Karnataka

Not a drop to drink, insist these women seeking liquor ban

People staging a protest demanding ban on liquor at Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district on Tuesday.  

Kudalasangama, an important pilgrim centre where the Krishna and the Malaprabha meet, is witnessing a unique anti-liquor agitation by a group of women. On Tuesday, they stood in waist-deep water for hours, demanding complete ban on liquor.

The women are part of the Karnataka Madya Nishedha Andolana, an organisation of largely women who have long been demanding a ban on liquor, with a series of agitation. Last year, they marched all the way from various parts of North Karnataka to Bengaluru pressing for the demand.

On Tuesday, a group of women from the organisation stood in waist-deep water at the Kudalasangama confluence, a place associated with the 12th Century social reformer Basaveshwara, raising slogans and holding placards on the ills of liquor consumption.

Yellamma, a woman from Lingsugur taluk, who was among the agitators, said that her husband is alcoholic and most of his earnings goes into drinking. “I have been participating in all the agitations for the last four years and yet the government has not taken notice of our protests. It has no concern for the families who are suffering because of alcoholics,” she said.

“Liquor is making the lives of children and women miserable,” said Swarna Bhatt, coordinator of the andolana, on the huge social costs of liquor. While liquor sales are justified in the name of revenue generation, its health and social costs are too high, she added. She accused the successive governments of refusing to address this vital issue.

The women agitators stood in water for six hours on Tuesday. They will resume their protest on Wednesday and wind up by evening.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:28:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/not-a-drop-to-drink-insist-these-women-seeking-liquor-ban/article30677625.ece

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