Members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday staged a demonstration in front of the Tamil Nadu Hotel in Gandhipuram demanding total prohibition. It was part of a State-wide protest the party had planned on Gandhiji Jayanti.
Around 250 activists participated in the protest in Coimbatore.
The party’s district secretary V. Eswaran said that MDMK was for total prohibition. The party leader Vaiko would lead a march of party cadre from Tirunelveli to Madurai, touching nearly 400 villages, to campaign for total prohibition. This would be between December 12 and 25.
Prior to this, the party would stage an agitation on November 6.
Mr. Eswaran said that the income from sale of liquor had increased from Rs. 2,828 crore in 2003 to Rs. 18,000 crore as of 2012.
In the corresponding period, while the State's population had increased by 15 per cent, the alcohol consumption had gone up by a whopping 800 per cent. And the State’s income had increased by around 20 per cent.
He also said that the age of people taking liquor had come down from 19 about a decade ago to 13 now. If this continued, the future of hundreds of thousands of youth also that of the State and nation would be seriously jeopardised.
Alcohol consumption would seriously impact the physical and psychological growth of youth, he said and added that studies had shown that following the increase in sales of liquor, there had been an increase in incidents of domestic violence and crime against women.
Citing Gujarat, he said that the State fared better than Tamil Nadu, though it had total prohibition. The rate of growth of agriculture in Gujarat was 9.6 per cent while it was a little above 3 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
He appealed to the Government to take a decision in this regard keeping in mind the welfare of 1.86 crore Tamil families.