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A spirited defense for the drink

by IT Web Admin
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Drinking is a vice-so said a few men considered wise and pious. Though I would like to agree, on further consideration and deliberation on the matter, exhausting a few more of the sparse grey matter than ever done before of which hours truly is endowed with in the process, things began to look more confusing and complex. What exactly is it that makes drinking a vice-is it the type of drink, or the amount of drink that one consumes, or the manner in which it is consumed or is it the ingredient or the content in a drink that is considered bad? I have inkling that the unanimous response to my poser would be ‘Alcohol’. Granted, alcohol induces an altered state of mind and a decrease in the motor coordination of a person (an amusing sight any given day). Yet does every person who drinks behaves and is affected in the same way? Is there nothing positive or beneficial to say or write about for the humble spirit? What about the irrefutable claims by various researchers and scientists o the uncountable benefits of having wine regularly a drink that contains mostly alcohol? Wasn’t gods supposed to have enjoyed wine? How could something the gods themselves imbibed be so bad? Or is it that the gods are after all just as vice loving as humans? Technicalities aside, one fails to understand the ruckus over drinking. The State has been a dry state for more than a decade, yet prohibition has not done much to dissuade people from drinking, nor has it hampered the ease of procuring the chosen brand or type. The only real benefit prohibition provides is to the bootleggers and black marketers who are running a well oiled network o lucrative business. A very huge source o income for the fund crunched State like ours is not being tapped. The Chief Minister has conceded as much when he says prohibition is not working in the State and precious funds and taxes from the liquor trade is not being collected in the State due to the Dry State status is effect. Total prohibition will never be possible in our state. Prohibition has not had any effect on the consumption pattern of the people. Crimes related to drinking hasn’t seen much significant change, there are more pressing challenges of the drugs in the state a problem which needs immediate attention and remedy. Crime in the states where there is no prohibition in effect isn’t necessarily higher than in our state. The above instances demand an immediate removal of the dry state status from the state. It is not the drink that is bad, but the person taking the drink is the one which needs to be controlled, and control will only be possible when a systematic and strict enforcement is implemented regarding the type and availability of alcohol rather than to let the present situation continue. A firmly regulated sales policy will ensure improvement for a social indulgence which simply will not be wished away. There are far more serious and heinous atrocities being perpetrated in our society for which the social organizations, the media and the Government agencies should be working in unison and channelize their efforts. A excessive drinking, coupled with intensive enforcement can control the crimes and problems related to drinking to a great degree, while providing a pragmatic solution to the baffling and disputed issue of the practically and the effectiveness of prohibition in the state. The Chie Minister should make that call, however difficult it may seem, based on his beliefs and for the betterment of the State. I’m positive there won’t be a dearth of supporters and well wishers who will be raising a toast to such a decisive decision.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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