Alcohol Free Kashmir

Alcohol Free Kashmir
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The sale and consumption of alcohol in Kashmir must not be allowed. The reasons pertain to morals, ethics, religion and social. Alcohol consumption affects negatively all these, in any given permutation, combination or context. Religiously and morally, alcohol consumption is intrinsically bad and there are clear cut injunctions regarding this. And, these injunctions are not without reason(s). Consumption of alcohol creates a certain permissiveness that distorts moral and ethical boundaries and thereby lead to social evils and even crime(s). The blurring or obliteration of boundaries –moral, ethical and other- on account of consumption of alcohol is then a danger pregnant and rife with bad consequences and even social order. Given this, Kashmir should and must be free of alcohol. It may be pointed out that given Kashmir is a tourist destination, in the very least; sale of alcohol must be allowed in certain cases and to certain segments- like tourists. But, the problem, in this regard, is that once this is permitted, there is no guarantee that it might not be abused in the sense of the problem percolating to the natives here. The only way out is a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Tourism and tourist potential of a given place must not be tied to hedonic pleasures only. In the instance and context of Kashmir, the vale is blessed by pristine beauty which, if appreciated on intrinsic grounds, can be so stimulating that induces a deep and profound spiritual bliss and contentment. Kashmir can also be explored in the domain of cultural tourism. Clean tourism then is both possible and sustainable. The reasons for the sale of alcohol on these grounds become superfluous. The most prudent approach to keep Kashmir clean is to stem and nip the problem of alcohol in the bud. That is, not allow either sale or consumption of this intoxicant at any place here. This will have a cascadingly salubrious effect for the people of the vale. Some might point out that the potential blanket ban on alcohol in Kashmir might impinge on the freedom of choice of the people. And , that under conditions of adulthood, people are and must be free to choose. But , the problem with this approach is that people do not always know what is good or bad for them and under certain conditions- distress, trauma, stress and so on- can take decisions or recourse to action that is bad for them- individually and collectively. From this perspective, a degree of benign paternalism which is actually for the good for people is called for. It is this paternalism that must apply in terms of a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in Kashmir. Much evil can be nipped in the bud then.

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