Bihar Chief Minister came up with the complete ban of alcohol whether consumed, sold, or stored in April 2016. Also violators would be imprisoned for 5-10 years. This decision enraged many thinkers across the country as a lot many found it to be atrocious and display of muscle power by Nitish Kumar.
Talking about banning alcohol it's not something new for us. We have seen it in Gujarat, although not many know that alcohol prohibition is not Narendra Modi’s brainchild, it was Gandhi’s advocacy. Andhra tried and failed between 1958 and 1969.
When I first came to the city I was made aware of the situation and was strictly told not to indulge in any such activities which was very much a part of my Kolkatan life adding to the recent misery of "No-Dry Day" move by Mamata. Initially it was easy, but later on life became difficult when things got boring and dull on weekends due to unavailability of a happening place in Patna unlike Kolkata. No bars or dance clubs can survive without alcohol. Such a prohibition has also affected my work life as there is no after work life of my office colleagues which we had in Kolkata that made work easier and solved a lot of complications.
The purpose of making alcohol-lovers save money for their family instead of buying alcohol fails when some resort to buying illegal alcohol at a much higher rate resulting in spending even lesser for their family. Prohibition of alcohol in the US led to the formation of the mafia but it's not that prohibition doesn’t work. "Marottichal" - a small village in Kerala which was once filled with breweries and alcohol addicts, when they stopped their operations, the addicts found their new addiction to "Chess". But such cases are rare and must be treated in isolation.
All such stories hovered around everytime I realised I cannot "booze" on weekends but as time passed I started to think otherwise. I realised that the level of self awareness and prudence of people here and that of other states vary a lot. Which made me look into the other side of the story. Crime rate has declined by 27% since the introduction of liquor prohibition which includes kidnapping, rape, murder, atrocities against SC/ST, and riots. Number of road accidents have also shown a decline of 17.62% from 840 to 692 in April this year. The best example would be the villages where money which once went into liquor is now helping support children's education and a better maintenance of home and hearth
All of such stats cannot be regarded as a mere co-incident. I am not a supporter of any political party but in time I have also resorted to the non-alcoholic lifestyle which I found healthy and productive. The reason why I found time to research and write an article for PatnaDaily is because I have a lot of time to myself which I can use for my own benefit. Although I drink and party whenever I go back to Kolkata, I would say this switching between two different lifestyles has helped me emerge as a more responsible individual than before.