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With Crime Rate In Bihar Down By 27%, Did Nitish Kumar’s Liquor Ban Work?

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By Harsh Mahaseth:

Nitish Kumar’s decision to declare Bihar a dry State from April 1, is being implemented rather strictly. The Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act that came into force on April 1, 2016, has restricted the manufacture, transport, sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar and with effective implementation the state was declared dry on April 6 itself! The penal provisions in the Act are stringent as there is a large fine as well as a large jail sentence for anyone caught violating the laws.

The establishment of check posts and barriers around the state has made it nearly impossible for those who wish to consume alcohol to source it. Following the ban the locals had begun crossing borders and going to neighbouring states or even to the neighbouring country of Nepal to enjoy liquor. In fact, according to a Times of India report, local hoteliers in Nepal claimed that their business had increased by two to three folds due to the ban on liquor in Bihar.

However, the Nitish Kumar Government plans to leave no stone unturned by stopping locals who had easy access to smuggle alcohol inside the state. The border checking has become tight and those who had crossed the border to enjoy liquor were detained in Nepal. The State Government has even requested the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to keep a tight check in the airports and is willing to extend help in infrastructure such as x-ray screening machines for the checking of luggage.

This move to ban liquor in Bihar was not well accepted initially. Several articles shared their doubt on this blanket ban on alcohol saying that it will not reduce violence. However within a month of the ban we have seen a drastic change in the state that wouldn’t have been achieved just by increasing the taxes on alcoholic products.

The prohibition as well as pro-active policing have contributed to a decrease in crime rates in Bihar. The total crime rate in Bihar has reduced by 27 percent in the month of April according to the Bihar Government. Crimes such as murder, rape, domestic violence, atrocities against the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and riots have reduced. During a meeting held by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Commissioner of Patna, Anand Kishore, stated this observation. He further said that the number of road accidents have also reduced since the ban.

This ban has brought a positive effect in the lives of the women in Bihar too. According to the National Family Health Survey report 46 percent of women have faced violence after their partner consumed alcohol. However after the ban and its strict enforcement it has been noted that these men returned home after work and didn’t beat up their wives. Money which was used for consuming alcohol now reaches the hands of the wives who can use it to support their child’s education or provide them food and clothing.

In 2006 it was Nitish Kumar’s policy to open licensed liquor shops in every panchayat and in many villages. This policy made drinking a habitual event for the men. So much so, that the state revenue rose ten folds from Rs. 350 crore in the year of 2004-2005 to over Rs.4,000 crore in the year of 2005-2006. However this did have tragic consequences as not just the old but also the young took up drinking causing an increase in the number of alcohol addicts in the state, according to Dipak Bharati, a well-known NGO activist in Madhubani, Bihar.

The move to ban liquor by Kumar could be seen as a way for him to repent what he had done earlier. With the successful implementation of the ban Nitish Kumar is ready to take this prohibition beyond Bihar. He has already urged the Uttar Pradesh to follow in the footsteps of its eastern neighbour. However, instead of banning liquor in Uttar Pradesh the base prices have been hiked because of which liquor stores have been earning more.

On B.R. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary event in Patna, Kumar said that the Bihar may lose Rs. 5000 crore due to liquor ban but, the social benefits outweigh the loss. By not spending on alcohol and spending on other things that tax will still come to the government and the economy will prosper.

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  1. Sudipto Bhattacharyya

    Interesting that:

    Some people say: Liquor Ban: Crime rate Down.
    Some say: War against Drugs: Yes Yes Yes.
    Some say: Porn ban?: Can not be done, Let the public choose.

    Wonder if they are the same people.

  2. Sunil Dash

    You know what is democracy ,what is hypocrisy,So be your limit nitesh. In Gujurat alcohol is banned from 1950s .But 1000 of killed in 2008 by consuming illegal spirts (100% alcohol).But now alcohol is fully available in gujurat.What you want ,people will become terrorist instead of taking alcohol . bihar toh koi jata nahi aur koi jaega nahi.you cant ban ganja,drugs,afeem and cherus,bidis,gutkha it will sell more,due to liquoirs banning.wake up Nitesh . India is slowly moving to become like syria,pakistan,iran,saudiarabia due to this type of ministers.Other developed states people are criticizing and laughing about this stupid minister.people vote for bjp next time .some will try to kill people by knife than knife should be banned.We are living in 2016 not 800 year.Rich people will drink by going other country and states by paying more.Poor people will be effected by drinking tuddy,It will cause a serious health effect. Prohibition will not work and will never work in future.

  3. Sunil Dash

    He wants to be highlighted through media and will become pm by highlighting.There is not 1% calliber on this man to become cm or pm.His rules says if anyone drinks from family means whole family will be arrested.what is going on.

    1. Aditya Ghosh

      Completely agree. This man Nitish is displaying hypocrisy in every aspect. Wants to turn Bihar into Taliban like place with draconian laws. Black marketing and bootlegging is rampant. Let people choose. This is a democracy. India wants to progress not tied down by bans and prohibitions..

  4. Sunil Dash

    next time vote for bjp ,jun
    gle raaj se bachao

  5. Sunil Dash

    its not a muslim country or stae like saudiarabia,iran,irak,Pakistan where everything is banned like not to drink,not wear,no to see.where is democracy .Indian name is going bad due to some culprit and stupud chief minister like Nitesh.He is a selfish minister,.In Bihar 70% are below poverty.By banning alcohol poverty will be diminished.what a ideology of nitesh. He thought he will be hero by banning.Banning is the easiest way just passing the bill that can street dog can do .Do some great thing like modi.Think logically i am eating chicken and you are vegetarian than you will ban chicken also because you are not eating because you have the power to ban.Its a democratic country not like king’s rule countries and you cant support only particular group or members for vote bank.1st thing bihar is not a developed state.We know the reputation of bihar. There is no college in bihar,no jobs,no hospitals ,so students are coming to westbenagal,odisha,ap and other states.by banning college and hospital will not create.Shame on you nitesh and bihar govt.@Nitesh You know what is democracy ,what is hypocrisy,So be your limit nitesh. In Gujurat alcohol is banned from 1950s .But 1000 of killed in 2008 by consuming illegal spirts (100% alcohol).But now alcohol is fully available in gujurat.What you want ,people will become terrorist instead of taking alcohol . bihar toh koi jata nahi aur koi jaega nahi.you cant ban ganja,drugs,afeem and cherus,bidis,gutkha it will sell more,due to liquoirs banning.wake up Nitesh . India is slowly moving to become like syria,pakistan,iran,saudiarabia due to this type of ministers.Other developed states people are criticizing and laughing about this stupid minister.people vote for bjp next time .some will try to kill people by knife than knife should be banned.We are living in 2016 not 800 year.Rich people will drink by going other country and states by paying more.Poor people will be effected by drinking tuddy,It will cause a serious health effect. Prohibition will not work and will never work in future.

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