Smoking, sniffing, snorting, injecting and what not, for some magical and hallucinating moments, we are easily disregarding the nurturing of our body, which indeed is getting depleted with every puff we smoke up, or a line that we snort. With Udta Punjab, one might get to witness the real problem of drug abuse that the human body has to face, endure and ultimately fight a loosing battle with.
However, is the problem just restricted to Punjab? Isn’t the entire country battling from the issue of drug abuse and failingly battling against it? With Punjab now being considered the centre of drugs, how far are the other states from emerging as the discussed centres?
With a turnover of $500 billion, drug trade is the third largest business in the world, next to petroleum and arms trade. Thus, India being the center of international appeasement that it is, it’s no wonder that our markets are being abused not just for upcoming businesses, arms or strengthening of SEZs, it is also a major hub for the consumption of drugs. Punjab is just the tip of the ice-berg that led to the downfall of Titanic, if unleashed more, many more states would be discovered and would be compared to the condition that is existent in Punjab.
According to a UN report, one million heroin addicts are registered in India, and unofficially there would be as many as five million addicts, and obviously not all belong to Punjab. Drug abuse is rampant throughout the country.
According to NCB officials, youngsters are more vulnerable to drug addiction. Drug peddlers know this and prey mostly on them. For the record, Bengaluru with a huge floating population, is infamous as the ‘drug capital’ of south India. On the basis of raids conducted by the NCB, the drug most popular among Bengaluru’s youth is LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide aka acid), followed by Hashish, Ecstasy pills, Ganja, Heroin, Cocaine and MDMA, a pure form of ecstasy that goes by the street name ‘molly’.
States like Bihar, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and many more states, are battling with this issue. For the estimated amount of drugs that are present in the mentioned states, almost the entire amount has to be located and destroyed. The scheming between the peddlers and the consumers is giving the authorities a hard time to get hold of the guilty. As per a 2012 Supreme Court judgment, the court has raised an alarm over lacunae in the process of destruction of the seized contraband. The procedure described for the destruction of the contraband is not being followed religiously, leading to a very piquant situation wherein the accumulation of huge quantities of narcotics has increased their chances of getting re-circulated in the markets.
The problem is persistent, and the solution is nowhere to be seen. Even if a person comes out as an addict, the social stigma attached to it makes the person immerse in the abyss a bit more.
Instead of cursing the kids, and ignoring the adults, it’s time we provide them with an environment which makes them uninhibited about discussing the issue with the people they are close to. More than our rebukes, they demand attention and not-so-questionable drug rehabilitation centres.
In Punjab, it took almost a decade of government inaction and an election season for the problem of drug abuse to become a matter of national debate. Is the entire country too waiting for an election, or a rather controversial movie to address the plight?
There’s nothing cool about puffing or snorting away your life. Nothing at all.