Sunday, August 24, 2014

Will Kerala's prohibition policy work? It may be a noble idea, but will it ever be implemented?

 I watched a cable TV discussion on prohibition in Kerala. The group discussing seemed to have a lot of fun. Some  called it an idiotic decision, others said was the right decision even if it reduced state revenues. One alcoholic woman cried as she divulged that her husband made her one, but strangely he knew when to stop. And she was sure people like her would find a way to get drunk. The Gujarat model was quoted. But again it was called the most successful bootlegging operation ever seen. Amazing!

The Headlines:

Kerala should enforce prohibition: Congress.

Quoting from BBC:
  • A total of 730 bars serving alcohol will be shut. ( Will someone keep track of the affected owners and tell us whether they went bankrupt or went underground like in the US or Gujarat!)
  • Sundays will be added to existing alcohol-free days on the first day of every month ( A good decision. I remember that many addicted workers would go straight to the bar on salary day. But again many factories did not pay on the first of the month!)
  • Only luxury hotels will be allowed to serve alcohol from next year. (Wow! Any bet on whether these 5 star places would hike prices 5 times!)
  • 10% of the 338 liquor shops owned by a state-run monopoly will be shut every year. (Logic for this has not gone into my head and I have not even had a drink! I hope the man who had this idea was sober!)
"The state should be prepared to accept total prohibition within this period [of 10 years]," he said. (It is possible that more and more will emigrate to other states and countries, and those left will be those who are not employable or without jobs with the drop in tourism!))
Correspondents say businesses are worried that the proposed ban may hit tourism in the state. Kerala is the state which attracts the highest number of tourists in India. ( Not entirely! The 5 star types and teetotalers hopefully will continue to visit Kerala!) 
Nor is it clear how the government plans to recover lost earnings from alcohol sales, which by one estimate accounts for more than 20% of revenues in the state's annual budget. (Any intelligent guesses?..... Probably, NRK's will remit more money to offset this loss. Supporting this noble act of making their Kerala the most sober state!....... Or the neighboring states will probably give aid to Kerala for helping them to fill in their coffers!......Even the bootleggers may chip in a part of their moolah!)
I am not clear how the moral police will implement this draconian decision.
We are a country wherein even the simplest of rules, like 'the slow moving vehicles like  trucks on the left'  is not implemented.

This could be the reason.   Narendra Modi was the CM of Gujarat before he became PM. 
May be the Kerala CM feels he stands a good chance in the future if he brings in prohibition!

1 comment:

Mouli said...