Thousands of cultured , well informed and well meaning citizens of Tamil Nadu have been feeling extremely disturbed and concerned about the rapidly spreading liquor habit amongst people of all age groups and at various income levels in Tamil Nadu.
Based on the sales turnover generated by the Tamil Nadu government run tasmac liquor shops, it is widely believed that more than 40% of menfolk in Tamil Nadu have taken to drinking habit. It is alarming that even young school students have taken to drinking and some of them even attend classes in drunken state. Teachers in some government run schools are also reported to have taken classes in drunken state. The economy and harmony in lakhs of families in the state have been seriously disturbed and women have been put to extreme hardships. In what appears to be a climax, a young girl student in school uniform was seen on the street misbehaving after liquor consumption. Further, the media is reporting that women in Tamil Nadu also are now gradually becoming liquor addicts. No doubt, this is an extremely serious situation that is affecting the fibre and fabric of Tamil Nadu.
There is absolutely no doubt that the political parties who have been ruling the state for the last few decades now are solely and entirely responsible for driving Tamil Nadu into a “Liquor Nadu”.
In such dismal condition, Tamil Nadu desperately needed a Gandhian who has the courage of conviction to stem this rotten condition. While many people are genuinely concerned but have remained as arm chair opinion givers , only some people have come out in open to wage a difficult battle demanding prohibition, against the governments that have been under the control of average or below average politicians who are more concerned about their own welfare and of their political parties rather than the welfare of the state.
When Sasi Perumal showed an extraordinary level of determination, courage and conviction to fight for prohibition , there were many admirers for him but not many people came forward to extend support by participating in several fasts and demonstrations that he undertook.
But, Sasi Perumal, not having much formal education and hailing from poor family background stood his ground and continued his battle. The print and TV media gave him lukewarm publicity and only when his demonstrations caused sort of sensation.
In such circumstances, we have received the extremely unfortunate and sad news that Sasi Perumal died even as he was continuing his demonstration protest, evoking huge sympathy and respect particularly from the non drinking population of Tamil Nadu. Typically, the politicians belonging to opposition parties, whose only concern is vote bank politics are jumping into the bandwagon and clamouring support for prohibition.
All of us know that political parties and politicians are not wedded to any principles but only to the objective of capturing power at any cost and constantly shifting their positions , keeping the vote bank in view. It is quite likely that those political parties who support prohibition today in the wake of Sasi Perumal’s sacrifice, may go back on their stand and start liquor sale in case they would come to power after the forthcoming state elections.
The problem today is that the battle for the prohibition should not only be fought against the government but also the battle should be fought in the minds of millions of citizens of Tamil Nadu who have taken to liquor habit.
Therefore, it is clear that the battle for liquor free Tamil Nadu has to be sustained and continued for long time. Sasi Perumal has given inspiring leadership and has become a role model for anti liquor crusader in Tamil Nadu.
It would be appropriate that all cultured , concerned and well meaning people in Tamil Nadu should organise themselves under one banner to fight for prohibition in the state by continuous campaigning. It is imperative that political parties should not be allowed to come under this banner.
In memory of Sasi Perumal and deriving the inspiration from this great man, a movement should be launched under the banner SASI PERUMAL ANTI LIQUOR FORUM. Ultimately, the memory of Sasi Perumal and his sacrifice will inspire this forum to restore the glory of Tamil Nadu, which it has now lost due to the governments that have ruled this state for the last few decades.
Nandini Voice For The Deprived
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