Drug Abuse

PROHIBITION

Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist and Chair person of BMM has  been championing the cause of  total prohibition for the last  48 years. 

From his  experience of prohibition (success and failure) in Haryana and Andhra Pradesh where he had launched long anti liquor struggles,  he has made his realisation public that Prohibition, in order to succeed, needs implementation at National level.   A letter of congratulation written by Swami Agnivesh to the Chief Minister of Kerala  on the  bold step of imposing  prohibition in the State reads    as under:

23rd August 2014

Chief Minister of Kerala

Trivandrum – Kerala.

My  Dear  Oommen  Chandy ji,

I want to warmly congratulate you on your bold and principled decision to impose total prohibition in the State of Kerala.

I am in total agreement with you that this could have been the  toughest decision for you.   On the one side , the revenue foresaken on this account by the State  is around  Rs. 9000 crore.  But let me tell you, this misconceived argument has been one of the strongest weapons  in the hands of the   liquor lobby. I am happy that you have seen the  hollowness  of  this argument.   The fact is that for every 100 rupee earned by the govt. on this account ,  the State was losing Rs. 124/- to keep its machinery equipped to fight against the ill effects of alcohol such as crime, road accidents, diseases mostly affecting liver, suicides etc.  The revenue on this account is  false and counter- productive.  Above figures  of  revenue gain/ loss on account of alcohol is  given by none other than VIMHANS , a renowned agency who researched on the subject extensively.

I fully appreciate your  decision to set up a corpus fund to support  anti liquor campaigns, to educate people of the ill effects  of liquor and for rehabilitating employees who are currently working in bars.  You are also aware of the need to tackle illicit liquor trade.  These are  challenges but one good thing I want to tell you about Kerala is that the highly literate people  of Kerala have always been conscious of what is good and bad  for society and for the nation as a whole.   And here is an issue that has the  wholehearted support of the women folk  who outnumber men in the State.

I have been championing this cause for the last  48 years in Haryana  and Andhra Pradesh and in last 10 years had partnered with  various organizations       to  take the struggle forward  within the State of Kerala.  I feel very happy that you have taken a very wise as well as a  bold decision.   There is a formidable strength of people inside and outside Kerala  who have been lamenting  on the  helplessness and hopelessness of the States highest per capita consumption figure of alcohol.   You have  struck the right chord with the right thinking people.  If earnestly followed up, I am sure, those who do not agree with the decision today will praise your missionary zeal  tomorrow.

From my experience of prohibition (success and failure) in Haryana and Andhra Pradesh where we had launched long anti liquor struggles, I realized that this step, in order to succeed, needs implementation at National level.  Now that you have taken the first decisive step, we should all gird up our lions and make it a National Movement.

I am at the service of the people of Kerala for the realization of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream.

Wishing you all the best.

Swami Agnivesh