Sunday, 10 January 2016

After SC's nod Kerala must implement liquor ban effectively

The Supreme Court upheld Kerala High Court's verdict on liquor free Kerala where public consumption of liquor is banned. The liquor can be availed through five star hotels and for some time through government outlets. Some activists and news channels are protesting against the ban on liquor calling it violation of fundamental right. They are saying that what one should drink is his or her personal matter.
Many also started complaining that such ban will result in loss in state government's revenue apart from encouraging boot-legging. Many linked this ban with probable loss to tourism sector.

Freedom to eat or freedom to drink is never a fundamental right in any type of set up including democracies. Governments always have a say over what not to eat and what not to drink considering various aspects that include social, environmental and other things. Endangered species are being protected from hunting and consumption.

In India cow slaughter and beef eating (cow meat) is banned in many states as a Constitutional mandate. Here it is to be noted that in the name of beef lot of confusions are being created by both pro and anti-beef lobby. As per Indian context, beef is considered all type of meat including cow, bull and buffalo.
In the export context, goat and lamb meat is also included in beef. Hindus are opposing cow slaughter and consumption of cow meat. Muslims too are aware of this and they are not in favor of cow slaughtering. Muslim political leaders like Asaduddin Owasi, Azam Khan and many others have officially said that they favor ban on cow slaughter and cow meat consumption.

In many Hindu areas buffalo is sacrificed to goddess and its meat is consumed. That's why if beef is really clarified, there wouldn't be confusion and unnecessary tensions. Any way governments are authorised to ban and public can't demand it as their right.

Coming back to liquor-free Kerala, I can say government should afford loss of revenue as democracies are welfare states. States shouldn't generate revenue at the cost of public health. Those who oppose liquor ban citing that foreign tourists will not visit Kerala; I would say they don't know ABC of tourism. Foreign tourists don't go to Kerala to consume liquor. They are consuming it at their home. They come to enjoy the beautiful locations and liquor ban will not be a constraint at all.

However, when there is a ban, there is also scope of bootlegging and smuggling mafia. Government while banning the alcohol must take steps to prevent all these. Apart from the prevention mechanism, it should also take steps for spreading awareness among people involving civil society. There are lots of NGOs which work to de-addict alcoholic people; they should be taken on board.

One thing to be noted here is that, banning something is always easy as it takes some sentence to be typed and signed. But to implement the ban in the interest of the people really requires honest intent and effective measures. Hope Kerala government will implement this ban with right earnest.

No comments:

Post a Comment