In a welfare state, well being of the society should be the ultimate aim of the government. It is well known fact that use of toxicants such as alcoholic liquors, opium and bhang etc. is highly detrimental for social welfare. Every civilized nation and every religion of the world denounces the use of toxicants. Yet it has always been in the vogue and is the most common vice prevalent in every corner of the world.
We are concerned with state of affairs in our own country. We have many intoxicants like bhang, ganja, opium, dhatura, etc. but the most talked of and most injurious toxicant for the society is the alcoholic liquor. To discourage the use of liquor heavy excise duty has been levied upon its production and sale. Primarily this is state subject and different states of Indian Republic are dealing with the problem in different ways. Andhra Pradesh government adopted a police of total prohibition followed by Kerala Government. Haryana Govt. has adopted a policy of partial prohibition. Maharashtra and Karnataka Governments have also advocated for the policy of prohibition.
But prohibition does not restrain people from drinking. Even in Islamic countries where there is total ban on alcohol, liquor is available and is widely consumed at homes. Prohibition only encourages corruption, boot-legging and illicit distillation which leads to health hazards apart from the loss of revenue to the state. In dry states like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh there is wide spread consumption of alcohol notwithstanding the prohibition policy. The unfortunate part is that at the lower end of the market consumers resort to illicit brews and intoxicating additives with serious health hazards. Through prohibition use of alcoholic liquor can be discouraged but how can be Govt. restrict the use of today, arrack bhang and country sprit. Even the United Nations proclaim prohibition to be undesirable.
The consumption of any food or beverage in excess is detrimental to health. This is not confined to alcohol only. Hence it would be more reasonable and appropriate to educate the masses to exercise their own judgment in their consumption habits. Govt. and the educated people should embark upon serious public awareness campaigns pointing out the fact that excessive consumption of alcohol would be detrimental to health as also for the well being of the consumer. Major liquor companies of the country should join hands with the Government in the venture.
Media advertising of all brands must be banned. To concluded, educating the public against use. Of liquor through advertisements, media and newspapers could be more appropriate and effective than total prohibition which often leads to mal-practices of smuggling and all sorts of illegal activities. Policy of gradual prohibition may go a long way to discourage the use of alcoholic liquor and thus lead to welfare of the society.