Bihar model of probibition can’t be replicated everywhere
Enforcing prohibition is a very difficult task but it has been implemented successfully in Bihar. Though smuggling of liquor continues and people are caught while bootlegging, the majority of the people are happy and the poor are benefiting from prohibition, said the Bihar deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
He said this while sharing the experience of prohibition in Bihar in the light of the hooch tragedy in Uttarakhand.
On being asked about whether liquor should be prohibited in Uttarakhand, Modi said that following the recent deaths, the State Government has taken stringent action. However, he added that the situation in every State is different so it would not be logical of him to opine on whether prohibition should be enforced here. “It is the people along with the Government who have to decide on prohibition because every State is different.”
Regrading Bihar he said, “When the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar proposed prohibition in 2016, the BJP was in opposition but we supported it and it has been implemented successfully too. There are laws against murder, rape and dacoity but still such crimes continue. Similarly, despite prohibition, bootlegging continues though the State Government acts sternly against it. It also helped that Bihar doesn’t have a culture of drinking as in some other States, where it is not considered bad.
However, ensuring prohibition is a struggle. Bootleggers sell a unit costing `20 for `100 but we are acting against them. Bihar used to generate about `5,000 crore revenue from liquor but prohibition has not resulted in loss per se because there has also been a considerable drop in alcohol fuelled crimes, domestic violence and disorder in public places. There is peace and health, the poor people who used to spend money on liquor are now spending that money on milk and food which ultimately generates revenue for the State too apart from making their lives better. The JP Government had also imposed prohibition in 1977 but it was done without preparation due to which it had to be withdrawn in a couple of years. In Bihar, the prohibition was implemented after preparations due to which it has been successful.”
Regarding the impact of prohibition in Bihar on the elections, he said that though the move was not electorally motivated, it would influence the opinion of voters especially the women and poor people whose lives have changed for the better due to prohibition.