Lok Satta

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 09:37

Liquor Control Movement

Article Index
Liquor Control Movement
The Ball now is in People's Court: Dr. JP
Shedding blood to protest Liquor shop auctions
Letter to Governor
Letter to Excise Commissioner
The Ball now is in People's Court: Dr. JP
Novel protests against Liquor shop auctions
Panachayats banning liquor to Get Rs.1 lakh award
Demonstrations and sit-ins at Excise Department Golden age or era of stupor?
Women win battle against liquor shop
Lok Satta makes history by Effecting citizen arrest
Bottles broken in battle against belt shops
Lok satta volunteers to arrest belt shop owners
DR. J.P. condemns moves to promote liquor sales
Mahila Satta to rope in SHGs: Anti-Liquor Drive
Mahila Satta identifies belt shops and seeks their closure
Prakasam Women force belt shop's closure
All Pages


(Hyderabad, 16/06/2008)

The Ball now is in People's Court: Dr. JP


Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called upon people to take the initiative and halt sale of liquor through unauthorized outlets since the Government has gone ahead with liquor shop auctions, contemptuously ignoring people's protests all over the State.

The bidders have quoted astronomical amounts to corner licenses anticipating huge sales in an election year. Excise officials too have encouraged the bidders because the Government construes liquor as an important source of revenue.

The dealers who have paid huge amounts as license fee will try to maximize their sales by opening as many unauthorized outlets - belt shops - as possible. A liquor dealer who quotes Rs.1 crore for a liquor shop has to pay Rs.30,000 a day as license fee. The dealer cannot survive in business unless s/he sells liquor worth about Rs.2 lakh a day. Naturally, the dealer promotes belt shops to maximize sales.

Dr. JP said that traditional political parties have aggravated the problem by cynically and unabashedly distributing liquor as an inducement to voters.

The Lok Satta, which has conducted field surveys all over the State, learnt to its shock that people, especially the youth, tasted liquor for the first time during elections when political parties distributed it during elections as an inducement and became addicts later.

Dr. JP appealed to all political parties to take a pledge against liquor distribution during elections, appreciating the havoc it is playing on the lives of millions of people. Despite repeated entreaties, Dr. JP recalled, no political party - not even the main Opposition party - has so far come forward to take such a pledge. Apparently, their promises ranging from closure of belt shops to imposition of Prohibition gradually are hollow.

The liquor auction policy of the Government once again underlined that people are treated as mere voting machines and not as human beings in flesh and blood. The amount the Government spends on welfare schemes ranging from provision of houses to rice supply at Rs.2 a kg is perhaps less than 50 percent of the money it makes on liquor sales. And the Government chooses to ignore the enormous cost people are paying in terms of their health and economy, the extreme violence the women undergo at the hands of their drunken men folk and the neglect and deprivation their children suffer.

Dr. JP demanded that the number of liquor shops be limited, public drinking prohibited, belt shops banned, illicit arrack and gudumba be stamped out and de-addiction centers opened. Panchayats and local communities should be empowered to search, seize and destroy unauthorized liquor and arrest culprits.

All over the state, about 10000 Lok Satta Party leaders and activists registered protest against liquor auctions in Hyderabad and all district headquarters. Lok Satta Party workers adopted non-violent and novel means of protest including Gandhigiri, silent processions, and constructive activities like managing traffic and blood donations. But a deaf government would not listen to reason, and a blind administration would not see the suffering of millions of people. The ball now is in People's Court to liberate the poor from the scourge of excessive liquor consumption.