Political analysts said Kamal’s announcement is bold as it comes at a time when there is clamour for total prohibition in the state.
Chennai: Outlining policies of his newly launched political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan on Thursday said his outfit was opposed to NEET, which he claimed would only push Tamil Nadu backwards. He also argued against total prohibition, as “forcing such a decision” would lead to spawning of more social problems. Writing in his weekly column in Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, Kamal spoke in detail about total prohibition, an issue that dominated the 2016 elections with almost all political parties promising a liqour-free state, and dwelled into the practical difficulties in such a scenario.
Being candid as he is known to be, Kamal accused political parties of taking about prohibition at the drop of a hat only to cater to the “women vote bank.” “My opinion is that we cannot make the entire society hate liquor. If we ever do that, it would only lead to bigger crimes as spurious liquor will make way into the (black market),” Kamal said.
Not jumping onto the prohibition bandwagon, Kamal gave a pragmatic solution to reduce consumption of alcohol by advocating cutting down of the TASMAC shops in the state. Sale of liquor is monopolised by the state-owned TASMAC in Tamil Nadu and the government has been quietly increasing the number of shops, throwing to the wind its promise of implementing prohibition.
“If prohibition is implemented, it would lead to emergence of mafia and we have witnessed this elsewhere. One can reduce drinking and I doubt whether it is possible to completely stop drinking. I feel there is no need for so many TASMAC shops. One has to search for a post office, but not TASMAC shops because they have mushroomed in every corner. This scenario should change,” Kamal said.
Political analysts said Kamal’s announcement is bold as it comes at a time when there is clamour for total prohibition in the state. In the run-up to 2016 elections, the principal players – AIADMK and DMK – centred their campaign on prohibition with the former promising staggered prohibition.