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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Prohibitions or Curse of the Bottle” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Prohibitions

or

Curse of the Bottle

I n the Indian National Congress, Mahatma Gandhi and his I followers were not the first, nor the most vehement opponents of the habit of drinking. Although drinking dates back to ancient times and there is mention of the drinking habits of the doves as well as in our mythology, drinking has been widely condemned as a social evil in modem society.

Protagonists of prohibition go as far as to quote the Bible wherein over 175 warnings have been recorded against “drink, drinking and drunkenness’. Prophet Mohammed also declared: “There is a devil in every berry of grapes.” And he forbade all use of alcoholic beverages to his followers. Pope felt that drink drags down numberless souls to perdition. A litterateur like George Bernard Shaw added his voice to this by saying. -Alcohol robs you of that last inch of efficiency that makes the difference between first rate and second rate.” Gandhiji firmly believed that liquor was an invention of the “devil”. Therefore, he declared if I were appointed dictator even for one hour for India. first thing I would do would be to close, without compensation, all the liquor shops.’ It was his belief that nothing but ruin stares the nation in the face that is a pry to the drink habit. He held. “Drink is more a disease than a vice. I know scores of men who would gladly leave off drink if they could. Diseased persons have got to be helped against themselves.”

Prohibition has been a controversial issue not only in India, but the world over. The Americans who are considered bohemians, enforced total prohibition in 1920, though they deliberately reverted to the policy of non-prohibition. In India the debate on whether drinking should be banned had been going on even before Independence. The evils of drinking were highlighted. The liquor once consumed, makes a person lose control over himself.

Intoxication takes away his rationality and makes him prone to other evils such as gambling and prostitution. The habituating characteristic of liquor enslaves a person completely. The drunkard becomes restless and spends his hard-earned money on liquor. He is not worried about his wife and children, who may be starving. He is unmindful of his own health, which, in the absence of proper nourishment may be wasting away and falling prey to several diseases. The craze for liquor becomes very acute. When a poor man cannot afford even the country liquor sold at the licenced shops, he goes to the vendors for illicit liquor, fermented from harmful substances like methylated spirit. So often one hears of the mass tragedies, when large groups of people after having consumed the dangerous brew, either became blind or died.

Furthermore, drinking saps the energy of a man. The hangover makes him lazy and he is not able to perform his job well. He lingers over the works or commits mistakes because his mind is clouded by the after-effects of liquor. Having been enslaved by the brew, he thinks of liquor even in the day. He is thus not able to concentrate on his work. There are some persons who drink even during the day and turn into economic parasites on the society.

Regular drinking leads to weak nerves which in turn make a person irritable and impatient. A drinker having had a few pegs may no doubt get into a cheerful mood. He may even find release from stresses and strains of existence. But once the intoxication leaves him, he is likely to become still more stressed and vulnerable to nervous strain. Needless to say, a person, gripped by depression and neurotic strain, is hardly likely to prove a good law-abiding citizen, a tolerant father and an understanding husband.

If the head of the family falls a prey to the habit of drinking, the family life gets affected A drunk husband loses all sense of decency and control. In many poor homes, drunker husbands resort to wife-beating. Children feel deprived and injured and grow up to be frustrated and bitter individuals. Even in educated homes, many a time the drinking habit of the husband becomes the bane of marital bliss and culminates in divorce: That is why the framers of the Constitution includes prohibition in the Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 47.

However, there is a section of the society which pooh poohs the idea of prohibition and stands for freedom of individuals to drink. They argue that drinking, practiced in moderation, proves rather beneficial for the mental and physical health. It tones up the body and stimulates the mind. Besides, it adds colour to life, which is otherwise a drab affair, what with million cares and tensions. If drinking were that harmful, a vast majority, all over the world, would not be that of drinkers.

Furthermore the protagonists of drinking point to the enormous loss of revenue that would be incurred by the State Government if prohibition is enforced. Also, the cost of forcing prohibition is tremendous and would put unnecessary strain on the exchequer. They point out, the practical experience of prohibition is not very encouraging. When Mr. Morarji Desai was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, he enforced total prohibition in the State. The result was illicit distillation widespread corruption among the enforcement staff gangsterism and terrorism. There was large scale smuggling of liquor. Consequently after some years the prohibition policy had to be reversed. The same was the result in Haryana a few years ago.

It is also pointed out that if people are prevented from drinking, they might take to other and more dangerous forms of intoxication. Drugs like heroin, LSD and intoxicants like ganja and opium, certainly do more harm to the human system than a couple of pints of liquor. It is argued by them that the practical approach would be to allow drinking and not to think in terms of prohibition.

 Nevertheless, it is far from advisable to allow people to go on drinking freely and burning their money and injuring their health. All the social and religious reformers from time immemorial have been canvassing against drinking. They did so primarily because the ill-effects of drinking are not only confined to the consumer of the liquor but spill over to the family members, and even to the society at large. No doubt prohibition will lead to financial loss to the State exchequer in terms of excise duty, but then the gains are manifold and more than offset the financial loss.

There is no prohibition at present in most of the States. In Delhi too, the Delhi Administration has licensed country liquor shops in order to keep the poor away from dangerous concoctions distilled illegally. But as is well known, free access to the bottle is hardly conducive to the financial and physical health of the drinkers of liquor. It is hoped that in the interest of the people, the Government would not be discouraged by the failure of the earlier prohibition policy. In times to come, it should make fresh and more vigorous attempts to stop people from ruining themselves and their families.

If the policy of prohibition is to succeed, some preparatory steps will have to be taken to prepare the ground for it. These are:

Discontinuance of advertisements and public inducements relating to drink;

(ii) Stoppage of drinking in public places like hotels, restaurants and clubs and at public receptions;

(iii) Banning of liquor shops near industrial, irrigation and other development projects in order to keep the workers away from drinking:

(iv) The Liquor shops should be kept away from highways and residential areas, educational institutions and colonies where poor people live:

(v) The day salaries are disbursed should be declared a ‘dry day;

(vi) Drivers and pilots should not be allowed to drink while on duty and should be strictly penalized for violation of this rule;

(vii) Licenses for new liquor shops should not be granted;

(viii) Establishment of a new unit or the expansion of the existing distillery units should not be allowed except purely for export purposes;

(ix) There should be widespread propaganda against the evil of drinking; and

(x) Leaders should set an example for public by abstaining from drinks.

Let the Government pass laws making drinking a cognizable offence. It should also educate public opinion against the evil. Drinking is no longer glorified in the pictures. Rather. its evils are being stressed. This is a healthy sign. All our efforts must be made in the interest of the children and the poor to drive out the demon of drink from society. It is certain that as and when prohibition is introduced, it will do tremendous good both to the people and the nation at large.

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