Suneel Vatsyayan, chairman of Nada India Foundation, which works for betterment of the alcohol and drug addicted, told IANS: "A ban on alcohol needs public participation and campaigning. It must not just be a one man's decision or a political agenda."...
Bihar on Thursday joined the states that have banned liquor, with newly elected Chief Minister Nitish Kumarprohibiting sale and consumption of alcohol from April 1, 2016. But experts feel the decision should be "participatory" and not a "political agenda".
Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur (in some parts), and Union Territory of Lakshadweep have banned liquor while Kerala has since August 2014 been implementing the ban in a phased manner.
In Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had promised to ban liquor before state assembly elections, made the announcement at an official function to mark Prohibition Day in the state capital.
He said the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, badly hitting their families and their children's education.
"Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption," he said.
Ban on liquor in different states of the country has not produced desired results as the decision was not "participatory" in nature and "forced" people to get involved in illegal production and consumption of liquor, experts believe.
Suneel Vatsyayan, chairman of Nada India Foundation, which works for betterment of the alcohol and drug addicted, told IANS: "A ban on alcohol needs public participation and campaigning. It must not just be a one man's decision or a political agenda."
As soon as the ban is imposed on alcohol, the state should be ready with a plan to deal with thousands of consumers who must have got into the habit of consuming liquor on day-to-day basis, and might need medical attention to do away with it, he said.
"Having a blanket ban does not work often, but doing away with liquor phase wise would help the state machinery to understand the need and reaction of prohibition," Vatsyayan said, adding that the Kerala example could help other states in dealing with the social problem destroying number of poor families.
"Alcoholism has to be looked at through the perspective of women and children affected, not just those using it," Vatsyayan said.
Other experts also believed that alcoholism has a strong relation with distorted behaviour of the affected, who at times under the influence of liquor indulge in domestic violence or even attempt rapes.