In a state where the son of the MLA of ruling party openly guns down a youngster because he dared to overtake, where State Board exam has fraud toppers, not 1 not 2, but in hordes, state where Kidnapping and extortion are turning out to be a lucrative industry and even court judges get demanded “Rangdaari” tax, all Mr. Nitish Kumar could think of, is how to implicate the family members of a man who is possibly a wonted drinker, somehow managed to get some alcohol and hid it in a closet to enjoy a few sips. Henceforth, every adult member of his entire family will be held a criminal and will face jail term because one man had the audacity to drink alcohol.
Imagine another situation. A drunkard husband finds hooch from somewhere and gets drunk and starts beating his wife. The wife calls up cops and the cop enchains the husband and the wife both and drags them to jail, because well the amended bill. This is what Nitish Kumar proposes through Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016.
So I ask Mr. Nitish Kumar, is Bihar short of criminals now that you have to send the family members of drunkards to jail? How about being equally serious, if not more, about murders and extortions and give serious crimes the status you have given to alcohol ban. How about paying some attention to the flourishing Kidnapping industry in Bihar?
Interestingly, even Holy wine finds its place in the banned list. Thus wine will not be used anymore for prayer service in churches. Now, imagine something like this decreed by Modi Government. All hell will break loose. The entire intellectual brigade along with the International Media in unison, will declare it Hindutva and saffronization agenda, a Sangh strategy towards Hindu supremacy. But things are different in Bihar, we have a secular rule. So expect Islamic terrorism and Maoists to function scot-free, while Sushashan babu is busy harassing families for one of their members’ vices.
Let me tell you the biggest irony of the entire show. Nitish justifies alcohol ban saying it was the outcry of rural women who were wary of their husbands wasting away hard earned money on drinks and often resorted to physical violence on wife and family while in inebriated state. But Nitish Kumar has lifted the ban on Toddy, or what is popularly called “taadi” in Bihar, A local fermented drink which is consumed mostly in rural Bihar. After all, how could Nitish ban toddy when Lalu Yadav didn’t approve of it.
It seems Nitish wants to slice and dice the voter bank in a new way in the upcoming UP elections where Nitish Kumar has little apparent prospect.
By showing he is tough on Alcohol, Nitish Kumar wants to woo the women voters that make up around half the population.
Nitish tried the same strategy in Bihar and we don’t know how big that factor was to tilt voters towards Nitish, as we saw Lalu’s party get more seats than Nitish Kumar thus what clearly worked in Bihar was all out, bare naked, caste mathematics.
Nitish Kumar is an educated man. He could have taken a leaf from Prohibition of Alcohol in United States, the Alcohol Ban Between the year 1920 to 1933. The dates saw the highest rise in crimes with bootleggers trying to gain monopoly. Baby face and other famous gangsters of US history were all products of this ban.
With the generous stand of Government towards crime that makes Bihar a safe haven for criminals, one can clearly see this being repeated in Bihar. A network of bootleggers setting up network of underground Alcohol, all they need to do is smuggle from neighbouring state, or sell counterfeit booze at exorbitant prices. Common citizens, even if they lose an eye drinking hooch wont dare complain to Police fearing their own arrest or police extortion. Additionally this law will play excellent in the hands of corrupt officers. The huge amount or revenues that Govt collected through taxes will go underground now.
Thus Nitish Kumar (I hope unintentionally) is setting up an entire channel for the corrupt to make huge money. Seems farfetched? Just google the already prevalent case by policemen on traders. One of the reported cases is of 25th May 2016: Two traders travelling from Kolkata to Punjab by National Highways were caught by excise officials in Bihar. They had 2 liquor bottles for personal consumption. They were looking at 5-10 years of imprison as per the alcohol law. The excise officials extorted Rs. 50,000 from the traders before they let them go. It was only after the traders complained that this matter came to limelight. Report here:
Now Bihar people can expect the same fate, especially the poor and the weak, the people who voted for Sushashan Kumar with much hope and faith. They will find themselves at the wrong end of stick.
Only NDA in their senses opposed the bill while it got acceptance from every other party. Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP leader and former deputy CM of Bihar exposed the alarming potential of abuse of this bill perfectly with this quote:
“If someone throws an empty bottle of Alcohol into Lalu’s and Rabri Devi’s house at night, both Lalu and Rabri along with their minister sons will have to go to jail. Why should the entire family face punishment for the crime of one person?”
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