Amid Stiff Opposition, Liquor Outlets To Lift Shutters

Barring Chennai, a Corona RED zone, TASMAC (government run liquor outlets) will be back in business starting day after tomorrow, the 7th of May. Tamil Nadu was predicted to net Rs.31,000 crore revenue for the financial year ending March 2020. That was before the Corona attack. The state Government was compelled to close all its 5,299 liquor shops. To save lives of the addicts it was decided that all the liquor shops will be closed for lock down period as consumption of alcohol always weakens the body’s immunity system, leaving the drinkers more susceptible to Corona Virus. During the 40 day lock-down, Tamil Nadu tipplers had realised that they could live without alcohol.

Government of India, as part of gradual relaxation of lockdown, made an announcement that liquor shops could be opened with effect from May 3. The Tamil Nadu Government too fell in line. Withdrawal symptoms in many, led to illicit liquor selling in the state, people also sought of other avenues of satisfying their drinking urges like wine, drugs. The reason why Government is indecisive is that, opening of the liquor shops will see people thronging to buy their favourite drinks, social-distancing will be too difficult to maintain, as well as managing the heavy crowd. In a recent happening yesterday, at Andhra-Tamil Nadu border, saw a sea of unmanageable crowd flocking to buy their quota of drinks. This would definitely spread corona. This is what happens when indulgence overtakes abstinence.

To appease the habitual drinkers, the State Government should address the withdrawal symptoms in them, give them counselling, to handle themselves better to be in the family fold, the goodness of health should be reiterated to them repeatedly. Now is the call for the State Government to intervene, give remedies to these people to overcome this period of their non-drinking bouts. Opening of these shops would only lead to more spreading of corona and heavy loss of human lives.

The TASMAC reopening has triggered stiff opposition from Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and Hindu Munnani. These two work among the low income section of the population. and they know the pulse of poor families worst hit by liquor. Though it is a decision with an eye on political dividends, the society, as a whole, points to the moral aspect and wants alcohol to be totally banned in the state. 

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