Drugs a serious problem, deal with it seriously and salvage Punjab’s image | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Drugs a serious problem, deal with it seriously and salvage Punjab’s image

Long, porous border of the country and police stations where the SHOs allegedly do the bidding of MLAs and halqa in-charges make the task difficult, but Punjab can fight drugs like it fought terrorism by encouraging reforms, sport, family values and acceptance, believe the leaders, whose heart aches for the youth.

chandigarh Updated: Jan 09, 2015 20:39 IST
HT Correspondents

Long, porous border of the country and police stations where the SHOs allegedly do the bidding of MLAs and halqa in-charges make the task difficult, but Punjab can fight drugs like it fought terrorism by encouraging reforms, sport, family values and acceptance, believe the leaders, whose heart aches for the youth

Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP, SAD


Rahul gandhi got his facts wrong

How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?


Problem is grave in Punjab but it’s the same across the country. Punjab is singled out because (Congress vice-president) Rahul Gandhi misinterpreted a survey of only 700 youth to suggest that 70% of Punjabi youth were on drugs. I see it in Delhi, Haryana, Bengaluru, Goa, everywhere.

What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

Divert the youth from drugs by engaging them in sport. The Punjab government organised World Kabaddi Cup and expects the Centre to draft athletes from the states bordering Pakistan from where the drugs flow into India. An upgraded Border Security Force and a crackdown on drug laboratories in Himachal Pradesh will help.


What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

The religious and social leaders should educate society against the drug menace. The Parents, schools and colleges need to collaborate. The governments need to act against the politicians involved in drug trade, even hang them. But it shouldn’t be like in Punjab, where our leaders are facing media trial on the mere statement of a drug supplier.

ALSO READ: Home-grown or smuggled, drugs destroying generations across state


Partap Singh Bajwa, Punjab Congress president

Politicisation of police to blame


How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?


It is the gravest of all problems haunting Punjab. Poppy husk and opium have been part of it for years, but the use of heroin and synthetic drugs has made the situation alarming. In many villages there is not a single family not affected by the menace.


What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

It is more of a state problem; else it would be graver in Gujarat, Kashmir, and Rajasthan that have long and porous borders. The mafia has flourished due to the politicisation of the police stations, where the SHOs do the bidding of the MLAs and halqa in-charges and make money from drugs that is is ploughed back into winning elections.

What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

It is due to our sustained efforts that the investigation has reached the doors of the ruling Badal family. All political parties will have to resolve to put an end to the menace like they did to erase terrorism from Punjab. Our anti-drug campaign was aimed at creating awareness in society and we will continue to do so.

Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party MP

Political racket behind situation


How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?

Drug abuse is one of the serious problems in Punjab. Almost 70% of Punjab’s youth is addicted to substances ranging from poppy husk and opium to synthetic drugs. The proportion of impact may differ but the drugs are turning out to be major threat to the future generations.

What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

Drugs can’t get into the hands of people without the racket of politicians, bureaucrats, police personnel, and drug lords. The immediate steps should be to smash this racket. The government should run de-addiction campaigns on scientific lines. Both governments should ensure that reformed addicts get proper rehabilitation and employment.

What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

First of all, the political parties need to come clean on the drug issue and deny election ticket to liquor barons and leaders with drug links. Society also has a big role to play in dealing with the problem. People can get together to organize counselling sessions at local level and encourage cultural and recreational activities, besides health programmes.

ALSO READ: Debating the issue


Manoranjan Kalia, senior Punjab BJP leader


Restrain states that grow drugs


How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?

Drug abuse is a nationwide problem but in Punjab, yes, it is alarming. Ignoring it further will stop the progress of Punjab and its society. However, I do believe that we have not yet reached the point of no return. But if we fail to act now, the problem will ruin all our future generations indeed.

What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

Whip should be cracked across the country to stop the cultivation, consumption, and manufacturing of drugs. In Punjab, where there is no cultivation of drugs, we need to check smuggling from the Pakistan-Afghanistan international transit route. The Rasol and Kasol areas in Himachal Pradesh have become global hubs of drug cultivation.

What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

Like we fought terrorism in Punjab, together we can beat drugs. Let us not blame each other like the Congress is doing to the Akali-BJP government, even though it has also ruled Punjab for enough time. We need to sit together and work out a strategy that includes educating the next generation by updating the school curriculum.

Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president

The Centre holds the solution


How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?

There is no doubt that the problem of drug addiction is grave in Punjab. Directly or indirectly, every household in the state is affected and the situation is getting worse. Drug addiction now is leading to other problems. It is distroying Punjab’s social and economic fabric.

What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

The Punjab government is keen to reform all drug addicts and make them earning hands of their families. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee also is helping the government in the effort but the central government has the bigger job of controlling the supply of drugs from across the border and other states.

What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

At this stage when the youth of Punjab is in the grip of drugs, the political, social and religious organisations can come to their aid. Society’s rejecting drugs can save the new generations. The SGPC has launched an awareness campaign against drugs.Society has to accept reformed addicts and make them feel wanted and loved.

Gurdas Maan,celebrity singer, actor

Employment, sportare the answers


How grave is the drug problem in Punjab?

Intoxicants are available cheaply and easily. My heart aches for Punjab’s youth and their families. I see the menace overpowering the best of our talent. I ask Punjab’s youth to fight this mafia, join sport to stay fit mentally and physically, and love their health.


What specific steps should the governments, both the state and the Centre, take to tackle it?

If the state government is serious, it can curb this menace; everything is in its hands. As a citizen, I request the Centre and the state to take the issue seriously and start creating jobs for the youth. Education is important but to keep the youth away from drugs, they have to be employed. Channelising their energy is the need of the hour.

What can the political parties and society do to deal with the drug scourge?

They have to block drug supply and involve youth in sport, making sure that like kabaddi, the other disciplines don’t have doping cases. Even cinema with its wide reach can take the message across state. Every city should have volunteers to bring addicts to the rehabilitation centre. Parents need to give children time and good values.


Compiled by Sukhdeep Kaur, Navrajdeep Singh, Ravinder Vasudeva, Gurpreet singh Nibber and Usmeet Kaur

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