Home > 2018 > Considering Cess on Liquor to Get Funds for Cow-Protection!

Mainstream, VOL LVI No 26 New Delhi June 16, 2018

Considering Cess on Liquor to Get Funds for Cow-Protection!

Monday 18 June 2018, by Bharat Dogra

COMMENTARY

Recent news reports have drawn attention to the most absurd proposal being seriously considered by the Rajasthan Government that a cess will be imposed on liquor sales and this cess will be used for cow-protection work. This amounts to encouraging social promotion of liquor and getting rid of the social stigma normally attached to social promotion of liquor by adding an entirely unrelated social objective to it.

It is well known that 33 lakh people die in a year due to alcohol consumption and as many as 200 diseases and injuries have been related to alcohol consumption. In about 50 per cent of sexual crimes the perpetrator has been found to be under the influence of liquor, according to most international studies. A very high percentage of crimes, violent episodes and accidents have been linked to the consumption of liquor.

Instead of telling about all this the Government of Rajasthan is interested in finding a way to show that some money being earned from the sale of liquor is being used for a good cause. What about the injuries, accidents, diseases and violent incidents that will be caused by this social promotion of liquor? The Rajasthan Government is not concerned about this.

If this trend continues then do not be surprised if after some time you see an advertisement released by the Rajasthan Government which goes something like this—‘An appeal to all citizens—kindly drink more liquor so that we can get more funds for cow protection. Even if you do not consume alcohol normally then also kindly do so now as it is your duty to ensure that the government gets more money for cow protection and you can ensure this by consuming alcohol. Come forward to contribute to cow protection—the sure way of contributing to this financially is to kindly consume more alcohol.’

The Sangh Parivar likes to present itself as a moral force. What is its response to this proposal of the Rajasthan Government? Earlier reports had drawn attention to the decision of the BJP Government of Himachal Pradesh to divert nutritious fruits and medicinal tea leaves for making wine. Now comes the equally absurd and harmful proposal of the Rajasthan Government. Is the pretence of morality falling apart and is the collusion with the liquor lobby being exposed now?

Bharat Dogra

C-27 Raksha Kunj, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi—110063

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