By : Shantanu Banerjee
This summer has dried up the entire nation but Bihar in particular seems to be taking a double hit. With the ban on liquor currently undergoing its first phase in Bihar, dry days are hitting the state with twice the force. This decision of Mr. Nitish Kumar, of total ban on the sale and consumption of liquor (local and foreign) was gathering applauses from his party and opposition alike until recently.
Earlier this month, Excise and Prohibition Minister of Bihar, Mr. Abdul Jalil Mastan had said that Bihar would have a ‘total’ ban on all kinds of liquor starting April 1, 2016.”We will impose a liquor ban in Bihar. It will be for desi (country-made liquor), videshi (foreign-made liquor) or locally-made liquor,” Mastan said.
But there seems to be a large gap between the action plan and the actual action.
Bihar govt. estimated a loss of Rs. 4000 crore annually due to this decision. Hence, following the political tradition of India, the Bihar govt. taking a U-turn, has decided to sell foreign liquor at govt. outlets. Unamused by the statistics of 27% decline in crime rate of the state, the Bihar govt. now seems to be deliberately lighting up the grip on the ‘total ban’ decision.
Perhaps ‘profit making’ has superseded ‘crime reduction’ in the state’s priority list.