Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko on Tuesday made a strong case for total prohibition in State, arguing that liquor was the biggest factor contributing to crimes against women, including rape and brutal killings like the incident involving a student in Delhi.
He said the liquor policy introduced in 1971 had gradually reached a dangerous situation that has no precedent and was likely to emerge as a monstrous threat to civil society. “Young women cannot move freely and even school students have access to liquor. This situation can destroy society’s discipline,” he said and rejected suggestions that harsher punishment such as death penalty or castration could bring down crimes against women.
“Even after the country has raised its voice in unison against the rape and killing of the girl in Delhi, rape and other atrocities continue. Liquor dries up the humanness of its consumer and makes him totally oblivious to the consequences of his action,” he said.
Asked whether liquor policy was an aberration among the achievements of Dravidian rule in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Vaiko, who has been visiting villages as part of his campaign against the government’s liquor policy, recalled that former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai had firmly rejected the idea of lifting prohibition even though it was believed it brought revenue.
“It was only in 1971, when Mr. Karunanidhi was Chief Minister that prohibition was given up. His successor MGR continued the policy,” he said.
Mr. Vaiko said availability of illicit liquor in the State would certainly increase once prohibition was imposed, but school and college students were unlikely to have access to liquor. To drive home the point that welfare measures and development schemes could be implemented without revenue from sale of liquor, he said the Gujarat government had already proved it.
Asked whether he would take steps to bring together all political parties demanding total prohibition in Tamil Nadu, he said he was supporting their efforts, but had no intention to bring them on the same platform.
Mr. Vaiko said his party, which boycotted the 2011 Assembly elections, would contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, though he refused to go into other details.