Bihar will go dry from April 1, 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced on Thursday. The announcement — a part of his election pledge — was made at an official function to mark Prohibition Day in Patna on Thursday. The decision, as global and national experience shows, will open up great trading opportunities for muscular and gun-toting casteist tribesmen and their political and official patrons, besides triggering off large scale frequent tragedies from consumption of hooch.
While giving homilies on evil effects of alcohol, Kumar made no efforts to explain how his government will deal with the obvious fallout of his freshly-brewed abhorrence for potable alcohol. May it be recalled that it was under his stewardship that the excise department went into an overdrive in 2007 following a new policy and started issuing licences for marketing liquor across the state. This made the revenue collection of excise department soar 10 times from Rs.319 crore in 2005-06 to Rs.3,650 crore in 2014-15. This also averted repetition of the tragedies that had marked Bihar in earlier years.