Except drunkards, no one else supports drinking. It is a great social evil. It is bad for the individual as well as for society. The drunkard becomes addicted to wine in different ways. Mostly, the people acquire this bad habit in undesirable society. Some take to it as a mark of fashion in the beginning. But gradually they become drink addicts, Whatever may be reasons for drinking, it is indisputable that it is a great evil.
Evil effect of drinking are innumerable. Family life of drunkard becomes miserable. All his money is drained off by this evil habit. He becomes morally degraded. in fact, drinking is the stepping stone to all other vices. it leads to gambling and prostitution. This evil habit degrades the drunkard in the eyes of people. It is bad not only for the individual but also for society.
Efforts have been made from time to time to drive out the demon of drank from society. Some religious strictly forbid their followers from drinking. Many great social reformers have also tried their best to prevent people from drinking. Mahatma Gandhi was deadly against it. It was his influence which made A.I.C.C. declare prohibition, as its main item of social reform. As result of this resolutions, soon after independency, Congress ministries in many States imposed total prohibition. In others, partial prohibition was introduced, as in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
Some people are against prohibition. According to them it will never be successful. They point out certain difficulties in its way. through prohibition the Government loses very good source of income. Besides this, prohibition leads to illicit distillation. Thus, on the one hand, the government loses its income, and on the other, evil goes underground and persists. It leads to corruption and bribery. It is said that people cannot be made moral by force. Big officials and influential persons, being themselves addicted to drinking do not work seriously for the success of prohibition. Many other difficulties come in its way. It is for all these reasons that in U.P., Haryana and a number of other states, prohibition has been done away with.
But we cannot agree with those who are against prohibition. Whatever may be arguments against prohibition, it is a fact that even the drunkards hate themselves. In their heart of hears, all the addicts curse this habit. If we cannot free those who have become habituated to drinking, it does not matter. But we cannot afford that our younger generation and the non-addicts should get entangled in this evil. They must be saved. In their interest, prohibition must be introduced all over India. No doubt, the government loses some revenue as a result of prohibition. But the gain in human welfare is considerable.
Let the Government pass laws making drinking a legal offence. It should also educate public opinion against the evil. We are happy to note that some steps have already taken in this direction. Drinking is no longer glorified in the pictures. Rather, its evils are being stressed. This is a healthy sign. All our efforts must be made in the interest of the children and the poor to drive out the demon of drink from society.