THE CONTRABAND DRINK.
Alleviate it or it will alleviate you; writes Abdul Wajid Parray.
There was a time when speaking of alcohol in valley of Kashmir was considered as a bad as an abuse. The concept of Wine shops and Bars was as scarce as hen’s teeth in a valley that is the mother of enumerate saints and sacred figures. But as someone has rightly said: “time changes and we with time”, today the saga has changed altogether. The cult of alcoholism that was hardly visible in the valley, a decade ago, has now skyrocketed like anything and has turned more into an irreparable social-immorality. Gone are the times when getting alcohol in Kashmir was more like some herculean task. Now it’s everywhere; its tentacles have spread so much so that it has badly engulfed the entire valley, unfortunately.
This sorrowfully heartrending matter makes me to share a similar sadistic issue of grave concern that has plagued many parts of our valley and that need a speedy action to pacify. Only a couple of days ago, I visited one of my mates, Danish, at his residence in Indranagar Area of Srinagar Kashmir. It was the evening time with the sun about to sign-off its duty of enlightening the city thus making the birds and the people moving back to their respective nestlings. The atmosphere was very appealing and we decided to go for a stroll along the Broadway-Road, just a few meters away from his residence. Walking through the Broadway highway, I was of the opinion that it would be a charming walk on foot but very soon I found myself wrong. Both of us astonishingly noticed a strikingly long queue of people desperately waiting en masse for some green signal. At one time we thought it would be a throng of the students of the nearby Central University that might be waiting to get their exam-forms or something. But once we approached close to the crowd, both of us were thunderstruck on seeing the voraciously fervent drunkards waiting for their turn to get their quota of some booze from a wine shop which ironically is close at hand to the Central University. Ho! What a terrible scene it was, I wonder. Both of us looked into one another’s face in shock; completely stun with our mouth wide open. After this ghastly experience my friend, who belongs to the same area explained me the whole gloomy parable of wine shop and a nearby BAR which is dragging all the area through the dirt. At the end of our conversation, my friend insisted me to write upon the issue since it had turned more into a menace for the locals living by.
I realized the depth of trouble; so I decided to wind up in writing regarding the same that could, at least, arouse the people around. So here I go: Well the wine shop which remains in strength all the time has become more like a Pandora’s Box for the area with the local residents totally upset for its establishment. Be it the crack of dawn or the late dark, the shop remains jam packed constantly by the boozy vagabonds; As such giving hard time for the locals, mainly the school-going kids and the female folk to walk through the busy road. At times there is an ugly traffic jam around the area just because of the fact that the patron customers of the wine shop, mainly our bellowed Indian tourists, the local teenyboppers and other spoiled brats, keep parking their vehicles on the road thus creating inconvenience for the people travelling by.
The fishy part of this unfortunate story is that how can such an evil establishment operate so lively in an area that is surrounded by more than four schools and a transit campus for Central University? If one scrutinizes the vicinity of the wine shop(plus a nearby BAR), it will be vividly clear that within just one Km radius of the shop, there are almost five schools running in the area plus a Central University which as I mentioned above is a next-door neighbor of the wine shop. Now the question to be put forth is that how was the said shop permitted to sell out the alcohol as such without considering the aspirations of the common people, mainly the Muslim localites? Moreover a BAR running the same devious business is also in action only a few walks away from the Central University at the Broadway Crossing.
More astonishingly, despite of the objections and complaints from the locals against the working of the wine shop and the BAR from time to time, the shop remains all alive and kicking, feeding its beloved consumers with the sweet poison. The dilly dally action of the government has not presenting any firm upshot and this clearly points to the failure of its governance and brings forth the fact that the matter is being brushed under the carpet of some bigwigs. A witch hunt was expected as a part of the police action but instead they can be found catching Z’s in their rest rooms else tailgating after the white ambassador cars of their big Daddies.
Period! Now isn’t it worth questionable that a bus stop has been established just adjacent to the wine shop; I reason to allow its consumers to reach to the shop and get their stuff at ease.
More surprisingly or I must say more hilariously, the government has provided the said shop with some security guards to prevent any inconvenience for its darling customers. All this is making people smell a rat in the matter and everyone is of the opinion that there must be some big cheese backing the establishment of the wine shop.
The crux of the matter is that there is a dire need to wake up the concerned authorities from their deep slumber and root out the evil of alcoholism from our society because it’s the Alcoholism that is the mother of all evils and the root cause of all the snag and crime in a society. It affects the latter both economically and morally thus plaguing it with an evil bug. If no action is taken promptly in this regard then the time is not so far when this pestilence will eat up our buds and then our society. Now the ball is our court and it’s only us who will decide either to alleviate this evil or make it alleviate us thereby making our brethren drink the three outs; drink until one is out of wit, out of money, and out of alcohol.
As a part of this pathetic story, a more ironical thing is that the government has regulated the shop keepers working around the 1Km radius of all the schools running in the valley to shun the sale of cigarettes. Well a very commendable act indeed, I must say. Now here goes the scolding question: Is Cigarette smoking more injurious and troublesome than drinking alcohol? And is the sale of both the things the same? Of course the answer is a big NO; in fact not at all. Now please give me one reason for which the said wine shop was allowed to make sale of its contents so overtly when it is surrounded by so many educational institutions. The said wine shop is making its profit to its fullest without any obstruction, thus ruining the area of Indranagar in particular and our society in general.
Despite of knowing this entire, why a silence is there over the issue, I ask?
Until this question is not answered, I’ll keep being puzzled. Will you?
Author: Abdul Wajid Parray.
Engineering Student Kurukshetra University Haryana.
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News Source: Danish Ahmed Qadri; BBA, IUST.
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