TOTAL PROHIBITION – Mixed reaction to govt move
Times of India, 22nd August, 2014*
The government decision to close down more bars except those functioning at five-star hotels has invoked mixed response. While women’s welfare groups and church welcome the move, activists and commentators raised doubts on its “practicality”. Social activist V K Adarsh said the politically motivated decision could eventually lead to smuggling of liquor and in crease the supply of illicit liquor. “The rich can opt for five-star hotels but the poor have no alternative. This could even result in hooch tragedies,” he said. City-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) said the government should have aimed at “deregulating the system. There should be a mechanism to sell quality liquor. “It should be noted that prohibition was a failure across the world. Taking liquor beyond the access of people dependent on it would only help in creating more social issues,“ CPPR chairman D Dhanuraj said.However, women’s welfare groups wholeheartedly welcomed the move. Cultural Academy for Peace chairperson Beena Sebastian said, “Any step taken towards prohibition has to be encouraged. It will bring down instances of abuse of women and children.“The government decision might not bring the desired result as long as the beverages corporation outlets are open, said A P Muhammed Afsal, a student from Thalassery.“Since I travel a lot, I have seen people, who previously used to frequent bars, now purchasing liquor in groups and drinking it in public places.“

Umesh P R, a marketing professional from Kasaragod, felt the decision would benefit the society in the long run. “The young generation are less interested in consuming hard liquor though they do party hard. So, reducing availability will definitely reduce consumption, he said.”

*As reproduced from Times of India, e-paper dated August 22nd, 2014

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