Dec 20, 2022
Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on Why is Alcohol Banned in some Indian States. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: Governance
Banning of alcohol, Directive Principles of State Policy, 7th Schedule of the Constitution, Bihar Prohibition Act, 2016, Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949.
For Mains: GS Paper II- Government Policies and Interventions in various sectors
About Alcohol in Indian Constitution, Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), Alcohol Prohibition in Indian states, Rationality of Alcohol Prohibition
Recently Bihar’s liquor prohibition policy has been blamed, as the official death toll in “dry” Bihar has mounted to 38 from the latest hooch tragedy.
Why do some Indian states ban alcohol? What are its effects? (150 words, 10 marks)
|Bihar hooch tragedy|
What is hooch?
Hooch is a commonly used term for poor-quality alcohol, derived from Hoochinoo, a native Alaskan tribe that was known to produce very strong liquor.
Unlike branded liquor which is produced in factories with sophisticated equipment and rigorous quality control, hooch is made in more crude settings without any quality checks.
Often, various adulterants are added to increase the potency of the liquor. Some of the known ones include organic waste, battery acid, and industry-grade methanol, all of which which are highly toxic.
Effects of spurious liquor:
Methanol or methyl alcohol can cause impaired vision, high toxicity, and metabolic acidosis, a condition in which the body produces excess acid that cannot be flushed out by the kidneys. The treatment for this is to intravenously administer Fomepizole and ethanol.
It is difficult for states to declare a ban on alcohol. This is primarily because liquor revenues have consistently contributed a large share of the state government’s revenue. At present, liquor ban exists in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Mizoram, and Nagaland while partial bans exist in Lakshadweep and Manipur. Some states, like Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, attempted to enact alcohol prohibition but abandoned it due to its failure.
News Source: The Indian Express
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