We have all reeled under or bore the implications of being drunk or getting harassed by people who are drunk. Though it’s all amicable when people drink within their own sanctuaries or places where they are supposed to behave. However, problem arises when people start losing control after gulping down few shots, cans or glasses. They don’t only endanger themselves but also the people around, and it is indeed a big nuisance.
At my place, we have the family ritual of spending New Years’ Eve together, which would involve us going out for nice private dinner, and just conversing and waiting to start a new year and a fresh start, maybe with less mistakes. However, on our way back from dinner, we were constantly harassed by two cars filled with drunk men, who just wanted to have ‘some fun’, by continuously blocking our way and cutting our ride. The constancy was so much that we all were pretty scared and had to call the cops on them, post which they pursued, I hope relentlessly by them.
However, the above is my story when faced with such hooligans. Let’s imagine another dimension; a laborer toils his field with all his might during the day, and come home in the evening, earning enough to just feed his family, comprising of ailing parents, his wife and two kids (give or take). What happens when this guy, so as to enjoy himself, just wishes to compromise on his budget?
What happens when this guy comes back home drunk, ready to disturb the sleep of his family members? What happens when his wife sacrifices on her food again just to feed his family and the laborer in question? How do we wrap our minds around the fact that this wife, gets beaten up and thrashed by her husband, because he is drunk?
That was, or still is, the common culture in Bihar, due to which Nitish Kumar banned alcohol’s consumption, production, and distribution. He did everything to execute the plan, and make sure that the ban was imposed. Surprisingly, there has been a lot of improvement since then. The crime rate in Bihar got cut down up to 27%.
This move to ban liquor in Bihar was not well accepted initially. Several articles shared their doubt on this blanket ban on alcohol saying that it will not reduce violence. However within a month of the ban we have seen a drastic change in the state that wouldn’t have been achieved just by increasing the taxes on alcoholic products. However, post the success, few of the states also want to impose this ban, aiming for an alcohol-free zones leading to a decrease in accidents, assaults, and rapes.
However, is banning the right answer? If we ban something, don’t we give a further instigation to the purpose? Moreover, people from poor backgrounds might get impacted and improve from this ban, however, the people who can afford to go to restro-bars or 5 star restaurants, what stops them?
Addiction towards alcohol and the uncontrollable outcome of it, cannot be helped via prohibition. The problem is a moral and a health one, which needs to be battled rightfully. The desire to address the serious social problems caused by a minority of those who consume alcohol by prohibition is a travesty of the experience of history and public health science. Prohibition is rejected by most public health scientists who know this field; even the World Health Organization does not recommend it.
Are the alcohol rage problems, nothing but inadequacy to be responsible? Incompetence to be aware of surroundings and doing the least to impact it? Are the people incompetent to be moral?