Saturday, 23 August 2014

Liquor ban in Kerala


The Kerala government has decided to ban sale of liquor in the state in 10 years. In my opinion this prohibition policy is flawed, and will result in increase in crime and deaths by consumption of illicit toxic liquor by poor people.

One is reminded of the experience of U.S.A. where the 18th Constitutional Amendment in 1920 introduced prohibition in U.S.A. This resulted in the growth of the Mafia and other organized criminal gangs which did widespread bootlegging. Ultimately it was realized that prohibition was counter productive and had failed. Consequently by the 21st Constitutional Amendment prohibition was done away with in U.S.A. We must take a lesson from this historical experience.

Poor people often drink to get some temporary relief from their miserable life. So to reduce drinking we have to raise their standard of living and give them a decent life. This does not, of course, mean that rich or middle class people do not drink

To reduce drinking liquor, education is required, not prohibition. Prohibition is only counter productive.

16 comments:

  1. In that experience in US during 1920, Liquor industries flourished in Canada and Mexico, two bordering states which supplier the illicit liquor. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will have their sales go up over 30%. Revenue starved Tamil Nadu would be happy on this news. Coincidentally TN just raised liquor prices this week which raises revenue by over Rs 2000 Crore. TN desperately needed this hike to support Free Laptop, Cows, Bicycle, Fan, Mixie, Grinder, Amma Restaurant and variety of other Free programs.

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  2. I wonder in your next post you will say to remove law an order of nation saying that it increases crime ;-)

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    1. For heaven's sake, please remove your profile picture. The nation's precious treasure shouldn't be swished in blogs here.

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  3. It is interesting to see how civilizations have to learn the same thing over and over agian, tha civilizations learnt only within 100 years. Well, politicians don't read history, unfortunately. That's one of the weakness in Democracy. Kerala hasn't seen the prohibition experience of US, it seems. Nor it has seen the experience of neighbor Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu had prohibitions come and go many times. Since 2001, its now only sold by Government stores. This is one of the fast growing industry in Tamil Nadu. Well, education has helped Tamil Nadu's middle class stay out of danger. Only the bottom people and families are torn. But, in history every nation pays prices for the next generation to live healthy and happy life!. Take it easy folks!.

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  4. That's America.., This is India So I hope it won't happen here.., I appreciate the states decision on liquor. But I like your last word "Education is Required".

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  5. Different strokes for Different folks. First off, the government of US and UK are not in the liquor business like in Kerala in the past.

    Please read http://www.mgutheses.in/page/?q=T%201598&search=&page=&rad=#112, article 20 years back..

    and read this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8557215.stm
    news which is four years old..

    Things are far worse now..Time for Pendulum to swing in the other direction.

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  6. Please read: http://tamilnadubudgets.blogspot.com/2014/08/tamil-nadu-2014-15-documents-finally.html , to know 'Tamil Nadu government exposed' series.

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  7. Are you blind to see the changes happened to the world after 1920! People and society changed. Every citizen is aware of what is happening around them. Just compare the technologies and methods to prevent crime across 1920 and 2014!

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  8. Prohibition is a failed policy through out the world. That is correct. How do you however view the State selling liquor in India like in Tamilnadu where the State is running a monopoly in supply of liquor of certain categories. Tasmac is the largest revenue earner for Tamilnadu Government. Do you think that the State should sell liquor ?. Is this not a violation of the Directive principles of State Policy viz. Article 47?Also how do you rate the experience of Gujarat. Is this not a better comparison than US. ?

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  10. It is really a matter of surprise to compare the after effects of liquor ban in US (a country totally different in culture and life style) taken place about a century back with the present scenario in Kerala!

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    1. In 1920 US may have been even worse than current Kerala. Thats the reason US congress waa compelled to bring prohibition legislation.

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  11. sir -Poor people often drink to get some temporary relief from their miserable life.To reduce drinking liquor, education is required, not prohibition. Prohibition is only counter productive.you are absoulate right one !

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  12. One must also check the real background for the ban. The purported reason circulated might be a vague masking for the truth that could be strong rooted! In other States, 80% of the sales are not recorded. Kerala has a long history of almost near clean records of disclosing the figures.

    It is seemingly certain that the fallout of the titans from the same caste might have caused the ban on liquor business. The rivals, but from the same caste, clashes often. Be in their association elections or politics or sometimes even in Business.

    Here is the reason why?

    One is a popular leader rich billionaire owner of multiple watering holes, whose real assets, leadership value and money power is based on his liquor business; who is highly revered and followed by millions, and almost always a winner among the caste's elections!

    The other one in this rivalry story is a spiritually inclined billionaire - a leader in then rural (now urban) finance management with millions of branches across the country - a film producer & distributor in the malayalam industry and also a senior member of the governing authority of the Kerala Hindu Divine places/ Temples!!!

    Now one could see the links clearly, (if only one know the kerala's caste based politics) ; the later's proximity to the leader of the governing party, and his influence among the circle! And finally the real reason for the ban on alcohol business!

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