TODAY -

Liquor prohibition in Manipur and the turn arounds!

James Khangenbam *

 Food Stall at World Tourism Day at Phayeng   :: 27th September 2017
Food Stall at World Tourism Day at Phayeng in September 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Manipur was declared a dry state after the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 came into play. In September 2022, the present government in a cabinet decision tried to partially lift the ban allowing the sale and brewing of alcohol in selected areas of the State. But civil protest had put everything on a halt.

On the economic front, the government initiative to make finest alcohol in the State for export was a welcomed approach. If scaled up it could bring more economic progress than just the tax gained from selling foreign liquors in the State. At present, customary law allows traditional brewing of alcohol to a certain limit sans commercial interest.

Villages like Andro, Sekmai and Phayeng in Manipur makes one of the best alcohols in the State. With good packaging alcohol made by distillation process in these villages are travelling to different countries as gift to visiting friends.

Sawombung, Langthabal Kabui Khul and many other small localities spread across the State also makes some of the finest alcohol in the State through fermentation and distillation process.

In many of the villages, the cooked rice which is used to make alcohol acts as a fodder for the poultry farming and creates a sustainable economy. Besides the pigs grown in the village are free from processed food which keeps them healthy and ideal for consumption.

In the past, there are stories that alcohols are pushed to the town using horses and leather carry bags. If horses carry alcohol to a five-star hotel and serve in a glittering glass the value would be priceless. Galloping horse and the kick of the alcohol.

Traditionally alcohol is served in rituals and also used in daily life in moderate doses. If used in right time and doses, alcohol is a thing of celebration. It is a relaxant and is not a threat to the health. It is a symbol of a cultured society. Many nations take pride in making the finest alcohol.

When forbidden in a society people do not talk about it openly or we do not see an open bar but a drunkard in a locality is always there to tell the story of alcohol consumption. Addiction is sometime hard to overcome. Addiction is a big worry in alcohol business.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, our stomach becomes acidic, one would feel dehydrated and taking a lot of water is a harm reduction approach. If addiction prevails certain stages arises when the stomach lining became thinner and disturbs the digestive system.

Acid reflux up to the throat prevails. At certain stage of addiction and health deterioration, the alcohol gets absorb in the body and passes on to the liver ultimately effecting the liver by eating up the cells.

At the present scenario, the consumers find it very taxing to consume alcohol illegally. Quality of alcohol also matters. Adulteration, price hike, caught and destroy, make the lost or get devasted.

Guilt feelings, mind getting corrupted in the act of transporting, selling, taking bribes while pushing alcohol in a dry state is a phenomenon. While some moral policing act gains a status of a goodwill effort in the society. Such is the charm of alcohol in the game of good and bad.

When a thousand litre of alcohol gets caught, the demand of the same amount is raised and perhaps a quicker method of production gets adopted leading to compromise in quality production. So, the legal and illegal things matter. What is illegal is illegal.

The best is when legal protection prevails, perhaps the village under customary law is the finest place to have alcohol in Manipur.

Cheers !


* James Khangenbam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jameskhangenbam7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 21 2023 .



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