Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Joke Called Liquor Ban in Tamil Nadu



In Tamil Nadu, whether you find hospitals or not,you can find liquor shops in all parts of the state,even in remote villages.Nowadays the situation has developed to such an extent that if someone says 'drinking is a bad habit',he will be branded as a 'retard'.In olden days,some excuses were given for drinking - to overcome sadness,to celebrate a success etc.Also our male-chauvinistic society was so 'narrow minded' that women were not allowed to drink. Now there is a new trend - 'drinking is to get social with people'.What a fantastic reason.And yes,now ours has become a feminist society as well, as there is no gender based discrimination in drinking. So this is for common man. Infact, the points I mentioned above holds good for the people of entire nation,but this article is all about the recent developments over liquor in Tamil Nadu politics.

In Tamil Nadu,the govt itself runs the liquor shops under the name TASMAC(Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation).All of a sudden, some kind of 'enlightenment' happened to Tamil Nadu media and politicians,that all are jumping to earth and sky about the TASMAC and liquor shops. There are 2 types of arguments against TASMAC - 1)Govt should not run the TASMAC,but private firms can run(as drinking is one's privacy)- this is a brilliant argument. 2)There should be a total ban liquor.I am not sure what kind of impact will the point 1 mentioned above can create in the state. The argument is so stupid and lame that 'how can the govt itself give warning about the after-effects of alcohol and run the liquor shops too?'.According to this logic,it is ok if someone drinks in a private shop and develops some disease,but it is not ok if the same happens in a govt owned liquor shop. This argument happens in most of the places - work place,among college guys,in social media etc. If the private vendors take over liquor business,still shouldn't they get approval from govt? Now doesn't the same hypocrisy arise? Govt preaching about adverse effects of alcohol on one side and it gives license to private vendors to carry on liquor business,so is that fine? People who argue like this may get a sense of satisfaction that they have teared the ruling govt into pieces with their argument. The govt took over the TASMAC to prevent cartelisation and revenue loss. Since the govt took over TASMAC, the illicit liquor flow has been controlled to a great extent and the govt too got good revenue.

When private vendors sell liquor, what will happen? Or it should be like,what happened when private vendors had the license to run TASMAC. Relatives and benamis of powerful politicians ran the TASMAC shops,they got huge revenue but never paid the taxes properly.They supplied poisonous liquor which resulted in the death of many people.So should we support TASMAC?No,that is not the point here.Running the TASMAC shops by private vendors will do more bad than good.

Regarding the point2 of imposing a complete liquor ban,I am fine with it.I have spoken about it on many occasions.I have also written against drinking in the past.If a liquor ban is imposed,I will be the first person to support it.But this article is not about my opinion,it is actually about the recent stunts by our politicians.

PMK leader Ramadoss and his son(who thinks he is the next CM,he also has formed ministry with his family members it seems),were constantly speaking against liquor shops, only since 2002.Actor Rajnikanth made a statement against forest brigand Veerappan.Rajni called Veerappan a demon and went on to say, he should be shot dead.This has irked Ramadoss then and he started his activities against actor Rajni.Ramadoss said,Rajni spoiled the youth of TN by endorsing smoking and drinking in his movies and sought for a complete ban on his movies.He openly asked his community people to boycott Rajni movies and they held rallies too.In many places,PMK people allegedly,vandalized the theaters.The movie reel was taken away from a theater in Jayamkondam(Source-The Hindu,click here) by some PMK men.If Rajni says something against Veerappan,why should Ramadoss be bothered about it? The reason is - Veerappan belongs to his community as well(source-click here). This is a clear case of caste politics.Later in 2004,Rajni voiced out against PMK and asked his fan clubs to defeat PMK in all the 6 constituencies where they contested.Unfortunately PMK won and Rajni was not ready to experiment anymore.He 'bought' peace with Ramadoss and stopped using smoking/drinking scenes in his movies.After Chandramukhi's release,Ramadoss called Rajni his friend('Nanbar' Rajni).The entire episode was twisted as if Ramadoss changed Rajni and PMK is a party against drinking/smoking.Recent request by Anbumani to actor Dhanush to quit smoking, is yet another gimmick on the same line.

Was there no smoking/drinking scenes in Tamil movies before Rajni's entry into the industry? What's this then?



Except MGR,almost all actors have acted in smoking and drinking scenes.Why should Ramadoss single out Rajni?Let it be a case of personal enmity.This man says ADMK spoils Tamil Nadu by running arrack shops.The ADMK govt took over liquor sales in 2003 and TASMAC became a govt institution.Inspite of knowing this,why did he join the ADMK alliance in 2009? He got 7 seats and fought the elections under ADMK leadership.Was he not aware of TASMAC shops then?Isn't this enough to prove PMK's stand on liquor ban is publicity stunt?If you need more details about PMK, you can post a comment under this article,I will respond.

Next joker is Vaiko.Vaiko was a loyal DMK member.He was expelled from the party as he supported LTTE and DMK feared LTTE may kill the DMK chief Kalaignar Karunanidhi.Then he formed a party on his own(MDMK).I will tell why I have mentioned this information later.Vaiko was in ADMK alliance in 1998 Lok Sabha elections and won some MPs.Then Vaiko was arrested under POTA act by the then chief minister Jayalalithaa for supporting LTTE.After almost 18 months he was released.Again he joined the ADMK alliance in 2006.He campaigned like a loyal ADMK man in 2006 assembly elections,2009 Lok Sabha elections,2011 assembly elections too.But,he was not happy with the no. of seats offered to him during 2011 elections and he quit ADMK alliance,but his party didn't contest the elections too.He was with ADMK for atleast 5 years,after TASMAC was taken over by govt.Now he says TASMAC shops should be closed.

There is no liquor ban in some states ruled by BJP and Congress.One may again intelligently argue, govt doesn't own liquor shops.Such people can scroll above.So their demand for a complete liquor ban is laughable.This holds good to communist parties as well.I don't want to comment anything about Vijayakanth's DMDK.Upto the readers to make a decision about it.

PMK,MDMK,DMDK,BJP,Cong and Communists - these are all nothing compared to DMK. Recently,the DMK chief,Mr.M Karunanidhi announced that there will be a complete liquor ban in Tamil Nadu,if DMK comes to power.What a noble gentleman Mr.Karunanidhi is.There was complete liquor ban in Tamil Nadu until 1971.It was the same Karunanidhi who lifted the liquor ban.Former Madras chief minister and founder of Swatantra Party,Mr.C Rajagopalachari(fondly called as Rajaji),met Karunanidhi personally and requested him not to lift the liquor ban in the state. Karunanidhi not only lifted the ban but also said that Rajaji requested a Rajya Sabha seat for his son C R Narasiman.

People should know about Rajaji.Let me narrate a small incident here.Once Rajaji was offered a free ticket to watch cricket match in stadium.His grandchild took one back.He called the child back and said,'This is the Chief minister's ticket and not Rajaji's ticket and therefore leave it here'.He himself did not go to the match.Source-Corruption at the Grassroots: The Shades and Shadows By N. Narayanasamy).This is just an example.It is possible to list out many such incidents and prove how honest was Rajaji.He formed a party against congress(Swatantra Party).Not even his son was aware of it until the official announcement came from the man himself.But Karunanidhi says Rajaji asked a Rajya Sabha seat for his son.

Karunanidhi, who justified the act of lifting the liquor ban in TN then,by giving false information from literature as an example,now says he will ban liquor in Tamil Nadu.Should we not laugh out loud on this statement?By allowing free flow of alcohol in Tamil Nadu,it was Karunanidhi who spoiled Tamil Nadu.An entire generation,which was not aware of alcohol,started drinking because of this man.DMK and Karunanidhi are the root cause of all the evils in Tamil Nadu.But his statements are seriously highlighted by a leading Tamil weekly called Ananda Vikatan.After this statement by Karunanidhi,the magazine wrote, 'its dream of seeing a liquor-free TN may come true soon'.Lot of magazines support this claim.Their dream is not to see TN as a liquor-free state,but to see Karunanidhi as Chief Minister again.

TN will go for elections in 2016(the probability of advancing the elections cannot be ruled out).That is why our media and politicians are 'suddenly' concerned about the younger generations getting spoilt because of liquor.A leading Tamil news channel,Thanthi TV,even went to the extent of telecasting a school girl shouting under the influence of alcohol.Though her face was masked, is it so difficult to identify that girl?People of her locality might have easily identified who that girl was and would have 'branded' her with 'terms'.We are also coming across a very disturbing news of toddlers forced to drink by elders.For all these problems these magazines,TV channels,social activists and politicians conveniently blame the state govt and the govt-run TASMACs.

Did school children not drink before TASMAC was introduced?I have personally witnessed children studying in 6th,7th standards smoking and drinking.There was no govt run TASMACs then.They were able to buy and drink liquor easily.Such incidents has been happening for a long period of time and just like that blaming govt run liquor shops,one may satisfy himself that he has done a great service to this nation.But the ground reality will remain the same.

Through this article am not endorsing liquor shops or drinking.I stand by my view - drinking is a bad habit and it can spoil an entire generation.At any cost a liquor ban is must.When the Kerala govt wanted to impose a ban on liquor in Kerala,the Supreme court asked the Kerala govt to follow Gujarat model on imposing the same same(source-click here).But this step has to be taken by the state govt. The TN state govt should think about the welfare of people and go for a liquor ban in the state.Neither the ADMK nor the DMK showed any intent to shut down the liquor shops,instead they openly supported increasing the number of shops.TASMAC was taken over by govt in 2003,DMK was in power for 5 years after that(2006-2011).Both the parties heavily depended on the TASMAC revenue while in power.There are certain rules and regulations in running a liquor shop like there should be some minimum distance between one shop and other,there should be no liquor shops in residential areas,near religious places,near educational institutes etc.But the govt itself violated all these rules and like some provisional store,there are liquor shops in every street. As a first step in reducing liquor flow,the govt should atleast come forward to reduce the number of shops and follow the rules mentioned above.Because I have mocked other parties,it doesn't mean ADMK is an angel. ADMK is equally bad.

The press should behave with some responsibility.Instead of behaving like official mouth-piece of DMK,they should pass constructive criticism on govt.Only if the journals follow some standard,it can make the people think.The only intention of most of the leading Tamil weeklies and dailies seems to be to bring down the ADMK govt and make Kalaignar Karunanidhi as chief minister again,which is unfortunate.









4 comments:

ben said...

A nice article exploring from both sides, personally i think for liquor ban to succeed, each individual who comprises the society must change only then prohibition will succeed at the same time there should be stricter controls on liquor sales too so that it might act as deterrence on some social drinkers.

Harish.M said...

@ben - true, it is the responsibility of individuals too to avoid liquor.thanks for your valuable comments.

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