prohibition. But when, their times are not good, they are bound to take such self destructive actions! I would have supported any idea for making the state's country sides and lanes free from foul smelling booze in the late evenings and getting it free from those drunken fellows who behave as anti-socials the moment they gulp some cheap liquor! But going by the past experiences, prohibition in the manner it is proposed now would only enhance the anti-social activities in the state with higher incidences of spurious liquor and drugs!

In a way, perhaps this is going to be good. The decade's old see-saw game of governance by the left and the right would go for good in the state in the near future.

Let us wait and watch!

4 comments:

  1. prohibition is a retrograde step

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  2. Prohibition already exists in Gujarat, and if what I hear is right, ppl. there can still get liquor illegally. But, it costs more, and that prohibits ppl. from drinking uncontrollably. So, prohibition may not be such a bad idea.

    However, that is not a permanent solution. The decision not to drink, should come from people themselves and cannot be effectively enforced by rules and laws.

    To address this problem, we should find out what drives people to drink, and address those issues and create alternative habits that don't affect the health.

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is exactly what happens when the government tries to bring about laws to control long standing habits of people. Such laws are regressive in nature in the sense that it gives undue powers to the corrupt law enforcers to enhance their corrupt practices. So the state degrades to a Police state, something that threatens the essence of democracy!
      People who have visited some nations where broadminded individuals are leadership positions would clearly discern the difference. They no more practice such impractical and foolish laws. What they do instead is to implement certain practical rules. For example, in the USA the prohibit liquor sale to teenagers strictly. Preventing advertisements and allowing its use only in restricted areas could be another way. Sale of limited quantities of liquor to registered adults online could be another way.This way, the number of liquor users and their consumption pattern can be monitored or even restricted. Advertisements and sign boards of all bars and liquor shops could be banned. Nuisance creators and alcoholic drivers etc could be fined severely. There are many such ways to do, if the government is really serious. But in Kerala, the government is apparently not serious, but is only trying to play some politics.
      In a nearby country, liquor and such vices are openly allowed, but hardly any of the problems that we see in India happen. Perhaps, the permissive laws took away the curiosity and adventurism from the people. Pressure of destruction builds up when you stop the flow! That is a natural law!

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  3. It has become amply clear by now that the liquor prohibition imposed by the present Kerala government had nothing to do with the welfare of the people, but only a blackmailing effort to extract more money from the bar owners and liquor traders. Anyway, this political gimmick has back fired and exposed those in the government and perhaps nailed the Congress and its allies for ever in the state!

    ReplyDelete

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