Drinking alcohol is a great evil. It ruins the individual physically and mentally. Many families have been ruined by drinking alcohol . A drink-addict loses his sense of propriety and decency. He drinks even if his children go without food and clothes. Among the rich it has become a status symbol. Alcoholic drinks are freely served in parties while the poor drink cheap stuff, distilled in private breweries. Many a poor often die of the poisonous liquid.
Prohibition was first adopted as a programme by the Indian National Congress during the British Days. After independence it was included in the Directive Principles of India. Constitution. The government did not like to enforce prohibition as it feared that it might face opposition from some sections of people. The result of this lukewarm policy of the government was that this evil spread in society and liquor began to be consumed in ever increasing quantities in the country.
In 1977, however, the Janata Government under Morarji Desai introduced prohibition in a phased manner. Complete prohibition was the ultimate goal. Some people criticized the government for this and said that it was an interference in their private lives. There was an organized resistance to it and Mr. Desai’s government was overthrown. Fresh elections brought Congress (I) back to the power. It did not take much interest in enforcing prohibition and the goal of complete prohibition seems to have been given up.
Total prohibition is not a viable proposition. It was done in Bihar and Orissa years ago but the alarming rate of deaths due to consumption of poisonous and deadly illicit liquor unnerved the government and the policy had to be revised.
Moreover prohibition means a huge loss of revenue to the state. The revenue obtained from the excise duty forms a major part of the income of the Central and State Exchequer. It is to the tune of nearly four thousand crores in a period of about five years and the administration cannot afford to lose this huge amount. If prohibition is introduced, the amount will go into the hands of the antisocial elements who will turn their houses into illicit breweries and earn by playing on the weakness of the people for drinks.
It may be remembered that millions of labourers are engaged in alcoholic industry all over India. If total prohibition is introduced they will be thrown out of employment, and are naturally join the bootlegging gang thus increase the members of the underworld resulting in the increase of crime.
AH that is said above does not mean that we should encourage drinking which is an evil. The large majority of our people are still below the poverty line and therefore should avoid wasting their hard earned money on drinking.