IMPHAL | Sept 12
The proscribed Maoist Communist Party Manipur said the ideas introduced by the colonial masters in Manipur are being further amplified by some paid scholars on matters regarding the ban of liquor and drugs are being falsely propagated to the people.
A release signed by coordinator, standing committee, Maoist Communist Party, Kyonghan Mangang said a group of individuals who are considered well learned by the public have also jumped into the bandwagon without doing any deeper research and have started advocating the same.
The big question is who is putting a ban on liquor in Manipur, it questioned. Is it banned by the Manipur excise department or by the police personnel who are going rounds every evening at Pologround Maning and collecting money during Holi festival, it asked?
These intoxicants are available at the streets everywhere because they are not banned by anyone in Manipur, it said. The prevailing issues on liquor in Manipur are not caused by the inability to ban them but they are actually caused by not banning them at all, the release added.
Further highlighting the history of Nisha Bandh, it said the movement resulted out of the several cases where male members of the community instead of earning money, spent all family resources on drinks and committed domestic violence on women and children.
The mothers being were worst affected by abuses of alcohol, started banning intoxicants to save the community, it said adding the movement lacked proper organisation, and at the beginning of 1980, the Nisha Bandh movement changed its direction towards the Meira Paibi movement due to oppressions of Indian colonial forces.
Manipur was simply declared as a dry state in 1991 by the state government but it had never initiated any proper actions to implement it, it alleged. The Manipur liquor Prohibition act 1991 still lies today as an act that was never really implemented, it continued.
If liquor should be banned successfully, then the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991 should be amended and made stronger to meet with the changing times and start giving stringent punishments to the guilty, it said.
Except for the few prohibitions voluntary made by the CVOs, the State government has not put up tangible form of prohibition till today, it further alleged. As for the claims made by the police of arresting vendors, there are no clear information on what form of punishment was given except photos being splashed across the pages of newspapers, it continued.
There are places in world where a pharmacist can be thrown to prison for eight years for selling illicit drugs, it said. However, in Manipur, the Indian army and sons of former CMs had been caught with drugs but they are roaming free without receiving any form of punishments, it said.
How can anyone, considering the given circumstances, express that the measures to prohibit illicit alcohol and drugs have failed, it said. It should be banned first, and the argument can be made about the results later, it added.
The release appealed to the people to not to fall into the half-baked argument made by self-acclaimed intellectuals and paid scholars that measures to prohibit liquor have all failed. One should rather ask them how it would be possible to ban alcohol when it is not really banned at all, it continued.