The Evils of Drinking

Drinking is one of the many evils our society from. It is a great social evil and needs to be eradicated. Habits die hard and once this evil habit is formed, it is very difficult to get rid of it. Sometimes people start drinking as a mark of fashion in the beginning and then gradually it becomes a habit. In most of the cases it is the result of bad company. Like any other addiction, drinking is also an addiction and deserves full condemnation. The bad effects of this evil habit are too many to be counted. It leads to bankruptcy, moral degradation, misery, untold suffering, loss of health and character.

Drinking disintegrates families. The families of drunkards undergo lot of suffering as their money is drained off and they become utterly poor and deprived. A drunkard spends his income in drinking and thereby deprives his wife and children of even basic needs of life. A drunkard loses his mental control and indulges in abuses, beating of his family members, specially wife and children. He does not hesitate to pick up a quarrel with others on any pretext under the influence of wine. Thus, a drunkard becomes a social and family nuisance and an undesirable person. Many other evils are closely associated with drinking, these include gambling, prostitution, lying, quarrelling, stealing, cheating etc. A drunkard can stoop to any depth to satisfy his urge for drinking. If need be, he can even commit murder, such is the force of this evil habit.

Mahatma Gandhi was a great social reformer. Drinking was one of the social evils he fought against. He was in favour of total prohibition because he said, “drinking makes a man forget himself. He ceases to be a man for the time being. He becomes less than a beast.” He started a mass movement against the evil. Again Mahatma Gandhi said, “Only those women who have drunkards as their husbands know what havoc the drink devil works in homes that were once orderly and peace loving.”

Drinking id undesirable even in moderation in a country like India where a hot climate prevails. There are many deaths every year in the country because of drinking and yet the evil is on increase. According to a report, in recent years it has increased from one in three hundred to one in twenty. This increase in alcoholism and booze, is alarming. Prohibition in India has failed because of many reasons. Firstly, it has been half-hearted. Secondly, when drinking is prohibited in one state, the other state in neighbourhood remains wet where the drunkards and alcoholics go and enjoy drinking. Thirdly, the corrupt officials, policemen etc take advantage of the prohibition and give protection to bootleggers against huge bribes and then it becomes a big business. The ill gotten money and wealth creates an evil force of mafias. For example, now there is prohibition in the state of Haryana, but wine is freely available there but at about three times the usual price and the political leaders and policemen are minting money. Simply passing laws against drinking and never work unless there is strong political will and public awareness behind the laws. The rules and regulations against the evil should be enforced strictly and both in letter and spirit.

The poor men, the daily labourers and wage earners suffer the most from the evil of drinking. They drink for intoxication to forget their worries and to remove fatigue. Since their diet is never rich, they soon become victims of heart, lung or liver disease and meet their income on booze and this in turn plays havoc with the welfare of their families.

Prohibition is essential and it is the need of the hour. Even alcoholics know that it is an evil and they curse their bad habit. Many of them want to get rid of it. Prohibition will help us in protecting the younger generation against the evil. Prohibition should be countrywide in spite of revenue losses to the States. All out efforts need to be made and short and long term measures taken to make prohibition a success.

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