Bihar government celebrated 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh by organising the world’s largest human chain. It was done with a motive to create awareness about the benefits of liquor prohibition. The chain spanned a distance of 11,000 kilometres with over two crore people who joined hands across the state.
The aim was to motivate the neighbouring states to ban liquor.
3.2 crore people gathered on Saturday afternoon and held hands for 45 minutes in support of the prohibition of liquor. This political event where even children across the state were forced to join the chain had grave consequences. A notification was issued by district collector asking the students to compulsory attend the event and they were threatened saying that those who don’t attend, they shall be deprived of the benefits they get from the school.
Casualties and Grave Incidents Reported:
- A 15-year-old girl in Vaishali District who was on her way to the event died as she fell from a truck. The villagers in the district blocked the national highway and protested against the human chain.
- Almost 80 children were reported to have fainted in the heat.
- A woman gave birth in a car while stuck in traffic that was caused by the participants of the event.
- The members of the human chain in Madhubani allegedly burnt down six shops on their way home.
- 90 percent of the participants were kids and few alleged that they were forced to attend this event as failure to participate would lead to cancellation of their enrollments in schools. They were also given notice that it was mandatory for them to attend it or else the incentives they’ve been getting would be taken back.
- There were children from nursery, LKG and UKG standing on the streets from early morning knowing nothing about the reason behind the suffering.
Why the Human Chain does not solve the purpose of banning liquor in other states
The liquor prohibition is only possible when the state governments take exemplary steps to curb illicit liquor. Forming human chains and threatening children does not solve the purpose.
The Constitution was framed keeping in mind the urge of Mahatma Gandhi to ban liquor. Article 47 in the Directives Principles of State Policy says that the State shall endeavour to bring about the prohibition in force except for medicinal purposes. It should have been a voluntary event without forcing anyone to attend it.
The plausible solutions for banning liquor:
- People should be educated regarding the health and social issues of alcohol consumption.
- Advertisement of the alcohol products and brands should be stopped.
- A separate ID should be introduced, or the present ones should be used to keep track of an amount of alcohol consumed by the person. This will also prevent minors to consume alcohol.
- Door to door contact in rural areas will be useful in preventing and educating the people.