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The big booze debate

india Updated: Jun 06, 2011 02:06 IST

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For the legislation
Joshua Patnigere, 20, mass media student, SIES College

Here’s why the legislation makes sense:

The Mumbai Indians factor:

We were all disappointed when Mumbai lost to Bangalore in the Indian Premiere League (IPL). Our neighbours from the southern state gave us a good thrashing, courtesy Christopher Gayle. The government decided to get to the root of the problem. They realised that the only way Bangalore could be defeated next year was if their team did not have enough money to buy more players. So our folks decided to hit them where it hurts the most -- destroy their pockets and increase the legal age for drinking to 25. However, it seems like they overlooked one crucial aspect. Those guys mostly make beer. The age for consuming beer hasn’t changed. Oops. Did I just tip off a minister?


No more slangs on the road
You know that driver who keeps changing lanes and refuses to allow you to overtake? How many times have you rolled your window down and directed a volley of words at him? The next time you decide to do that, remember he may retaliate. For all you know, he may not be a drunken young man on his way back from his girlfriend’s engagement. So refrain from yelling ‘Peeke chala raha hai kya?’ Not only will he be upset, he may actually get in touch with his emotional side. We don’t want a sobbing driver on the road now, do we?

Make citizens responsible
It’s very easy to abuse those in power. Maybe, this legislation is your fault. Who told you to have a few pegs of your stash the night before voting day and brag all about it by setting it as your status on Facebook? If you’re one of those who did it (trust me, I know a few who did it), then you deserve it. I mean how difficult is it to distinguish between a hand and a lotus?

Like I care
While some of you will be mad about the fact that this legislation has been passed, here’s the best part- I actually couldn’t care less. Did I forget to mention I’m a teetotaller and that I’ll have a great time laughing at my friends who turned 21 and thought they’d conquered the world? Not so fast lads- four years more before you sip that drink.


Against the legislation
Zenia D'cunha, 20, Mass Media student, St Xavier’s College

I am young, and I live in Mumbai, the social hub, and the most happening place for any youth. I got my election card when I was 18 and have voted twice. I have my driving license and I drive around the city whenever I want. I could join the armed forces or even get married if I want to. But, I can’t buy alcohol.

Bizarre, isn’t it? But that’s going to happen now.

The general mood about this new and profoundly inexplicable piece of legislation is negative.

Journalist Pritish Nandy summed it up perfectly when he recently tweeted, “Before 25, I was married, had a son, got divorced, wrote eight books, won 23 awards. If it was today, I wouldn’t get a drink.”

On examining the fine print of this legislation carefully, a couple of discrepancies can be observed.

1. This law may be set in paper but it cannot be effectively enforced. Those under 25 will get someone else to buy alcohol for them and drink indoors.

2. This rule will encourage youngsters to drink illegally. Enforcing the existing regulations more strictly is the first step towards limiting under-age drinking, and not coming up with more stringent rules.

3. The new norms pose a real threat of pushing youngsters to far more dangerous alternatives such as buying alcohol from bootleggers.

4. There is no mention of an age restriction for drinking wine, which the state has been promoting as a major industry. Most vineyards and vineries are located in Nashik-Pune-Sangli belt, where politicians from the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine have a strong presence.

Overall, I feel that this is a needless regulation. The government has no business to indulge in moral policing when they should be using their time to solve far graver problems such as the severe water logging after merely three days of rain.

The roads of Mumbai need the government’s attention more than the social life of the youth does.