Alcohol, Hooligans and India

They had to what they had to do, after all they are hooligans. But it's difficult to digest the fact even the politicians will call it a day in view of political benefits.[Curbing Pub Culture] But ironically the same politicians might realize the dangers of it[Alleged Kidnapping](It is not proved yet, but is it too hard to realize that this is an easy possibility).

Even an idiot can argue that drinking alcohol is strictly one's own prerogative. Yes, if it harms someone else, then there should be strict laws about that. But the story doesn't end here. Apart from gender abuse, religious intolerance and human right violation, it raises more issues to think about.

Myth of Sanskriti/traditional values -
Rather than irritating, it is more of amazing to comprehend the kind of Sanskriti that these hooligans are trying to protect. Is it the Sanskriti that was innate to Hinduism where Gods like Shiva or Indra used to drink liquor of brand Somaras or is it the Sanskriti of Mughals whose religion prohibited them to touch alcohol and so they banned the consumption of alcohol[source]. Literally every person in India has a different definition of the Sanskriti(tradition). What definition will you choose: definition of a slum-dweller, definition of riches like Ambanis, definition of entrepreneurs, definition of middle-class, definition of IT employees, definition of pesants, definition of Shiv-sena, definition of BJP...it can never end. But to see that, there can be a definition of Sanskriti which instigates folks to use the ways of violence, is amazing.

Come to think of it, Islam ourightly bans alcohol consumption for any Muslim. But in Hindu mythology even Gods like Shiva and Indra consume liquor. Will these moral-protectors of Indian values, adhere that Islam is a better religion in this context?

The consumption of alcohol isn't restricted to Gods in Hindu mythology. Hinduism has been very open about consuming alcohol as a merry-making necessity of life for poor and king equally. And Hinduism is also liberal on precautions in moderation of consumption; punishing the occasional wrong-doers in effect of alcohol with benevolent curses of Gods. But in modern India we have forgotten the righteous attached to alcohol, but have adopted the extremes: either drink of Gods or a drink of uncultured society. Its a shame that we like to call ourselves liberal because it is favored by America and have forgotten our very own culture of tolerance.
On a slightly low note, I read this quote somewhere:
The dipsomaniac and the abstainer are not only both mistaken, but they both make the same mistake. They both regard wine as a drug and not as a drink.[unknown source]

The excuse -
Now for argument sake, lets say that pub culture is ruining the values of teenage girls as well as boys. Lets say there are incidents of rapes, road accidents etc. because of this culture. Now the glitch is to find who is to be blamed about this.
The reaction of moral-parties is to blame the youth, beat them up and lock them in households so that they can come to senses.

It is naive to think that any teenage(or even adult) will go in right direction with alcohol if he/she is not in proper environment. In cities like Bangalore it is difficult to remain unattached to it with loners of IT industry occupying the most part of city. Rather than teaching the moderate way of alcohol, we take the easy way: blame them.
On top of that if there are restrictions/reservation about alcohol in religions of some families, then also, it lies with parents to guide their children about proper way, not with some third party with sticks in hands.

Problem of terrorism -
The gravest problem of all this hooliganism is that this line of thinking becomes the insinuating base of terrorism. First there is intolerance, then there is hatred, then it comes to moral-war and then it becomes Jihad(taking the misinterpreted meaning). Result is bloodshed. This idea cannot be made clearer than by this blogger - Indiacut: The systematic Use of Terror
I wonder what M.Gandhi will have to say about this now - "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Problem is in all this 'they' and 'you' are same people - we, the Indians.


It's the wine that leads me on, the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool – it drives the man to dancing…it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told.[The Odyssey]

5 comments:

  Vinod_Sharma

7 February 2009 at 15:44

Anything done with a sense of social responsibility is fine. Alchohol sometimes leads to irresponsibility, the scale can vary from the mild to the unacceptable. May be that is why it is banned in Islam - extreme reaction. In Christianity and Hinduism, there is no such blanket restriction, although Vaihnavas are, if I am not wrong, not allowed to consume it. There is also a curse placed on it, I read somewhere. But, who cares!

Soma is not exactly alchohol as we understand...

  Sukesh Kumar

7 February 2009 at 18:04

@Vinod
I won't call your comment a rational one.
1. >>"Anything done with a sense of social responsibility is fine."
I don't agree, terrorist thinks the same way that it is their social responsibility to spread Islam. Is it right?
2.
Alcohol may lead to mishaps, even the nuclear weapons India posses can(I know there is no comparison). But the point is other countries should leave it to India as for her nuclear weapon; society should leave a person as for his choices.
3. I don't adhere to any religion. Nor am I atheist.

I just believe in reason and one's own choices.

  Nikki O'Leary

9 March 2009 at 23:08

Your post brings to the forefront some very important issues that are often overlooked in the fight against alcoholism. You argue “that if there are restrictions/reservation about alcohol in religions of some families, then also, it lies with parents to guide their children about proper way, not with some third party with sticks in hands.” It seems that it is your opinion in general that people should be responsible for upholding their own standards about alcohol consumption in order to preserve their own culture, rather than relying on a “third party with sticks in hands.” Furthermore, you say “it’s a shame that we like to call ourselves liberal because it is favored by America and have forgotten our very own culture of tolerance.” Do you blame the spread of western culture and politics for the rise in pub culture in India? It would seem that you would not blame globalization itself in this case, but that you would place the responsibility on the affected people themselves not to become heavily influenced as a population and to hold onto their traditional values. But is it possible to hold on to tradition in a world where adopting western political ideas also leads to liberalization that was not possible in the past? With new freedoms and newfound access to other cultures, it is not only nearly impossible, but also seems unwise, for a nation to not at least attempt to embrace the customs of other countries.

I find your section about “the excuse” to be most intriguing – you state that it is easier to blame the people that engage in alcohol abuse rather than providing the proper environment to teach moderate consumption. In your opinion, would you rather see government programs geared towards alcohol education rather than alcohol prohibition? Making alcohol less available, though it is designed to have long-term effectiveness in preventing people from starting to drink in the first place, is not necessarily beneficial in stopping consumption altogether: instead, it is apt to create a black market for alcohol, promoting more illegal activity and more dangerous subcultures. Therefore, going along with your argument that it is ultimately up to people to take responsibility for their own actions, I feel that it is the government’s responsibility to provide information to its people that allows them to make educated choices.

  Sukesh Kumar

10 March 2009 at 06:29

@Nikki
first of all, thanks a lot for commenting; it was very well thought and well put comment.

1. >>"It seems that it is your opinion in general that people should be responsible for upholding their own standards about alcohol consumption"
Yes, that's my opinion. A person has a right to make choices unless the choice itself can revoke the prerogative to make choices(as is case with drugs).
Rather than suppressing something with sticks its wise remove the ignorance around that thing.

2. I would have been blaming 'spread of western culture' if I would have been saying that pub culture is wrong. No, I am not saying that. Pub culture is market driven event. There is demand, so there shall be supply. No problems.
>>"you would place the responsibility on the affected people"
yes I do. If a society wants to preserve its traditional values then responsibility lies with the 'society' to lure(not 'make') its generations towards traditionalism. If one thinks his values are better than modern culture, he should prove it to be better.

I never blamed western culture. I blamed 'folks' who adopt western culture in the name of higher standard of livings yet despise western culture for its values.

>>"embrace the customs of other countries"
This choice leis with individual not a nation. India has been center of cross-culture since ancient times. Globalization as in trade had been in existence for a long time even before world coined the termed globalization. I would be at great folly if I ever blame globalization or exchange of ideas in general.
My exact point is that people(Indian) don't realize that it is in their 'own' culture to be tolerant about 'exchange of ideas'. Indian subcontinent has been cradle of a number of religions world has seen, yet Mughal and British rule seeded the 'external aggression' for different groups in India. Before that there was culture of 'internal affinity' without 'external aggression' in different communities of India.

>>"government’s responsibility to provide information to its people that allows them to make educated choices"
You are very right about that. But it has to start from society. 'Government' is not more than the representative of society(if that's not case, its not democracy). Therefore the choice of educating generations, will have to start from parents and communities.

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