Tuesday, February 20, 2007

GUJARAT READIES FOR MALT MARCH

Prohibition background

When India gained independence from the British in 1947, all states in India were constitutionally required to have prohibition of Alcohol but none, other than Gujarat, sustained it. Prohibition has been tried in many countries around the world in the 20th century, but later removed because it failed to produce the desired results wherever it was implemented. Gujarat is no exception to that rule – in spite of alcohol prohibition; Gujarat has one of the highest consumption of alcohol in India and has created an underworld economy that tarnishes the potential of a socially vibrant and economically strong Gujarat. Today, Gujarat remains the only state in India to have alcohol prohibition and it has been estimated that the Govt. of Gujarat could generate Rs. 20,000 million in additional state revenues if alcohol were to be made legal in Gujarat.

Mission

MaltMarch shall strive to accelerate the pace of removing alcohol prohibition in Gujarat by:
  1. Providing rationale, hard data and facts against prohibition
  2. Jointly involving various institutions, social activists, and organizations to work together towards removal of alcohol prohibition
  3. Creating transparency and suggesting a framework for gradual removal of prohibition to cope with the social and regulatory change.
    Organizational setup

The Inspiration for Malt March

'Malt March' comes, ironically, from Gandhi's Dandi March (also called Salt March) 75 years ago, which protested the salt laws of the British rule in India. Gandhi, who also said that you have the duty to disobey unjust laws, was the chief proponent of an alcohol-free India. One of the main objectives is to make a case that the context under which Gandhi instituted prohibition is not valid today. Today, alcohol prohibition in Gujarat is an outdated, corruption and crime breeding, short sighted law which must be systematically removed. Keeping up with Bapu's spirit, the Maltmarch community plans to march to the Sachivalay and have a drink in defiance of the prohibition law (date undecided).

2 comments:

Gaurav Shah said...

Some people might think that this is a mockery of the thinking behind the Dandi March, but I disagree. These guys are also fighting for freedom: the freedom to have a drink if they so desire. More power to them.

The Best Thing About Beer.. said...

Could they not have Gujarat as a "Beer only" state..??

That could be a middle path between Gandhians and these people.