Anti-alcohol movement in UP; Women Onboard

Alchol-BanYogi for Nitish
Union federation that came up through the ‘Sangh-Mukt Bharat, Sharab-Mukt Samaj’ (RSS-free India, Alcohol-free Society) formula of Nitish Kumar is taking over the Anti Alcohol campaign
Complete ban on alcohol near religious sites, officers to be punished for lenience

– Deenbandhu Kabir
Although alcohol ban was not one of the issues in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, ever since the BJP won the election making Yogi Adityanath the Chief Minister of the state, the issue has been getting a lot of wind. The women in different districts have carried out successful alcohol ban campaign and now the critical conditions on the issue is forcing the state government to consider the banning alcohol. Now various social organisations have also started helping the women. The matter is now building pressure on the state government and it wouldn’t be a shock if the government does ban alcohol in the state. Once alcohol is banned in UP, it will be a freeway to ban alcohol in all the other BJP ruled states as well.
The question arises, how did the issue turn to alcohol ban? We’ll discuss how the state turned against alcohol and how deep it has its roots spread, but first, let’s talk about how did the issue, that wasn’t important enough to surface in the assembly election is suddenly dominating the socio-political arena. As a matter of fact, alcohol ban is BJP’s well planned political move. After the alcohol ban in Bihar, Chief Minister of the state, Nitish Kumar has been portrayed as a hero in front of the country. Whereas alcohol ban was already in place in state like Gujarat and certain districts of Maharashtra as well. But Nitish took the credit for alcohol ban and jolted to take political advantage over it. The BJP considers it their monopoly to raise moral issues. And the BJP wouldn’t allow Nitish to take all the credit for something as big as alcohol ban. As soon the BJP won the election, making a saint such as Yogi Adhityanath the Chief Minister, the movement against liquor started elevating. Taking strict actions against eve teasing as soon as coming to power turned his stance from radicalism to morals. The process of stopping illegal slaughterhouses gained pace while the government also struggles through the moral pressure to ban liquor. The RSS also had an important and active role to play on the inside. The movement against alcohol further strengthened. The intensity of the movement will soon gain the country’s attention. That is when alcohol will be banned in UP, followed by all the BJP-ruled states. A senior official associated with the RSS said that the authorities are also trying to weaken the movements against liquor. It includes the liquor mafia, some politicians and the police. The said officer has claimed that the RSS won’t let this happen. Various public relation campaigns are also being organised in order to bring out the maximum number of women against alcohol.Nitish-kumar
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is upset with the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ever since he started talking about his movement against the RSS and liquor by visiting different areas in UP. The RSS was disappointed in the former RSS member Nitish for associating RSS with liquor. Ever since then, the RSS has been working to puncture his heroic image. And the RSS got this opportunity when Yogi became the Chief Minister of UP. You should remember, that the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attacked the RSS in Mirzapur, Varanasi, Kanpur, Ghatampur and Lucknow before the assembly elections. He said that the people of the RSS, giving slogans to cow protection wear leather shoes themselves while they leave the cows out on the streets to die. Nitish had said that the RSS should set up a Cow protection camps instead of ‘Shakha’. Nitish also said that the country needs to be made ‘Sangh Mukt, Sharab Mukt’ RSS-free and alcohol-free. JDU will do that. JDU has taken up the responsibility of exposing the RSS. Nitish even gave the slogan ‘Sangh Mukt, Sharab Mukt’ RSS free, Alcohol free society in his Mirzapur rally. Nitish even raised the question why is alcohol not banned in the BJP-ruled states? Nitish Kumar even challenged the Prime Minister to ban alcohol in the BJP-ruled states in his own constituency, Varanasi. He also promised to make the country ‘Sangh Mukt, Sharab Mukt’ RSS-free and alcohol-free. The RSS took Nitish’s challenge seriously when he said that the people want an RSS-free and alcohol-free country.
Yogi made his first move in sync with the Supreme Court’s order issuing a strict order to remove 8,544 liquor shops from the proximity areas of residential settlements, educational institutions, religious sites and hospitals. Then he issued an order to strictly prohibit the sale of liquor around Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Chitrakoot Dham, Misrikh Neemsar, Piran Kaliyar, Deva Sharif, Deoband, Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Shri krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura and Triveni Sangam in Allahabad. The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also said that the officials not following the instruction would be punished. Yogi is now also going to make a new excise policy for the state.

Residential turns liquor market
A strange action of Lakhimpur district excise officer Pankaj Yadav has came to light, that turned a city’s residential area into a liquor market. Despite heavy public protests, the District Excise Officer allowed four liquor shops in the middle of four schools and a temple. This has sparked a huge protest in the entire area. A liquor store was also opened in front of a Hanuman temple last year. The local protestors opposed the decision and wrote to district and state level officials, but what do the excise officers have to do with the society? The voice of the locals was suppressed. With this, the Excise officials lurched and made the entire Gadhi Road into a liquor market. The Mahila Samman Samiti raised their voice in protest, it also sparked the support of locals, but the district administration ignored the public’s demand. Helpless, the Mahila Samman Samiti started the series of fasting. But the criminal negligence of the administration turned the fast into a hunger strike. Despite this, the administration upholds their will. The Excise Inspector Pankaj Yadav is to be blamed for turning a residential area into a liquor market. He allowed a liquor shops to open risking the fixed standards. The residents also caused a traffic jam organising a cremation rally of the hunger strikers, but the administration is still lobbying the liquor mafia.

-Ajay Gupta

The resentment against alcohol has reached a level that now the women have taken it to streets demanding ban of alcohol and closing of liquor shops in different cities of the state. Women are also participating in demolishing the liquor shops. Even in the state capital Lucknow, women in the Hazratganj area have destroyed and closed three liquor stores. Watching hundreds of women coming, the storekeepers ran out of their shops. The women said that opening three liquor shops near a temple is anti-social, illegal, and immoral. They said their households are being sabotaged due to these liquor stores. Other districts are also going through the same. Some women went out with staffs and clubs to a liquor store in Kotwali, Sambhal and destroying it. There, a liquor shop was opened near two schools. Women in the Devaria Kheda village of Chandausi Kotwali in Sambhal district went out with staffs and clubs and started demolishing the shop. The women put the shop on fire. In Baghpat as well, women have started a campaign against alcohol. The women there scolded the shopkeepers beating them with staffs and slaps. Similarly, in Bulandshahr, the women attacked the government liquor shop in the Devipura First area along with other nearby liquor stores as well. Women there strongly protested to shut down the government and private liquor stores while they threw the shop’s liquor pouches on the roads. The women wreaked havoc against the sale of alcohol in Bulandshahr, Shikarpur and Dibai and destroyed numerous liquor stores. The angry women also set a liquor store in Shankarpur’s Aanchuru kala Village ablaze. In Dhanpur village of Dibai, hundreds of women demolished the liquor stores. Even in Hardoi, near Lucknow, women and children attacked the liquor stores shouting slogans against liquor sale. The women and children took to the street in protest against opening of a liquor store in front of St. Xavier’s School and RR Inter College at Noghata Road in the city’s Kothwali area. These liquor stores have been opened near residential areas and schools, people are demanding to close these shops immediately. In Moradabad, in the Ramlalaya area of ​​Majola police station, the women set a liquor shop ablaze. Women’s protest against alcohol continues in the Moradabad district. In the Lalpur Sagoni village of Dannahar Police Station, Mainpuri, the women protested against liquor sale and burnt a dump of liquor. They also beat the contractor Sanjeev Yadav who coincidentally came to the spot. In Jaunpur, the police has detained about 20 women for allegedly attacking and burned a iquor store.

Yogi-Adityanath
The women also attacked the liquor shops located in Alam Khan Mohalla and threw all the liquor outside. Women also attacked some liquor stores in Azamgarh destroying them. The movement against alcohol is also gaining ground in the villages of Varanasi with the slogans of PM Modi and CM Yogi. Sick of the alcoholics, women also ransacked the liquor shops located in Ravindra Puri and Shivala. This incident took place just three hundred meters away from Modi’s MP office. The furious women also protested in front of Modi’s office. The Police had to register a case on the women’s demand. Hundreds of women along with a large number of men led by the District Panchayat member, Seema Patel, protested in the Harsos area of Jansha Police station, Sewapuri demanding to close the liquor shops. What’s Interesting, is that the public is demanding a liquor ban in lines with Gujarat not Bihar. This demand has its special implications. The women in Aditya Nagar also raised their voice causing the Chittipur-Karonda marg, demanding for alcohol ban. The police have arrested 35 women on charges of allegedly attempting to burn a liquor storein Lohta’s Mangalpur area. Around two dozen women are in jail. Women also destroyed a government-run liquor store near Sarnath’s Panchkoshi intersection subduing and throwing liquor bottles on the road. Children were also helping the women doing it. On one hand, this movement is getting deeper in the state including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi, while on the other hand, the government is exploring ways to cool down the public anger against liquor. The protestor women are being charged and arrested for looting and demolishing liquor shops. The people related to the movement are being harassed by the Police. The liquor mafia and police officers are in collusion in this case. The alcohol mafia is watching their business sink while the police department is losing their payout.

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