keeping the Whiskey in the Jar? IMKÜMRA Every action has consequences and every consequence breeds further consequences; this circle continues until it reaches a stage where the consequences become the cause. The prohibition debate in the Naga context seems to reflect this dilemma which is unable to distinguish the action from its consequences. This vicious cycle has in part been perpetuated by the lack of dialogue and understanding around the issues surrounding prohibition. The nature of prohibition has gone in a new direction where the perpetual cause-effect cycle has somehow betrayed the true intent and the initial reasoning of why the legislation on prohibition was enacted in the first place. Considering that many Naga families have been affected by alcohol abuse, the question on liquor prohibition is a topic that evokes intense sentiments and emotions with clearly demarcated positions. The issue of prohibition has become a very personal journey for those affected by it. However, it is only fair to discern and demand an incisive examination of the factors surrounding how and why Naga society became vulnerable to alcohol abuse. Gener-
ally, it suggests that alcohol abuse numbed the pain caused by unresolved social and personal tribulations. Today, many families are also being affected by drug abuse, so it is critical to ask whether increased drug abuse has any relationship to prohibition. Over the course of time, debates around prohibition have tragically shifted away from the actual question of ‘prohibition’ and are now centered on a religious understanding of whether a person who consumes alcohol is moral or amoral. In a sense the issue has become individualized, and it is very possible that Nagas find themselves in a situation where individual worldviews and values of a section of society have been legislated into policy. In many ways the actors involved around issues of prohibition have personalized the debate, leaving little or no room for any open discussion which, unfortunately, is seen as the opposing position. On one hand there are arguments with religious overtones about why prohibition should continue, on the other, rebuttals on how prohibition has failed and has affected the economy. Then you have the government that seems to have taken the middle path of ‘partial prohibition.’ In any case, none of these approaches or positions actually addresses the question of prohibition. The continuing debate of prohibition revolving around repetitive sloganeering con-
nected to moral images, health-issues, and economic factors, etc., needs to be broadened. The stage of prohibition in Nagaland is in shambles to the point of self-contradiction. This self-contradiction has been allowed to prevail so long as bootlegging does not disrupt the symbolism of what constitutes a ‘dry state’ and the space of religious fervor. They all seem to ‘peacefully co-exist’ within their own defined spaces. In the end, history and experience has shown that it is the bootleggers who have profited most from the prohibition. In an ironic twist of fate, the prohibition advocates and the bootleggers are finding themselves in the same camp, for different reasons of course, but an unwitting alliance nonetheless. By this, it implies that the prohibition advocates and the bootleggers are united in their common demand for continuing to preserve Nagaland as a ‘dry state’, albeit as a matter of symbolism; while bootlegging flourishes in an unaccountable and unregulated manner. It would be fair to say prohibition has best served the interest of the bootleggers; and the prohibition advocates by default have made bootlegging into a fine art of profit-making. The unintended alliance between the prohibition advocates and bootleggers could not have been any finer. Therefore, not only are they selling alcohol at sky-rocket rates with relative ease, but more importantly their new found status and profits are accept-
able by the present social norms. In September 2009, the Nagaland minister of Forest and Excise in his interaction with some local journalists admitted ‘prohibition is defeated’ in Nagaland. The minister cited the reason being was due to the lack of human resources by pointing out that only about 223 constables and some officers were available to implement and enforce the Act. However, there are many more reasons for its failure in addition to inadequate human resources. Irrespective of its failure, strategically defining the next steps takes precedence. Neither the government nor the society can remain silent any longer. A new discourse needs to be initiated regarding the next steps to be taken. Presently, more than the question of prohibition, the difficulty is agreeing on a method appropriate to address the prohibition issue. Thus far, the method has been illusively damaging to the process, which has only succeeded in hardening an extreme position. There are pressing needs; somehow the central issues around prohibition have to be recovered and depersonalized from moral judgments. This will allow space for varying democratic expressions which is required to build a societal consensus. Whether or not prohibition continues, the solution needs to be face-saving, yet practical and democratic.
CONCLUSION: lessons for today Mark Thornton Prohibition, which failed to improve health and virtue in America, can afford some invaluable lessons. First, it can provide some perspective on the current crisis in drug prohibition-a 75-year effort that is increasingly viewed as a failure. Repeal of Prohibition dramatically reduced crime, including organized crime, and corruption. Jobs were created, and new voluntary efforts, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which was begun in 1934, succeeded in helping alcoholics. Those lessons can be applied to the current crisis in drug prohibition and the problems of drug abuse. Second, the lessons of Prohibition should be used to curb the urge to prohibit. Neoprohibition of alcohol and prohibition of tobacco would result in more crime, corruption, and dangerous products and increased government control over the average citizen’s life. Finally, Prohibition provides a general lesson that society can no more be successfully engineered in the United States than in the Soviet Union. Prohibition was supposed to be an economic and moral bonanza. Prisons and poorhouses were to be emptied, taxes cut, and social problems eliminated. Productivity was to skyrocket and absenteeism disappear. The economy was to enter a never-ending boom. That utopian outlook was shattered by the stock market crash of 1929. Prohibition did not improve productivity or reduce absenteeism. In contrast, private regulation of employees’ drinking improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, and reduced industrial accidents wherever it was tried before, during, and after Prohibition. In summary, Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve and supplanted other ways of addressing problems. The only beneficiaries of Prohibition were bootleggers, crime bosses, and the forces of big government. In the aftermath of Prohibition, economist Ludwig von Mises wrote, “Once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.” The repeal of all prohibition of voluntary exchange is as important to the restoration of liberty now as its enactment was to the cause of big government in the Progressive Era.
Illustration by SÜNGKÜM
The Opinion was initiated with the intent of creating space for differing viewpoints to be freely articulated in public space, with the hope it would lead to a meaningful discourse.This August issue is focused on ‘Prohibition’ with the objective to enable diverse standpoints to be articulated. In the process of compiling this issue, we were sad to encounter a dilemma where people were apprehensive to publicly share their real view on ‘Prohibition’ for fear of perceived stigma and marginalization. We appreciate the articles received and note the cyclical themes and viewpoints. Underneath the existing façade of ‘normalcy,’ there is a deep craving to have an open, free and safe dialogue on issues of Prohibition some of which are expressed through the many social networks such as Facebook, which are not available to the broader public audience. The absence of freedom to speak nothing but the Truth creates inconsistencies between the ‘perceived reality’ and the ‘ground reality.’ Such inconsistencies would only foster a culture of lies and contradictions in which it would seem to be safe and beneficial to be ‘politically correct’ rather than to share true feelings. It is therefore essential that the government, church institutions, civil society and the people at large consciously work in enabling a safe and democratic space to people to engage in a meaningful dialogue on the various pressing issues that affects their everyday life.
The Morung Express
Prohibition plagued by contradiction.
A land of plenty in a Dry State. Photos by: Caisii Mao
TO DRINK or
NOT TO DRINK
Dr Visier Sanyü Meyasetsu, Melbourne, Australia
I know something about alcoholism. My brother, my uncle, many nephews and my best friends all died of alcohol abuse. It is a ruthless killer. My cousin calls it WMD, Weapon of Mass Destruction. Alcoholism is a real social problem in Nagaland like in many parts of the world. I would be insane to promote alcohol, but I would be worse, insane and stupid, to think that probation should stay in Nagaland because alcohol has killed my friends. It would be like campaigning to ban all motor vehicles because a car ran over a family member. Removing the bad effects of alcohol and prohibition are two very different things. Prohibition has never worked and will never work. The only places where prohibition has worked are in some Muslim countries where the use of wine is not part of the culture and the penalty for drinking wine is death or limb mutilation. In Nagaland neither is applicable. Alcoholism is a disease and alcoholics are patients who need professional treatment. But prohibition is not the right treatment; it is not their doctor. Prohibition causes more social problems and creates more criminals than does the use of alcohol. There are reasons why wine has been in use for thousands of years throughout the world including in Nagaland. This is not the right place to go into them. But prohibition has not been known to prevent alcohol abuse anywhere in the long run. This is because historical and social factors play a stronger role in alcohol abuse than does the availability of alcohol itself. There is no doubt about the integrity of the Baptist Church leaders who are fighting to keep prohibition in Nagaland. I can hear their painful cry and feel their anguish for love ones who are alcoholic. They are determined to fight alcoholism with a sincere commitment to their God and Lord Jesus Christ. They are prepared to go all out for dear ones. Yes, all out: protest rally, representation, lobbying, even hunger strike. They too have a potent political weapon in their hands and can bring any government to their knees, as they have done in the past. That is to say, the Church has power in Nagaland and the abuse of that power can become WMD. The Church therefore needs to choose its target wisely. Prohibition is a misplaced target. This becomes clear when we consider that, ironically, bootleggers and black marketeers are on the side of the Church in this battle. They are the strongest advocates of prohibition, after all, what will happen to their business if prohibition is lifted? No wonder
some of them are secretly funding to keep prohibition. I know people who have become crorepati after prohibition was introduced. Some law enforcement officers are also promoting black markets because they too can’t do without their drinks. Many parties hosted by State Ministers and government officials serve alcohols, the very people who are supposed to be enforcing the law of prohibition. Have we all gone nuts? This is prohibition history in other countries repeating itself in our land; when prohibition was the law in the US the Mafia thrived and went so out of control that the law was lifted, never to return. There are two social categories in Nagaland as far as wine is concerned; those who do not touch drink, or complete teetotalers, and those who do not know how to drink. I salute those who do not drink. I respect them. I have many friends who do not drink. But to those who drink, I would like to share my opinion. If you drink, do not pretend that you know what you are doing because you may not know the complete effects of what you are doing. A glass of whisky will lead to two and two will lead to three, and before you know it you can be hooked. Whisky, rum, and vodka are very dangerous drugs. If you become an alcoholic, no one can help you except professionals and Alcoholics Anonymous, AA. The AA prayer goes like this, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Alcohol abuse is a very serious matter. In Australia and in other western countries it is dealt with very severely. In Australia the slogan is, if you drink and drive, you are a bloody idiot.”Many indigenous and tribal people all over the world, like the Nagas, have very serious problems with alcohol. They suddenly found themselves dispossessed of their autonomy, lands, and culture. They encountered a more sophisticated and powerful material culture, and went into culture shock. Often, they took the easy way out by turning to alcohol. There is no easy solution to alcoholism in these societies. But research shows that prohibition does not help them, but education does. Once they understand the danger of alcohol abuse and treat wine drinking as a cultural practice and a means of spiritual enrichment, as is the case with some Christians, they deal with alcohol problems much better than enforcing a law against alcohol has ever done. Let us then look at what theology has to say on this subject. As Christians, we want to be responsible, and for some that has meant making the choice not to drink. Such decision
is laudable in the present Naga context. But it should not prevent us from asking ourselves why the first miracle that Jesus performed was turning water into wine. Wedding receptions in Jewish society were key social occasions in a village, and in a culture which placed supreme value on hospitality, to run out of food or drink was a major violation of hospitality on the part of the host. It had the potential to subject the couple to social disgrace that could shadow them for the rest of their lives. For whatever reason, the wine had run out at that wedding, and Jesus came to the rescue with a miracle, saving the new couple from embarrassment. That was the social function of Jesus’ first miracle. A second function has to do with proving Jesus’ divinity and possession of supernatural power. His ability to override the laws of nature, to step in and rescue, heal, restore and save in ways that no scientist can explain. By turning water into wine, Jesus provides proof of who he is, and therefore reason enough for us to believe, as the last verse of the passage attests, that this miracle revealed Jesus’ glory and his disciples believed in him. John is a master of symbolism, and his stories of signs point to something beyond themselves; what is revealed here is much more than how good Jesus is as an emergency wedding caterer. Metaphorically speaking, who’d rather the miracle was that wine was turned into water? As Jesus’ public ministry begins, John has placed him not solving the social problems or healing the sick and raising up the blind and the lame, but as the invited guest at a party, to a wedding. This story has something positive to say to us about Jesus’ attitude toward people coming together and enjoying a good time. Far from giving a lecture on the values of temperance and self-control, Jesus facilitates the continuance of the party by providing several jars full of wine, and top shelf, premium quality at that. If we’re looking for a moral lesson on alcohol abstinence we are not going to find it here. The Temperance movement has tried to tell us that the wine of the Bible was not alcoholic but scientific research has proven them wrong. But accepting that wine is a substance which intoxicates is critical to our understanding of the story; in fact if this were not so, the symbolism John is employing to indicate the parallel powers of wine and divine spirit will simply not work. In many cultures wine was and still is a part of everyday life and until very recently alcoholism was rare. Cultures that leave little room for peo-
ple to live private, individualistic lives have very low levels of alcoholism. If you grow up in a community where everything you do is observed by family and friends and neighbours, where there is no such thing as private space to escape to, there is little opportunity to develop an isolated worldview which seems to be a contributing factor in alcohol abuse. There are over 250 references to wine in the bible – both positive and negative. Proverbs 21:17 says that whoever loves wine will never be rich, yet in Proverbs 3, full barns and vats bursting with wine are the reward for the person who honours God with the first fruits of the harvest. New wine in new wine skins is the imagery that Jesus evokes for the kingdom in the New Testament. Wine and celebration are often placed hand in hand; wine brings joy and gladness to a party. Yet since wine is a powerful volatile drink,it causes you to lose control, to do things you wouldn’t dare do sober. It is intoxicating and transforming, and it is the key to understanding what John is trying to say about the true nature of Jesus’ mission in our world and in our lives, that is, personally engaged and spiritually overpowering. This is a story about much more than Jesus’ ability to turn water into wine. It’s about the life transforming power of God’s spirit ushered into the world of human existence in the person of Jesus. The steadfast, constant, deeply loyal and enduring love of God transforms us by intoxication. It has often been said amongst evangelicals that drinking wine is a sin primarily because it causes the drinker to lose control. But that is exactly why wine is such a great symbol for the transformation which Christ desires to bring about in us! It is in surrendering our lives to Him, by giving ourselves over to the intoxicating effects of Christ on our hearts and minds, that we shall ever be transformed into his image and likeness. I am happy that Jesus turned water into wine, not the other way around. Coming back to prohibition in Nagaland, I think it should be lifted. But once it is lifted both the Church and the government must play their respective roles in propagating responsible alcohol sale and use. Educational programs generated by knowledgeable professionals on the effects of drinking, especially the evil of alcohol abuse, should be made part of the curriculum of all schools and colleges. The same material should be made available to the general public through civic organizations. Such an approach will do more to promote proper use of alcohol than extending prohibition will do to reduce alcohol abuse.
If USA Could Not Do It In……………
Illustration by Atong Rothrong
Prohibition In Nagaland On 10 May 1996, starting 24 hrs ahead the previous night, an unusually big number of Climbers, were set to scale Mount Everest. The Members were all set to reach the summit latest by 2PM after which they must head back because the Weather Conditions were expected to worsen. Some of the Members had paid more than Thirty two Lakhs rupees - 32,50, 000/ for the Trip. The Team Leader has to reach them to the top and return them back. But the last Climber reached the summit only by 4PM. They headed down but it was too late, already the deadly wind soon became a Storm, then quickly a Hurricane and the snow ‘white out’ was too thick to see their way down. The Climbers were all stuck up on the exposed face of Mount Everest. Eight Climbers died including the Leader. The tragedy was one of the worst in the history of Everest Climbing. The lone Naga, a Woman, who is the first Naga to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Major Dr. Neikhrietuonuo Linyü, a month ago, narrated to me she saw in the snow on the Route dead bodies here and there. The tragedy cited above is not due to an underlying technological deficiencies but is due to a ‘perceptual failure to be aware one’s environment’, what Psychologists call the ‘SA’ -‘Situational Awareness’ failures. We sometimes tend to overrule Set Limit by supposedly small slight margins, but once a Rule is broken, further breaking by slight bits does not alarm us and finally the slight deviations add up together into a Tragedy. We think we are right and fail to see the Reality of the Situation around us. A gliding Balloon accidentally rose slowly off the ground the Control Team trying to stop it: a Tourist gave in his hand to hold it down but the balloon rose slowly a few feet, then higher and higher and the spectators on the ground shouted to the Tourist to let go his hold. He did not, perhaps thinking it will come down ultimately, but it rose higher and higher until the Tourist could hold no further
and crashed to death. The Human Brain is set to show us order in random disorder, reason in perplexing situations and meaning in a senseless situation. The brain helps us form Theories to find solutions of situations. We develop Theories to help us set order in the quandary or in solving a senseless perplexing murder for example. However our Theory sometimes go awry without us realizing it. Some empty Whiskey bottles were to be found hidden in the boundary of the Garden of a Deacon of a Church. Our human Brain would give us a Theory to the perplexing find. We stick to our Theory and go wrong. The Writer fears a similar situation has descended upon Nagaland on the Issue of Prohibition. The Principle of Prohibition is desirable and good. The embarrassment, the pitiably harassed: Wife, Mother, brothers, Sisters and the children in a Drunkard Home in the Naga Society, everybody fully understands. We all disapprove it but in our naïve simplicity to stop drinking, we imposed Prohibition, expecting it to stop Alcohol consumption in the people. It failed, but we are so strongly set in our mind the Prohibition would stop the Malady that we continue to support it against all indications to its contrary. We may be suffering from a perceptual failure to be aware of the reality of the situation, what the Psychologists and expert call ‘SA’ –situational awareness failure. The malady of drinking in Nagaland is due not only to a single factor alone. It is a ‘perceptual failure to be aware of the reality of one’s environment’, -a combination of many defects: in the person, the Family, in the Husband, in the Wife; in the Home atmosphere, in the atmosphere of the Society a whole, in the Politics of the Land, in the Church behaviors and a little in everyone of us as a member in our Society. The inability to enforce Prohibition is not due only to failure of the Government of Nagaland or the Police alone. The blame on Government and the Police is partly true but it is not the whole truth. The whole Society which includes the Government and
the societal atmosphere in whole of the State is responsible: We ourselves are not at all wholly beautiful and the unsatisfactory Photo therefore cannot be blamed to the Photographer alone. There is not the slightest hesitation to condemn Drunkenness; lock, stock & barrel, drunkenness is wrong be it in uncivilized Nagaland or civilized Switzerland. All the headhunting Nagas the Writer has talked to, all the teetotaler Pharisee Christians in Nagaland, all the well meaning opinions sought, have not the slightest hesitation Drunkenness is awfully bad. There is however not a single ‘awared’ Naga who is not aware Prohibition has miserably failed. The hard Reality in Nagaland however is that we are today not up to the mark in producing a Government or Police as efficient as those in UK or Australia because we are what Nagas we are and not British or Australians and we can only produces a Government we deserve. In civilized people, Driving under Alcohol is not only unlawful but is generally accepted as such. In UK it a person who has consumed Alcohol in the Party would not drive his Car home but would request another of his friends to drive him home in the Car. The trouble lies in being less privileged, economically hand-to-mouth, the able bodied without a permanent job or sons of the well to do, all dressed up but nowhere to go, or Hotel which cannot run on profit without serving Alcohol secretly, or divorced unskilled worried woman with several small children her husband has abandoned to look after, or those who have no hope to live a decent life. The privileged powerful and the wretched without any alternatives to food and to decent life, would privately and secretly continue to trade and consume Alcohol. Alcoholism is a human social problem more commonly met in illiterate, downtrodden, exploited, minority indigenous people without a hopeful future whether Christians or not, just like the phenomenon of Corruption in the Elites, the powerful Haves and the privilege; is
not just a simple thing to stop completely in one Ana Hazare’s lifetime. Manufacture, Trade and Consumption of Alcohol is far too big and powerful deep seated an Issue to be controlled completely. Moreover, as Language cannot be Legislated and controlled like a herd of Cattle, similarly Alcohol, perhaps the oldest drink after Water, is a food Item of Man and should not be legislated too easily. It may in all probability, continue even if there is an All-Women Government or a Woman Chief Minister in the Government of Nagaland. Alcoholism is a composite symptom of Many ills in the Society: Impoverishness, lack of Opportunity for Economic well being, Inequality, Ignorance, Exploitation, lack of Confidence in the Self and in the Community, Power in the hands of a minority few in the midst of an overwhelming majority of helpless poor and many other ills known or unknown. You may like it, you may not like it: Prohibition has failed in Nagaland. The trouble is: The Church Leaders are afraid of the Church to admit the failure and shift the blame to the Government and the Police: The Government is afraid of the Church. Both the Government and the Church are afraid of the Church. We have cut off the Bridge after crossing the river and now we have no bridge to cross the river back! Then what is the honorable solution? My opinion is: I. Let the Church continue to support Prohibition of Drunkenness vehemently, even condemn Slavery Jesus and Paul did not but let them not threaten to pull down the Government: Jesus and Paul taught Christians to Respect the Rulers of the land and to Pray for them and to honor the Government. II. Let the chicken hearted Government take heart the Church cannot pull down a legally constituted Government. III. Let the Government take the decision boldly for the good of the State for which they were elected.
Voice of the People on
Prohibition Prohibition is not the solution. This is the individual’s choice which has to be taken with care. We should know our limit and it will help the Government.
Liquor has broken many family, sons and daughters imbalance in education; many were loss and destroyed… Liquor prohibition is must. “Prohibit Liquor; Take your life in full rhythm where you are.”
BIMAL KUMAR BAGRI
B S TRIPATHI
Mahindra Generator & Honda
Lecturer, Ram Janaki Hr Sec School
Working in Children Ministry my concern is on small and neglect toxic stuff like Talab, Tez, Gutka, Pan Masala etc…. May be we are not realizing now but these things are causing various unseen harm to the children. Therefore, some prohibition or preventive measure can be implemented or ponder upon those item.
At the instance of the bare word ‘prohibition’ the first thing that come to my mind is ‘liquor prohibition’. Prohibiting the flow of liquor is the policy of Nagaland Government in keeping with the pledge of Naga people to declare Nagaland as a ’dry state’. It is a relief to hear the Churches and Social Organizations especially the women groups undertaking forfeitment, frisking and damaging such unhealthy goods in almost in almost all districts of Nagaland. These organizations deserves appreciation, it is high time State Government and general public raise their voice and let us all be pragmatic in our own pledge to make Nagaland a ‘Dry state’
ESTHER H. CHISHI Church worker, DSBC
Prohibition of liquor in the state looks liberal. The responsibility given to the authorities alone will not help for prohibition, it need the co-operation of the public, every individual must support the authorities to make real dry state,….liquor is just a waste of resource for shortening ones life and also killing its soul. GUWANILO RENGMA Concerned Citizen
CHUBA YIMCHUNGRU Advocate & Social Worker
Hats-off to all the excise personnel for their hard work in implementing the Liquor Prohibition Law! Nagaland is on the right track now, for a healthy more secure society. We all know how much harm alcoholism has done to our society and still doing. Alcoholism are a waste of time, they destroy one’s family and one’s self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. I fully support all the churches, women organizations, police personnel, civil societies who are determined in implementing prohibition law in Nagaland. May our Lord Almighty be their strength to make Nagaland for Christ. ELVIN NEWMAI
According to me, the term “Prohibition” is a negative concept. In our culture “Food and Drink” is sacred and paid outmost due respect. Alcohol in itself is not an evil but how one make uses abuses it. Instead of prohibition, let’s talk about its pros & cons and be constructive builders of the society. ATHILU KHRASI
Researcher & Development Worker
On the outset the term prohibition on liquor sound very sweet to Nagaland , but if we look around how practical is it? The authorities, churches, organizations can think of other means like opening more rehab centers.
L. NGAMLEM KONYAK
Prohibition, it is made with a purpose for good and betterment. For example, in some streets, cars may be prohibited for parking with the sign of ‘No Parking.’ That is for betterment to prevent jams or other disturbance. I think we as responsible people must respect and abide it.
In Naga concept, prohibition doesn’t work like in the rest of the country. Eg. Child labour and alcohol are supposed to be illegal in the state but good number of household has a maid, servant below the said age and bad quality alcohol is freely available in every corner of the state. When an act is set up, it should be strictly enforced.
TOLIKA AWOMI Prodigals Home
Observing from young age, after prohibition of Liquor peoples have opt for other substitutes items like tobacco, cigarette, drugs, tez, talap etc. which are more or less unhealthy as liquor, prohibition or proper measurement on those items are needed, parents must spend more effort and resource on children for betterment than if spending on unhealthy items.
Nagaland so called dry state has the highest inflow of illegal liquor through various loopholes, then where does an act of liquor prohibition lies, yet, I believe we will see a change if we could reach out to the community for sensitization and education.
Director, King David School
Project Manager, Peace Channel
Taking unhealthy items in the class should be strictly prohibited so the school, college, institutions authority can take serious action to those students who disobey the rules and regulations.
Prohibition is required but does not necessarily depend on acts, laws or Government. Prohibition can start from oneself or at home. The teenage is a period when one feels independent, trying exploring the outer world and becomes vulnerable to bad habits like drugs and alcohol. It can be stopped with little help from the parents and close ones, if they remain in constant touch with their kids and develop a more friendly and understandable relationship.
Pranabanda Women’s College
Wish to prohibit the culture of delaying, like disbursement of scholarship when some students wait for it to help their parents in paying the required fees, it’s delayed. We delay in many areas; in this competitive world it will not help us if we keep on the delaying.
Prohibition would be much more effective if it goes hand in hand with creating awareness. Spread awareness on harmful effects of alcohol consumption. After all, people do not consume poison not because it is sour or bitter but because it kills!
PRANAB ROY Entrepreneur
Prohibition what so ever, unless implement with a clear vision and practical foresight, it cannot be enforced and objectives will not be attained, It will be just a document rotten away in an office file if both the enforcers and to those enforce are not made aware of all its pros and cons. Ignorance of the subject should be done away with tireless effort to educate everyone.
Dry State is only in paper and not enforced in reality. Though “The Nagaland Liquor Prohibition Act” was implemented on1989 in the State nothing much has changed. People who consume just continues to consume. They make the way from neighbouring states or purchase with high price in the name of black market, for which the economy flows out with no return revenues to the State. I am also not impressed by the concern Administration, Department or Authorities destroying some quantity of IMLF etc… There are numbers of liquor selling under license hotels or restaurant, why no action has been taken against them? Why not stop from the root instead of breaking branches or plucking leaves? Prohibition of liquor should be either be enforced properly or lift it up.
In today’s world, there are so many factors which should be prohibited and among them are prohibition of guttka, tulsi etc. For today’s generation it has not only become habit but a fashion or trend. Being a mother I am worried because at home we can look after our kids but when they are out of home or not around us, who will prohibit them not to consume the hazard stuff, and those stuff are renown to school going children, so concern authority or organizations should take strong steps of prohibition that unhealthy item should not be in the market.
Since the law of liquor prohibition is lenient in our State it will be better to lift the law. The existing law only encourages some section of people for black market and the raid sometimes only effects the livelihood of the lower people who are dependent on liquor business. Beside there are lots of adulterated liquor which is causing damage to health.
JHUMA DAS UKIL
Prohibition is good, but it’s also the mother of corruption, for instance when something is prohibited according to law, like smoking or drinking in public place, people acquire or violate just by some giving bucks to the authority. RANA MUKHERJEE
Head Center, Third Eye Education, Dimapur
Illustration by Atong Rothrong
“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this” Albert Einstein, “My First Impression of the U.S.A.”, 1921
Is it worth it?? Tera Vashim If you ask a man on the road whether drinking alcohol is good or bad, he will most likely reply it is bad! However, if you ask the same person if prohibition should be lifted or not? His answer might not be consistent with his earlier reply. Such is the case in our society. We all know that the consumption of alcohol is bad for the person as well as for the society; still, there are those who are against prohibition. So, what is it about prohibition that has divided our society in two different thoughts? Whenever I have had discussion about why prohibition should be lifted from our society? The most common answer that echoes through many people is “the state is losing money”, people who want to have a drink will always find a way to get it even if it is banned. True! People who want alcohol have a way of getting it. This not only leads to lost taxes for the state, but also increases the illegal or black market of alcohol where one has to buy it at much higher cost. We all know how easily one can get alcohol from the border. So what is lost by Nagaland state is gained by Assam in terms of crores!! Also, all the illegal bootlegging that takes place within the state is another reason why prohibition should be lifted. Since legalizing the sale of alcohol will not only provide monetary gain to the state through taxes, but also decrease and put a stop to illegal sale and people from drinking harmful local alcohol. It will
also create more job opportunities for the youth. The other argument is the freedom of choice. Why should people be prohibited from exercising their freedom of choice? If certain people want to drink alcohol they have the right to do so and so do those who chose not to drink. Also, it is not the alcohol that creates a crime but the person. Why withhold their rights then? However, those who are in favor would say that consuming alcohol is a social evil. It has not only taken lives, but also ruined many promising carriers, youth and families. Many children have become orphans because of alcohol and many families have been broken under its influence. Alcohol not only increases crimes, but also leads to domestic violence in the society. So, in order to prevent such things from happening prohibition is a must! Can anyone calculate the cost of the lives that have been lost due to alcohol and the families that have been broken up because of alcohol? Even if it causes heavy burden on the exchequer of government, if it saves lives and families it is worth it. If it is so then let us reflect about whether or not prohibition has been successful. For years the government and many of our civil societies have made effort to curb this social evil, but the results say something else. There have been increases in the consumption of alcohol and crime. They have failed to check the illegal sale of alcohol. If prohibition has to exist in our society, then serious efforts have to be made both by the government
and the civil societies. Just imposing a law will not stop this social evil. People must be educated about the consequences of alcoholism. Campaigns must be held in each and every village, school, college, etc., through posters, seminars workshops, etc. Unless we are able make the individual themselves realize the consequences of their action it will be hard to put an end to it. Mere lip service will not help! It is true that every individual has the right to make their choice. But we must have certain laws to maintain the balance of our society. Otherwise, if it is right to give people the freedom to choose alcohol. Then the same can be said for drugs! Is our society mature enough to give this choice? We have failed to prevent school kids from consuming alcohol even with prohibition. How would it be without prohibition? We must think carefully about lifting prohibition. Or we might end up opening the gateway for our youths to alcohol abuse. Let us be sure that more families will not be broken. Many more wives will not be beaten. More children will not lose their father. Recently in US there have been many cases of innocent people being shot and killed by individuals who wanted to vent their anger. The guns that these individuals used were all sophisticated ones. In US it is legal to buy and sale arms. Those who support sale of arms say that “it is the person that creates crime and not the gun.” I just wonder if there had been a law against the sale of arms would those hundreds of innocent lives could have been saved . . . I wonder . . .
Prohibition of Liquor – Ways B.S. Tripathi, Lecturer, Ramjanaki Hr. Sec. School Thakubari, Dimapur In the literal sense ‘Prohibition’ means ‘to discard’ any illegal or illogical or immoral things or practices. A general awakening of common consensus is revealed in ‘Prohibition’. There are a great variety of immoral things which are required to prohibit in our life. We often see this word utilized in judicious cases. Nowadays, mass discussion is going on about Prohibition of ‘Child Labour’, Prohibition of ‘Liquor’, Prohibition of ‘Drugs’, Prohibition of ‘Child Marriage’, ‘Prohibition of illegal theft of electricity’, etc. We, the common people, talk much about serious matters. But have we marked that the general tendency of illegal things or practices we are mostly involved in has claimed lives? People say that we don’t gain importance of our life without any side of darkness. Perhaps that is the reason the government fails to overcome of all these peculiar situations. Many government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play vital roles to create awareness among the people regarding prohibiting liquors. Even Nagaland totally prohibits liquor. Liquor is provided by a group of merchants to be sold in secret for which their gain is doubled as they bring the commodities from other states. Some people talk against ‘Child Labour’. But, in most cases we observe that they use the child labour for their profit. This is similar in other cases. The burning question which should reach to everybody – whether literate or illiterate – is “Do we have fear of God?” If we have a positive attitude about life, perhaps every one of us can produce a better response to it. It is rarely considered “whom do we cheat?” “How do we create ‘universal brotherhood’?” In a successful and rewarding life, the present generation is in a race to defeat our neighbours, our fellow mates, etc. In this competitive struggle, ultimately we betray each other and the gain becomes temporary. As consequences take place, the present view should be based upon the principles of high values and good morals. The loss of moral practices or spiritual degradation is the cause of all immoral practices. Therefore, it is necessary to uplift our morals, civil sensibility, fellow feelings of closeness to others, idealism based on good philosophy and most of all, fear of the Lord which may lead to awakening the situation of ‘prohibition’
Prohibit all Practices that Degenerate our Society W
of Prohibition It didn’t decrease alcohol abuse but increased it, didn’t eliminate crime but created it, didn’t increase prosperity but robbed the treasury of taxes. This site features information on the history and legacy of Prohibition, the period from 1920-1933 when all beverage alcohol was outlawed in the United States.
PHOTO & TEXT: Alemren Jamir When I hear or see the word “prohibition” I remember a sunny day when the sun was piercing through the bones. In the scorching heat, the old folks with their thick traditional clothes paraded the streets with placards and banners prohibiting the use of alcohol, tobacco and other intoxicants. As people were praying so hard for alcohol to leave their homes, I could see the sweat trickling down the people’s anguished faces. They were not only praying for the prohibition of alcohol, but also for peace and prosperity in families and societies. Prohibition of alcohol alone will not bring a wholesome victory; we need to uproot the whole evil that generates different forms of evil in the society. The root of injustices, love for money and selfishness should be rooted out. We need individuals, institutions, churches and a society that can prohibit corruption and injustice. Sadly, our society itself is intoxicated by all forms of evil and so I would like to call upon fellow citizens to prohibit all evils that degenerate and divide our society. There are many unemployed locals, but because of pride, laziness and dishonesty many im-
The Sad Failure
migrants and other none locals are taking up promising social and economic opportunities. If none of the local business men are one of the primary importers of liquor, who should take the responsibility? Should we blame the non-locals, the excise personnel at the check post, or the sellers and abundant number of local consumers? For those many young families earning their livelihood by selling such intoxicating stuff, we should ask, where is their dignity? Isn’t there any other alternative that the family, church and government can facilitate and support? Instead of letting other immigrants learn from us, it is a paradox that our dignity and place are robbed. There will be a time when Nagaland will be a home of all the refugees from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Assam and Nagas will be homeless. Where do we stand today, let us not view prohibition as the only battle. But we must view prohibition as path toward reconstruction of wholeness; prohibition as restoration of our lost values. Let us prohibit hatred, corruption, killings, laziness and all those that do not generate peace in the self, family and society. Let us be reminded that our treasures are being robbed and our values sacrificed in the midst of hatred, ill politics and competition within different Naga communities. If we uproot and prohibit all forms of evil, even alcohol and intoxicants will disappear in front of our eyes. Let us not give room for things to be prohibited but let us all be an agent of prohibition.
“Prohibition of all evils and injustices is the agent of reconstruction, restoration and renewal of the self, the family and the society.”
PROHIBITION FAST FACTS •
So convinced were they that alcohol was the cause of virtually all crime that, on the eve of Prohibition (19201933), some towns actually sold their jails. During Prohibition, temperance activists hired a scholar to rewrite the Bible by removing all references to alcohol beverage. Because the temperance movement taught that alcohol was a poison, supporters insisted that school books never mention the contradictory fact that alcohol was commonly prescribed by physicians for medicinal and health purposes. Prohibitionists often advocated strong measures against those who did not comply with Prohibition. One suggested that the government distribute poisoned alcohol beverages through bootleggers (sellers of illegal alcohol) and acknowledged that several hundred thousand Americans would die as a result, but thought the cost well worth the enforcement of Prohibition. A major prohibitionist group, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) taught as “scientific fact” that the majority of beer drinkers die from dropsie (edema or swelling). Prohibition agents routinely broke the law themselves. They shot innocent people and regularly destroyed citizens’ vehicles, homes, businesses, and other valuable property. They even illegally sank a large Canadian ship. National Prohibition not only failed to prevent the consumption of alcohol, but led to the extensive production of dangerous unregulated and untaxed alcohol, the development of organized crime, increased violence, and massive political corruption. The human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, we always have alcohol in our bodies. Prohibition clearly benefited some people. Notorious bootlegger Al Capone made $60,000,000...that’s sixty million dollars...per year (untaxed!) while the average industrial worker earned less than $1,000 per year. But not everyone benefited. By the time Prohibition was repealed, nearly 800 gangsters in the City of Chicago alone had been killed in bootleg-related shootings. And, of course, thousands of citizens were killed, blinded, or paralyzed as a result of drinking contaminated bootleg alcohol. The “Father of Prohibition,” Congressman Andrew J. Volstead, was defeated shortly after Prohibition was imposed.
*Neo-Prohibitionism. Because Prohibition was a discredited failure, the goal of neo-prohibitionists today is to establish cultural rather than legally-imposed prohibition by making beverage alcohol products less socially acceptable and marginalizing those who drink, no matter how moderately. Since 2002, 14 states have authorized Sunday spirits sales, bringing the total to 36. Today, 12 states still ban the sales of distilled spirits on Sunday. source: ProhibitionRepeal.com
effects of prohibition Should drinking alcohol be illegal? Even asking that question today seems absurd, but only 75 years ago it wasillegal to drink alcohol in the United States. I’m talking about Prohibition, of course, which lasted from 1920 to 1933. It was a massive social experiment that failed and is a lesson for us as we think about other victimless crimes like drugs, gambling, and prostitution. According to Peter McWilliams in his excellent Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, there were twelve bad effects of Prohibition: Prohibition created disrespect for the law. If everyone breaks the law, it is disrespected. Practically everyone broke the law of Prohibition — making everyone criminals. If the law prohibited moderate consumption of something as pleasurable and harmless as alcohol, what else did it prohibit that was good? It did nothing to encourage the respect and obedience the law deserves. Prohibition eroded respect for religion. Evangelicals were the main force behind Prohibition. They saw alcohol as the “devil’s drink,” hating it so much they explained away their holy book’s favorable references to it (and still do today). But instead of ushering in paradise, Prohibition increased alcohol consumption and immorality, created organized crime and caused massive political corruption. This jaded many people towards religion. Of course, to many of us,
eroding respect for religion was one of the few positive effects of Prohibition… Prohibition created organized crime. “Prohibition made the gangster not just well paid, but well liked,” McWilliams said. It took significant organization to bootleg the quantities of alcohol people desired. The result was organized crime, which didn’t differentiate between petty crimes like transporting liquor and real crimes like violence, murder, and theft. Prohibition permanently corrupted law enforcement, the court system, and politics. Organized crime was huge, and it had a lot of money and influence. Policeman and politicians were bribed and blackmailed: If mobsters couldn’t buy or successfully threaten someone in a powerful position, they either “wiped them out” or, following more democratic principles, ran a candidate against the incumbent in the next election. Prohibition overburdened police, courts, and the penal system. You can’t throw everyone in jail — yet with Prohibition, even a small percentage of offenders couldn’t be locked away without overburdening the system. Prohibition harmed people financially, emotionally, and morally. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs because of Prohibition. People in the alcohol business had two options: to find lowerpaying work or become criminals (that is, staying in their profession). Because of the rhetoric evangelicals were spouting, it was also hard to
Daniel Florien find a decent job coming from the “devil’s work.” This encouraged people to break the law just to support their families. Prohibition caused physical harm. Because alcohol was illegal, its purity was not regulated. While fruit, vegetable, and grain alcohol is usually safe, alcohol made from wood is not — but it is difficult to tell the difference until too late. Prohibition changed the drinking habits of our country — for the worse. Instead of going out to drink, people began drinking mostly at home. When they did go out to drink, it was often to get drunk — you couldn’t been seen with a bottle, so it was best to finish it. Hard liquor became popular because it was more concentrated and thus cheaper to smuggle. Prohibition made cigarette smoking a national habit. Cigarettes were also prohibited in many states, which seemed to make them irresistible. It was also far more harmful and addictive than alcohol. Prohibition prevented the treatment of drinking problems. It’s a lot harder to say you have a problem when it could land you in jail. Legally, you were either sober or a criminal — both occasional drinkers and drunks were lumped into the same category. You couldn’t go to your pastor or counselor for help — you might end up in jail.
“Prohibition is better than no liquor at all” Will Rogers
SOURCE: http://www.patheos.com/ blogs/unreasonablefaith/
n u g n i v i r d
n f i l u ence o e h t r f de
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The Morung Express
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
What is Prohibition Anyway? Yenn Walling
“No! Don’t go there. Don’t do this. Don’t say that. Don’t drink this. Don’t eat that. Don’t . . . “ Ever since we’re born we are bound by these ‘Don’ts’. Many of which are for our benefit and to safeguard us, but many creates this boundary, this wall which we as humans later on want to peek-a-boo or crash and say ‘Do
all the Don’ts’. What is Prohibition anyway? The dictionary defines it as it is. The Government passes amendments prohibiting this, that and those. Religious institutions have their own prohibitions. Educational institutions have them, too. Work places have it. Marriage/relationships have many. And in the comfort of your own home are prohibitions your wife/ husband/mother-in-law/anyone could have imposed. Every community centre we enter, public or private, is ‘groomed’ by these prohibitions. Now it’s up to you to know and decide which prohibitions you’re aware of, which do you follow and which are the ones you just spit your ‘paan/tamul/talab’ remains on and go do it anyway. Now it may sound like I am on a vendetta against Prohibition. Not really. Without it this ‘normalcy’ we’ve attained in Nagaland wouldn’t be there noh? What ‘normalcy’ are you talking about, several may ask. Doesn’t ‘prohibition’ bring less crime? Crime or no crime, our people end up paying taxes to almost half dozen parties anyway. ‘Prohibition’ ensures good health (apparently), but why is it that half of our state population is suffering from or succumbing to substance abuse? So much for alcohol/drug prohibitions. If you open your webpage and go to Wikipedia, it says “. . . in some states of India alcoholic drinks are banned, for example the states of Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram.” Well I don’t know about Gujarat and Mizoram, but imagine the surprise when someone who’d read this visits our State for the first time. He’s in for a treat! I believe the general consensus is that ‘Nagas are bold’, but bold with no boundaries. And that is our weakness and strength, snapping the thin cord between being bold and a rebel. It’s rightly said, “For every prohibition you create you also create an
underground.” Let me define ‘underground’ in this context: relating to an organization/group involved in secret or illegal activity. This doesn’t apply to the existing ‘underground’ groups we have today. In fact, according to the definition, we might have more ‘undergrounds’ on ‘overground’, if you know what I mean. The whole concept of ‘prohibition’ is actually really nice. But I have to agree with the person who said, “. . . prohibition is actually a good idea, but it won’t work”. So I’d rather say, why not a free society, free from hypocrisy? At least that will rid us from judging the person holding a can of ‘smuggled beer/ vodka’ and that person can also have his drink with no feeling of hypocrisy, because just yesterday he/she was ranting full on in support of ‘alcohol prohibition’ on a Facebook blog or even worse, he/she is drinking the confiscated alcohol from that raid the other day. Yes, yes, it echoes everywhere that Nagaland is a State for Christ, and such ‘abuses’ are intolerable. Am all gung-ho for that . . . If we can, let’s knock that drink off the thousands of youths/oldies/age no bar, who are drinking their livers away at ‘you know where’ corners of your town. How long has it been since Nagaland’s a ‘dry state’? Has the situation gotten any better? Some may throw the ball of ‘faith and hope’ on this issue. “Keep the faith, sop bhal hoi jabo!” But honestly, I’d rather be practical. I believe in a God who doesn’t use coercion. It’s well written in the Bible, the do’s and don’ts. So, as responsible Christians, let’s read it and understand what it means. Ask our pastor if we don’t get it. But let’s not impose “the Bible says this! If you don’t do this/if you eat this/if you drink this, then . . . “ Because at the end, we all know we have a choice. And the choices we make will determine our fate, not the ‘prohibitions’. I live with the idea that the moment we pass judgment on ‘who we think’ is lesser in character than us is the moment we fall even lower than them. I maybe wrong, but that’s what I’d like to believe. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason, in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes.” Maybe, if we prohibit less, exercise our rights more and stop misusing the power trusted upon us, then maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
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Prohibition Woben Kikon, Kohima, Nagaland Everyone knows that prohibition is often referred to as the legal act of prohibiting the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquor. Even in Nagaland state an act called the Liquor Prohibition Act (LPA) 1989 exists. Where is the so called LPA? When, even in village, one can get liquor at anytime. Then, why prohibit? Seizing and destroying liquor amounting to lakhs and lakhs of rupees would not prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquor. In fact, it’s better to be called nasty instead of prohibition. Over 60% to 70% takes varieties of liquor in Nagaland state. Everyone is a knave. So, why prohibit? Seizing and destroying liquor does not increase the state’s economy is one economic point of view. It’s like a lay-off to the traders/owners of liquor. Laconicly, it might be junk. But think about it.
Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes Abraham Lincoln
Issue Theme for September:
EDUCATION IN NAGALAND Deadline for Submission: September 8, 2012 Date of Publication: September 15, 2012 The Morung Express monthly supplement ‘Opinion’ will be published on the third Saturday of every month. In the Opinion, you are the storyteller. Please share your story by responding to the theme of the next issue: “EDUCATION IN NAGALAND” Contributions can be in the form of photography, illustrations, photos of artwork, essays, first-person accounts, poetry, reported articles, and any other form of expression that can be printed.
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