I appreciate Vaiko’s recent ‘padayatra’ march against alcohol consumption and demanding prohibition in Tamil Nadu. It’s rare to see politicians take up such causes. I do remember that banning ‘bars’ in liquor shops was the first ruling passed by our current CM in her first term, but I haven’t come across politicians doing much about alcoholism, thereupon. On the other hand, I have read that politicos distribute alcohol just before elections and that is one reason why the wine shops remain closed during elections.
I am proud that I live in a country that does not allow advertisements for alcohol/tobacco products and this rule has been in force for a considerable amount of time, now. Gujarat has already set an excellent example by prohibiting alcohol (though it maybe unofficially available) and other states should look at following the example set by Gujarat. People who criticize the politicians and Government at every available opportunity should look at such positive aspects, as well.
Let us make no mistake, drinking alcohol is bad for the mind and body. It is no secret that alcohol leads to anti-social behavior and increases the risks of accidents. What you say or do while incapacitated by the liquid can turn against you right on the next day.
Until I was in college, alcohol was always on the sidelines. I knew some of my classmates were drinking alcohol, but they would never do it in college or in a public place. Drinks were mostly consumed secretly and it was relatively less frequent (mostly due to the non-availability of money).
But once people started earning, they started spending their hard-earned money rather lavishly, on alcohol. Alcohol consumption became a regular weekend activity, and for many, this was the only activity during weekends! I (used to) know some ppl who drink alcohol almost daily.
However, I was exposed to bigger shocks after I took up a career in ‘Sales’. One can almost say ‘Alcohol & Sales – Bhai Bhai‘. I am not saying that everyone in that career is a drunkard, but many of them are. Sales meets, discussions, vendor meets, product introductions and even casual meets involved alcohol in some way.
The strange (and hypocritical thing) I noticed was – People in the middle-level and top management were not addicted to alcohol. Many of them did not even touch alcohol and others drank very little, just to give company. You think it’s got to do with their age? Nonsense. They very well know the ill effects of alcohol as they have already gone through the cycle and hence are now abstaining from alcohol damaging them any further.
But, it is these same people who will encourage others in the lower level (executive and entry-level management) to drink. In some companies, senior management would even sponsor drinking sessions in bars. Their assumption is simple – If you keep addicting the persons on the field (and sometimes even customers), they would dance to the tunes of the management and bring in more results. Of course, at the price of their health. Secondly, some use alcohol as a means to get out people’s thoughts and secrets, and use it against them, later on.
I know one person (my ex-colleague) who was such a chronic drinker of alcohol. But once he got married, one fine day, he decided not to drink any more and he just stopped drinking! I also know another person who was a chronic smoker and one day, he put the packet of cigarettes on the road and decided not to touch it henceforth. And that was the last day he smoked!
I admire such people. It takes a lot of determination (and perhaps suffering) to reach to such a conclusion and not be tempted thereafter. If they can show so much guts after being addicted heavily, I would consider such people to be strong-minded and even better than people like me, who would not drink alcohol due to the fear of the liquid spoiling good health. These are the kind of people who can (and have) reached great heights in life.
To answer the question that I asked in the title, I do think that prohibition will reduce alcohol consumption, but people with a lot of money could find unauthorized means to get alcohol. The price of alcohol will increase and there will be the risk of consuming spurious liquor. This is one clear instance where your hard-earned money can turn against you. Think about it!