TODAY -

Dry since 1991 but has situation improved ? The prohibition debate
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 28 2015 -

Chief Minister, Manipur inaugurated a Two Days National Seminar on 'Food and Beverages of Manipur' in the Centenary Hall, Manipur University on 26th October 2015
Chief Minister, Manipur inaugurated a Two Days National Seminar on 'Food and Beverages of Manipur' in the Centenary Hall, Manipur University on 26th October 2015 :: Pix - DIPR



Prohibition since 1991.

Like all Government measures this too has obviously failed and this is one main factor for the State Government to explore the possibility of exporting locally brewed liquor.

This obviously was the reason why Chief Minister O Ibobi personally surveyed the process of brewing local liquor on the first day of the two day National seminar on ‘Foods and Beverages of Manipur : Cultural Heritage, Entrepreneurship and Contemporary Challenges,’ at Manipur University on October 26.

It was not explicitly stated but more than clear that the Government is currently focusing on the feasibility of exporting the locally brewed liquor and not on its sale in Manipur.

How much this is practical can only be speculated but it should be clear that if brewing liquor is legalised but not its sale here, be sure that not all the liquor thus brewed will find its way outside the State.

More than apparent that a good percentage of the brewed liquor will find its way in the local market. This is the reason why prohibition has failed in the State.

However this has not deterred anti-alcohol bodies like the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) to strongly oppose any such move to legalise alcohol brewing in the State.

Other anti-alcohol bodies like the All Manipur Anti-Drug Association (AMADA) too has already made its stand clear earlier and there is no reason to believe that it will change its stance now.

Many other powerful and influential civil society organisations too are likely to throw their weight behind the anti-liquor lobby.

The State Government on the other hand is under the impression that lifting prohibition will help the State earn the much needed revenue and their argument will run along the line that prohibition has not deterred people from selling or consuming alcohol at all.

This is a truism. It is also true that alcoholism is a major scourge on many families in the State.

This is the reason why numerous de-addiction centres, not only to treat drug dependent people, but also alcohol abuse, have mushroomed all over the place.

However is it right to say that prohibition should go because it has failed to check the sale and consumption of alcohol ?

Does it make sense to continue with prohibition when all it has done is give rise to a fuel cartel, which has been laughing all the way to the bank ?

On the other hand does it make sense to view the question of prohibition only through the prism of economics and revenue ?

All questions and there can be no definite answers for different people will have different takes.

What however should be acknowledged is the fact that alcohol has taken a heavy toll on the people.

A sign that prohibition has not succeeded but yet at the same time, should the Government be also seen as not discouraging the people not to drink or consume alcohol ?

The argument will be endless but this is the time for the people to look inwards and study why they have this propensity to over indulge in anything that is intoxicating.

The moral of the people really needs to be overhauled.



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