The revenue-strapped state governments are happy with the earnings from the sale of liquor. The alcohol lovers are on cloud nine. But is it a win-win situation? In most places, social distancing norms were thrown out of the window, with serpentine queues of tippers patiently (or desperately) awaiting their turn to purchase their bottles.
While no one objects to the sale of intoxicants to moderate drinkers, selling the same to alcoholics is a matter of grave concern. Even states that swear by prohibition are reportedly opening the shops after increasing prices, arguing that the price rise would act as a deterrent — only a wishful thinking — as alcohol lovers would buy the same regardless. It is the womenfolk, especially in poor families, who would be worst affected by the move. Besides meeting the ever growing demands from their spouses to part with their meagre savings, they would have to manage the drunken scenes and violence that may invariably follow. For them there is no respite from the misery, lockdown or no lockdown.
V Jayaraman Chennai
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