Prohibition - The New Fad
It all started with election gimmicks, leading to electoral promises. It is premised on the rather foolish notion that women don't want the husbands to drink and hence parties that subscribe to prohibition will garner women's votes.
Prohibition has never worked anywhere except in fundamentalist religious countries, largely dictatorships of varying kinds.
USA tried prohibition from 1920 (even amending the Constitution) to 1933 when the amendment was repealed. Prohibition was introduced in USA under pressure from relegious (pietist protestant groups). It was discarded as a result of the realisation that it led to large scale organised crime. (Who has not heard of Al Capone?). In general all types of crimes showed increased rates. Not only there was huge loss of government revenue, but also, additional cost of enforcing prohibition.
Bismarck said, "Fools learn from experience. I learn from other's experience."
When Indian became independent many states introduced prohibition. It resulted in illicit liquor and deaths due to "hooch tragedies". Already such deaths have occured in Bihar.
What would one call fools who refuse to learn from their own experiences?
Instead of prohibition, The Fifth Estate would suggest that government legislate for companies engaged in the liquor business compulsorily set apart a specified sum of money, to be spent as part of their CSR activities in promoting responsible drinking, orgainse family counselling and de-addiction clinics. All liquor bottles may by law ordered to carry pictorial advertisements on the evils of drinking as in the case of ciggarettes.
In this context one may look at the irony of the juxtaposition of two news reports in the same newspaper today.
'The Hindu' (22 Sep 2016, Bangalore edition) carried a news report on page 7, headlined, "Dance bars without liquor is absurd: Supreme Court"
The link to the article is here.
Just below it was another headline, "Plea in SC for nationwide ban on liquor"
The link to the second news report is here.
Will good sense prevail?