“To irrational principles, one cannot be loyal. Ideas that are not derived from reality cannot be consistently practiced in reality”.-Ayn Rand
I woke up this morning to an India, which has now become a land of irrational masters. Our problems seem to have no end, because the entire understanding towards situations is misled. Thoughts are bewildered and as a result the proceedings are dysfunctional. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet” as quoted by Reverend Theodore Hesburgh. All decisions in todays date that are being called, revolutionary are so unrealistic. The first opinion people had towards decisions like an unplanned demonetisation was “how can they be so negligent and inconsiderate?”
Demonetisation was announced on 8th November 2016. A sudden ban on 500 & 1000 rupee notes created chaos in the country. The two main objectives of note ban were, First to flush out a large amount of black money hoarded in cash, Second to convert our cash based economy in to a digital one which would lead to a cleaner society with a low crime rate as it would get difficult for terrorists, smugglers and other racketeers to operate through banking channels. The government and RBI were not well prepared and acted swiftly which reasoned to an increased pain for both individuals & businesses. If the purpose was to bring money back into the banking system, it could have been easily achieved by slow demonetisation. Even if the ban was implemented from December 31st rather than 8th itself, it wouldn’t have caused less amount of inconvenience to everyone in the country. Weddings were cancelled, businesses were on a halt, farmers were unable to buy seeds, the countrymen were calculating even daily needs, and all this could have been avoided by one rational decision, which was not taken.
And, now we face the next i.e. 500metre liquor ban. One ruling passed by the Supreme Court results in prohibiting the sale of liquor anywhere at a distance of 500 meters from the State & National highway, which results in pubs and restaurants going dry. An industry that generates highest revenue for the states every year is being disregarded. Here are the top earners
Tamil Nadu Rs 29,672 crore
Haryana Rs19,703 crore
Maharashtra Rs18,000 crore
Karnataka Rs15,332 crore.
By now you must be having an idea about the scale of revenue a state earns from alcohol. And, give a thought to all those people who are in any way attached to this industry; a sudden ban of the distance has shattered their businesses. There are people who looked for the best locations and invested crores of rupees into their restaurants and now going dry would mean just being at par with their costs. What’s the stretched limit of time for anyone to invest in having a meal, and if they weren’t served their favourite drinks, they might get food packed and buy alcohol from shops, stay at home and enjoy their time. What about the bar tenders, waiters? All other job opportunities that existed? Now your time after a tiring day at work, or a casual evening with friends will not be the same because may be your favorite bar is shut because it could not clear the sudden test of 500 metre distance from the highway. The reason for the ban, “Issued in public interest”.
Lets talk about this interest in detail. Every year almost 35% of deaths in India happen due to road accidents. According to a report by Ministry of road transport and highways the three major reasons for these accidents are over speeding, over loading and load protruding. Drink & drive cases carrying a very low percentage. Why dint we look for a solution for the top three first and then do something about the rest. This is the reason why our sufferings never seem to end because the solutions that are being derived are illogical and baseless. Why there are no strict rules for over speeding? Its rarely when we see officers keeping a track of speed on the highways, and believe me you can get away with them easily by an influential phone call or even a hundred rupee note. Hey! Don’t tell me in that case you would ban all luxury cars that can be seen speeding. The government has actually taken away our right of sophisticated drinking and left us with no choice but to buy alcohol and may be drink in our cars or carry it home and if you are caught on the way, that again could be breaking of some rule. So be ready!
Lets explain it like this
Poor Understanding of Situations–>Ignorance of the core cause–>Unrealistic Decision-making–>Non acceptance of people–>Never ending Problems
It would have been rather better if the 500 metre liquor ban was just confined to national highways but a decision like this cannot be generalized because most banquets, which cater to large number of guests, are located on national highways. I can just conclude by saying that banning a product anywhere is not a solution to the problems it could create. We all know a dry state is a myth. As a non-alcoholic citizen of this country I would hope and want that our system gets stronger. Our citizens are educated about the right and wrong. Law and order is fair and people have a fear that they would be suitably punished for breaking laws. Corruption should end, and rational decision-making should prevail. But if you still think only banning the sale of a product in a certain area can help, then please cut aside arms of a man who steals, burn the man who spills acid on a woman for ignoring his proposal, and chop private organs of a man who rapes a year old child.
Ritika Walia Mehra