It is stated in our directive principles (Gandhian ideology), that the state must as much as possible restrict the consumption of alcohol, as it is quite evident, the ill-effects of it!
Stating some of the pernicious effects, it obviously damages the body of the consumer, affecting his/her neurological functions thus blurring the realities & pushing the person into a higher state of consciousness (if that what it is called).
We are also quite aware of the social effects of liquor, disturbing his/her relations,ambitions. Famous crimes committed under its influence is well documented esp. committed against women.
It is all these adverse effects of alcohol consumption that it is termed a villain of the society & banning it is applauded, as a sign of progress. We have some places (Gujarat, Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland & a union territory- Lakshadweep) banning it & apart from it Dry days observed several times a year.
So far, So good!
But every story has sides, Truth is never one-sided, therefore as a mature individual, we ought to ask some critical questions before deriving a conclusion.
Is it not a case of Black & White thinking – either you allow it or you ban it?
Were the crimes committed in an inebriated state a fault of the consumer or alcohol? Can someone be out of controls by having even a small amount of liquor?
Does every alcoholic commit a misbehavior?
I am neither an advocate of alcohol, nor an anti-alcohol activist! I just want to present my views!
One of my favorite things about Buddhism is its doctrine about the middle path which can be applied to almost every situation.
So, by having a blanket ban over alcohol will do good by preventing crimes committed under its influence but will do injustice to all those who consume it for good times in a careful manner.
The Rights of each and every one must be respected.
We have to remember that liquor has been a part of human civilization since its inception & if it was so evil it would had not survived, but to our surprise, it is still consumed!
Excess of anything can kill you, even water!!!
Alcohol of different variety, made differently according to the local culture & tradition, is used in every celebration. The Indian culture is also quite aware of alcohol, esp. The Northeast, where even minor celebrations compulsorily consist of meat and alcohol (do not know why it is banned in Manipur & Nagaland).
Apart from ripping away these celebrations, what about my individual freedom? Just because 9 out of 10 individuals are affected by the excess alcohol consumption, does it mean the 10th person who is mature about its consumption & who knows his/her limit should also be punished by restricting his/her access to it?
Nothing should be forced esp. for humans as they will discover some other innovative way for its access. Black market begins where legal access is prevented.
And why blanket ban? Is not there a middle path, counseling, de-addiction centers, family support, awareness. It needs to be checked why people get addicted and the underlying root cause (frustration, poverty, depression etc.) should be solved.
Car accidents is one of the major killers in India apart from Diabetes, Cardiac arrest etc. Does it mean every car should be banned or people must not be allowed to drive?
The Government must believe in the maturity of its citizens & definitely must correct the ones who take a wrong path. But it should not interfere on the liberty of its citizens, the role of the state in an individual’s day to day life must be minimal, if not non-existent. Corrective measures should be taken without impinging on the rights.
Banning Alcohol is not a sign of a progressive society but assuring liberty is. The freedom to choose what is right for me without trespassing the rights of others.