FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
‘Incredible India’ hollowed out by court-ordered alcohol ban, just when India’s dining scene was turning world class
Posted:Apr 6, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The Supreme Court order banning alcohol within 500 metres of state and national highways made all preparations go awry. The Indian hosts are wondering how to tell their foreign guests at the last moment that they have been ‘banned’ from serving alcohol. The hotel manager explains the word ban freaks out a lot of travellers and causes irreparable damage to an establishment’s reputation.
 
The order’s intention is to curb drunk driving endangering lives on roads. The 500 metres distance is said to act as a deterrent to those driving while drunk or buying a drink on the go. While no one doubts the earnest intentions of the apex court and every citizen welcomes safer roads, the approach could have been different.
 
National Crime Records Bureau data of 2015 on road accidents shows that out of a total 4,64,674 road accidents that year, 7,061 or 1.5% were due to driving under influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Dangerous or careless driving, overtaking etc was the reason for 31.4% of road accidents whereas speeding caused 43.7% accidents. This suggests that strict enforcement of existing traffic and road safety rules will curb accidents far better than closing down bars and restaurants.
 
One saw a definite shift in attitude of people towards drunk driving when traffic police instituted strict checks and heavy fines. Aggressive media campaigns also increased awareness among drinkers to not endanger their own life and that of others by taking the wheel.
 
Secondly, the judgment clubs liquor vends with bars and restaurants within and outside the hotel. A restaurant is a highly regulated space set up after going through various inspections and licensing. It is one legally permitted place where one can enjoy a drink responsibly with friends and family. Each of these spaces was established after a hefty licence fee and paid heavy taxes on every pint or peg sold.
 
It is important to understand that most of the places paid a premium to set up shop in areas designated for hotels or food outlets by city planners. When many of these places came up, the roads may not have been national or state highways and may have just been city roads. As cities grew, many roads developed into arterial highways.
 
A consideration in buying residential property nowadays is recreation options nearby. To suddenly be told that the bar across our residential society cannot serve liquor as the road has become a highway amounts to forcing a resident to drive further for his drink.
 
The third and most important point: everyone going to a bar is not a drunkard looking to get sloshed and drive over people. To paint places serving alcohol as dens of debauchery and consumers visiting them as ones desperate to binge on booze is a mindset that needs to change.
 
Bars, restaurants and hotels are a reflection of our evolution. They are signs of a booming economy and a cosmopolitan society. Any popular tourist destination boasts of a vibrant food and nightlife and strong law enforcement that gives a sense to security. India had a happening food scene, what was merely needed was to provide stronger security that implemented rules strictly.
 
To suddenly order that our favourite places to unwind after a taxing working schedule are no longer permitted to serve us our hard earned drink is depriving us of simple joys of life. A vend will still pick up its makeshift structure and hop 500 metres away from its present location to sell liquor.
 
But a bar that came up after huge investment and employed security guards, trained waiters and talented bartenders will simply have to shut shop, rendering them jobless and consumers without a safe drinking spot.
 
For me it is taking away the essence of my ‘Incredible India’ where i can enjoy the finest of food and alcohol in my city. An India where i have the freedom to party but also awareness of my responsibility and rules.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
read-more
Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhut
 
read-more
Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
read-more
Since the NDA government converted the ‘Look East’ Policy to the ‘Act East’ policy, there has been a greater sense of strategic engagement with the ASEAN, writes Gurjit Singh
 
read-more
The UN will be making contacts with Maldives leaders in response to the request by the opposition leaders for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to oversee the all-party talks proposed by that nation's President Abdulla Yameen, Guterres's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Friday.
 
read-more
Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
read-more

The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
read-more

Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “2022: The India We Seek”

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
Column-image

'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...

 
Column-image

Book: A Time of Madness; Author: Salman Rashid; Publisher: Aleph; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 127

 
Column-image

Book: Why I Am A Hindu; Author: Shashi Tharoor; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 302; Price: Rs 699