Bihar Liquor Ban - Is Prohibition the solution to kick the bottle?
A great historic milestone in the journey of Bihar. Yes, I am talking about the Liquor Ban in the state of Bihar. The sixth time C.M Mr Nitish Kumar made an announcement prohibiting all types of Liquor in the state. Anyone who violates the law is suffering harsh punishment and penalties, as per the new law. Obeying the law, a large number of wine outlets operating in the entire state were shut down. Truly it is a metamorphosis for the state.
The step taken by Mr CM is a good move for social cause, but actually it was a political move. Before elections, it was the promise made by Mr. CM to women community of Bihar on the issue of increasing consumption of Liquor in the state. Now, after winning the elections, he has kept his promise and banned the toxic.
For those who are severely addicted to alcohols, 39 de-addiction centres were opened in the state. Highly qualified doctors are in charge of these centres. In the context of the law being enforced, a strict watch is being kept by Bihar Police. Any offender, who violates the law, is suffering harsh consequences. Thus Mr. CM is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the new law is well implemented.
Now a question arises here. Is prohibition the only step to kick the bottles? The answer to this is simple- Yes, certainly it is. A Report submitted to Mr CM, few days after the ban came into force, speaks a volume of the success.
- Rate of heinous crimes has decreased by 27 percent in the month of April since imposition of the total prohibition in the state.
- The cases of death in road accidents have also registered a decline, after declaration of the state as dry.
- The graph of tensions and disputes during festivities and celebrations have also slumped.
Are these facts not speaking anything?
Apart from this in long term process, if all goes well, the cases of household violence would also decrease. Earlier it was a common sight in most of the rural household, where the man of the house would come home late night in drunken state. He would beat his wife and children. They would not get their day's bread, as max part of the man's earning went away in buying the toxic drink. The house goes in debt. The children remain starved and getting good education for them is a goal far away. But now after the ban, it is expected that the condition will change.
Truly once again a great applause for Mr. CM. But wait all those economist are criticising him. By enforcing the ban, Mr CM
- Is closing down the second most source of income for the state. The revenue loss is estimated to be 6000 crore.
- Bureaucrats are criticising the step of losing the revenue, when they have to implement the recommendation of the Pay commission and centre has cut down its share in centrally sponsored schemes.
- The Loss of Bihar would mean Nepal's gain, as people may easily drop out of the state to Nepal, have their full, and come back. Thus making the law as ineffective.
- The cases of Black Marketing would increase. People may also switch to consumption of hooch liquor, to get satisfaction to their addiction.
Thus the move of Mr. CM is a good political move but not a good economic move.
However there is no doubt that the move is for a good social cause. Forget about the Nepal's gain. The gain would be nothing compared to the truth that earning man of the house is back. Once again, he would be a good Father, a good husband, a good citizen. Student will no longer be starved. They will be able to go to school. Apart from this, it would not be easy all the time to get out of the state. The problem can be eradicated if the border police keep a check. As of Black Marketing, it could easily be tackled, if the Police are dutiful and strict.
Coming to income generation, government can also see into matter. They can boost production in several sectors. Why is it that they are dependent on income generated out of woes and cries of several families? A good government, proper bureaucracy and strict police can easily tackle the problem. Mr. CM has already taken a big step, all he has to do is ensure small steps be taken for a good cause. Forget what the BAN meant for other state that implemented it and revoked it. Let Bihar be the one to present an example. Last but not least, we shouldn't forget
"Social move is greatest move if it is for society's good"
- Abhishek Kumar Ranjan