Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu, May 15: As per the Liquor consumption data released by the State Excise Department, the consumption of liquor has gone up in Jammu and Kashmir as 10.16 lakh more bottles were sold in the state in 2015 than the previous year. As many as 556.67 lakh bottles of liquor including indian manufactured foreign liquor (IMFL), Desi Whiskey, beer and ready to drink liquor were sold in 2015 as compared to 546.51 lakh bottles in 2014 thereby registering an increase of 10.16 lakh bottles.
Since the alcohol sale is regulated in the valley, its consumption in the area is minimal. Considering that there is no record of liquor being sold in the black market in the valley, Only the records and datasheets released by the Excise Department are available for gauging the spurt in liquor collection. Hence, the actual sale of liquor in the area cannot be accurately determined. Liquor is not something that one would find in Kashmiri households in general and the consumption of liquir is nominal during weddings and parties in kashmir. Thus it can be deduced that the hike in consumption can be attributed to higher consumption in jammu as liquor consumption is seen as a style statement in jammu. One can find mushrooming growth for liquor shops and bars in the area. People use liquor during all celebrations. It is present in most of the wedding functions. From elderly men to young boys and even girls, it is bring consumed by a greater number of population in Jammu than ever before. The youngsters, both boys and girls, have taken it to be the common party drink. Its use and purchase is out in the open.
It can be rightly said that the consumption of liquor in Jammu has surged tremendously. What is even more alarming is the fact that the Government considers liquor sale to be a revenue machine but the truth remains that they are not concerned about its ill effects on the society.
One of the reasons that can be attributed for this increase is the fact that there are very few recreational avenues such as indoor games or water sports etc. in the entire area. With the lack of recreational opportunities, liquor becomes one of the ways for youth of the state to entertain themselves. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has some of the highest rate of unemployed youth in the country. In the wake of joblessness, people don’t know what else to do.
Assuming that 15% people of the state ,mostly men, consume liquor. The effects of liquor in such situations affect four times that figure considering that every family has four members.
Effects of Liquor on Society:
As much as it is considered recreational, liquor consumption affects people in innumerable ways. It makes people vulnerable to all things negative.
1. Men are often known to engage themselves in domestic violence after getting drunk. They start beating up their wives and children under its influence.
2. A lot of liquor-related deaths occur due to consumption of cheap and spurious liquor which ends up killing many at times as well deaths due to driving under influence.
3. Families disintegrate due to the drinking habits o some members and couples get divorced because of it.
Considering places like Gujarat and Bihar, which are Dry states and liquor free, the priority of the Government is the well-being of its citizens. It makes us ponder whether it is by design that the J&K
Government is not checking the increase in liquor sales in Jammu so that they increase the net revenue growth. Is that reason enough to destroy the lives of people of Jammu especially its youth?