MADURAI:While politicians and social activists are protesting liquor prohibition in the State, Thenur village has set an example for others to follow.
The village, which has a population of 6,000 and located 16 km from Madurai city, has banned the sale of tobacco and liquor for several years. A few residents of the village say, they do not know when it was banned. But however, no one has ever questioned this ban.
“Since my childhood days, I have never seen liquor and cigarette being purchased. If we need a cigarette we will come to Sholavanthan main road and purchase it,” said Sivan, an autorickshaw driver in Madurai.
Though there was no specific reason attributed, a few residents said since the village is considered the sacred abode of Lord Kallazhagar, they don’t indulge in immoral practices.
“Many people still believe that Lord Azhagar will punish them, if they engage in drinking and smoking,” said Shanmuga Sundaram, a resident of Thenur.
He further said, “I was told this since my childhood. Hence, I don’t smoke or drink.”
However, he said such fears have been removed from people’s mind over a period of time. “Now, many people from this village do smoke and drink, but they go to other villages and towns to purchase them,” he said.
Thenur Village panchayat president S Logusundari said, “Liquor and tobacco have been banned since several years.
However, a few visitors, who are uncomfortable with the idea asked for permission to sell just cigarettes alone. But we denied them permission.” Even today, villagers here don’t sit on a horse, since it is the vehicle of Lord Kallazhagar, she added.