Liquor ban is overreach by Bihar government

Sixteen deaths, reportedly caused by consumption of spurious liquor, have triggered a debate over the controversial liquor ban in Bihar.

amol

Amol Parth | August 19, 2016 | New Delhi


#Nitish Kumar   #deaths   #liquor ban   #Bihar  
Nitish Kumar
GN Photo

 Since we ‘made our tryst with destiny’ and woke up “to life and freedom”, in every aspect of our lives, we have been trying to move towards a comparatively more open and liberal society, which gives people more and better choices. Lack of freedom to choose one’s basic eating and drinking habit is contradictory to this pursuit of a liberal society.

The April 1 liquor ban in Bihar and the ones existing in Gujarat, Nagaland and parts of Manipur are about limiting people’s choices and a question on their ability to make good decisions for themselves.
 
During framing of the Constitution, the Article 47, governing liquor ban, was included in the Directives Principles of State Policy, but most of the states eventually removed the ban on liquor owing to loss in Excise revenue, electoral loss, smuggling of liquor, deaths due to spurious liquor, bootlegging and loss of jobs.
 
Going back on this is politically convenient for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose rising popularity among women voters is crucial for his national ambitions.
 
Reports suggest that the women are happy with the ban.
 
Some claim that the number of accidents and crimes has come down. As if the crimes and accidents across the world happen primarily because of the drinking habits of the people. Isn’t this more about the government’s failure in implementing the rule of law, which prohibits drunk driving?
 
The efforts that the government is putting in framing and implementation of draconian liquor prohibition laws; had it been directed towards better law and order enforcement, the dawn of Jungle Raj 2.0 could have been avoided.
 
But, can the government interfere in people’s eating and drinking habits?
 
Let’s understand why we need government. As an individual, we can take decisions for ourselves on various aspects of our life, but as a society and a nation, there are issues which are of common interest to all of us, for example, foreign policy and national security. On these issues of common interest where one person cannot decide for all of us, we need a process for collective decision-making. Hence, we choose the government.
 
Drinking in public, drinking and driving, creating nuisance after drinking are issues of common interest, hence the government should and must interfere. But absolute ban on drinking per se is an overreach by the government.
 
 

Comments

 

Other News

Stories you must read over the weekend

Joseph A Cannataci is the UN’s first and current special rapporteur for the right to privacy appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) in July 2015. His appointment came with growing global concerns about threats to privacy in the digital age where governments and big corporations collect mass da

When Jaitley sparred with Chidambaram

This is what Arun Jaitley had to say:   We want to take action which may either want to have an assault on what is the shadow economy or the parallel economy itself. Let us take this example of what everybody has commented on Section 132. Section 132, in simple,

One country, one tax from July 1

 After an intense seven-hour-long debate in the Lok Sabha, the cabinet gave a nod to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. A green signal has also been given to the four crucial supplementary bills; Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill, Integrated GST (IGST) Bill, Compensation GST (compensation

Indian team’s internet access to villages gets global recognition

 A successful effort to take high speed internet to over six lakh Indian villages by an IIT Bombay team failed to get support from the government. But, the same indigenous television white space technology developed by the team has now won Mozilla Corporation’s ‘equal rating innovation cha

DJB unveils Yamuna river project

Delhi Jal Board, in collaboration with University of Virginia on Thursday unveiled the Yamuna River Project with a symposium cum exhibition as a part of the overall effort to map out an expansive, multidisciplinary prescription to clean Yamuna. The discussion opened on the lines of eradicati

UJALA scheme: Over 22 crore LED bulbs distributed

  Over 22 crore LED bulbs have been distributed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under UJALA scheme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha.   The minister said that the National LED programme, called Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for

Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter