Higher Education Minister C T Ravi has called for a strong policy that will help the state government sustain without depending on revenue from Excise.
He was speaking at a roundtable conference of Vice-Chancellors and educationists on ‘Propagation of Gandhian Values and Movement Against Alcoholism and drug Abuse’ organised by the Karnataka State Temperance Board (KSTB), Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi (KGSN) and National Service Scheme (NSS) on Monday.
“It is unfortunate that we take pride in the fact that there is increase in the revenue collected by the excise department. It is like the government has a dual stand on excise.
On one hand, social welfare department and Temperance Board are writing on the wall against alcoholism and on the other hand, the excise department and deputy commissioners set targets for each district to collect liquor revenue.
We should do away with such revenue with a strong policy,” he said. Ravi said, “I won’t be surprised if Gandhi is revered so high that our people deem it impossible to follow his path.
We are already moving towards this situation even with Dr B R Ambedkar.
” Governor H R Bharadwaj used his own example to state how personalities in public life should abstain from alcohol. “I used to drink during my lawyer days. I held memberships at Delhi’s top clubs and spent most of my evenings there.
However, I stopped drinking after stepping foot into public domain. My wife and son strongly opposed my drinking, I was even asked to leave home by my wife once,” he said. He added that every university should have a Gandhian Studies department.
Director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Dr P Satish Chandra estimated alcohol-related losses to a whopping `975 crore to the state government. “The increase in alcohol is making the government incur industry-alcohol losses and treatment towards alcoholism,” he said.
According to NIMHANS’ studies, deaths related to alcoholism in the state is increasing. “One study indicates that 28 per cent of patients who suffered stroke were consumers of alcohol,” Dr Chandra said. He further added that there is a strong relationship between alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases