Opinion DC Comment 14 Nov 2022 DC Edit | Ban alcoho ...

DC Edit | Ban alcohol before elections

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Nov 15, 2022, 12:37 am IST
Updated Nov 15, 2022, 12:37 am IST
A file photo of voters standing in a queue to cast their ballots outside a polling station in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, in Allahabad. (Photo: AFP)
 A file photo of voters standing in a queue to cast their ballots outside a polling station in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, in Allahabad. (Photo: AFP)

The Government of India, all political parties, Parliament, all branches of the government, and the Election Commission of India, besides all concerned citizens must acknowledge the serious threat to the sanctity and fairness of elections in India from the onslaught of unhindered and voluminous scale of illegal distribution of alcohol before elections in our country.

Elections at all levels, from village panchayat to the highest, are marked by this menace; a scourge so deep that it threatens to uproot our faith in our ability to conduct polls, which are fair and unbiased, where people vote without fear or favour, only out of their political convictions.

No sooner are elections announced that all political parties get started in ensuring smooth supply chain systems at work to ensure men folk in every village, town and city are appeased into intoxication. No party, in its quest for power, has the courage to stand against the ‘malaise’ that has now evolved into a ‘system’.

Even political parties opposed to it deep within their hearts participate with fury in the fear of being left out, not willing to concede a poll for a larger ethical rumination. It must, therefore, be upon us to collectively end it.

The ban on alcohol and imposition of a nationwide prohibition is a directive principle of state policy, and an alcohol-free India was an ideal set for the republic by its founding fathers.

Both the principle of individual liberty and freedom to choose, and the practical inability to implement prohibitions have led us socially to ignore it. But at least, before and during the election phase, as part of the model code of conduct, the nation must unite and build a consensus — no alcohol during elections, no intoxicated electorate must decide the future of our country.

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