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mains Test Series 2018
Q. Alcohol prohibition and impact: Discuss the issue of prohibition of alcohol and its impact.
May 20, 2017 Related to : GS paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Many state governments have banned sale and consumption of alcohol. Many observers argue that due to liquor ban, consumption of illicit alcohol has increased very much and it has very negative impact on human health. 

Issues-

  • Banning alcohol won’t suffice, it need strict enforcement which is almost impossible.  As a result prohibition has been counterproductive in States that have adopted the policy for any length of time.
  • Instead of bettering living standards and improving public health, liquor bans have only led to a spurt in the consumption of illicit brews.

Analysis of impact-

  • Many argue that prohibition as a cure is worse than the malady. Incidence of hooch tragedies tends to be higher when prohibition is in force as the trade is driven underground, the black market grows and production becomes unregulated. 
  • The debilitating effect of indiscriminate consumption of liquor is definitely a challenge before state policy, but decreeing lifestyle choices is always tricky. 
  • Even solutions that are good in principle may not work in practice if implemented without sufficient care or administrative back-up.
  • In recent times, political parties have resorted to the prohibition card, sensing the growing support for such a move among large sections of women, especially in the lower income groups, who have had to deal with financial neglect and physical abuse by drunken family members. 
  • But many States starved of revenue from the liquor business have been hesitant to invest adequately in prohibition enforcement. The end result is that bootleggers and illicit brewers just replace liquor shops and poses severe threat poor people.

Suggestion-

  • Blanket ban on alcohol may not be good idea considering the current trend of life-styles.  Instead of ban government should focus on making aware of impact of alcohol.
  • Even in case of ban, it should be implemented very strictly. And manufacturing and consumption of illicit, spurious liquor should be checked very strictly. 

Conclusion-

In the backdrop of ban on alcohol the liquor trade will operate in underground, which increases the risks for the most vulnerable sections of the population. Government should rethink the prohibition policy, must choose pragmatism over starry-eyed idealism. By which good intentions will be matched with with hard work on the ground.


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