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


#deaths   #liquor ban   #Bihar   #Nitish Kumar  

 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

How much time do you spend talking on phone?

How much time do Indians spend talking on phone? It is on average 761 minutes per month, according to a new report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator released its report, titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators: July-Septemb

“Developing public health infrastructure key to sustainable healthcare for all”

Renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda has said that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of existing healthcare systems and it is wrong to draw comparisons with Korea, a country with the population equal to that of a single Indian state. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Gove

SC-appointed panel on farm laws holds first meet

The committee of experts appointed by the supreme court to deliberate with the stakeholders on the new farm laws held its first meeting here Tuesday, with one of its members saying that all stakeholders, including individual farmers, will be heard. Hearing a petition on the farm laws enacted

India’s glitch-free vaccination gathers pace

The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v

Maharashtra to spend Rs 2,500 crore to augment, develop power infrastructure

The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL).   Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore

Launched: Largest vaccination drive in history

India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro

Visionary Talk with Dr Ramakanta Panda, VC & MD Asian Heart Institute





Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter