Asian Age, New Delhi
July 6, 1998
Maulanas, Bishops for total liquor ban
Delhi: Bishops, maulanas,
swamis, sadhvis and other religious leaders of the country on
Sunday stood united on one issue at least - that liquor is
the root cause of all evil in the country.
in a historic national conference on total prohibition in the
capital, the first of its kind, religious leaders occupying
the centrestage were unanimous in their rhetoric against alcohol.
har buraiyee ka jad hota hai" (Liquor is the root cause
of all evil), said Maulana Wahi Du Din Khan. Stating that
consuming liquor was one of the greatest crimes in Islam, the
maulana said that every religion condemns the consumption of
Jain acharya Dr. Sadhvi Sadhana, did not fail to disagree.
"None of the dharam granths (religious texts) advocate
the consumption of liquor and all efforts should be made to
combat this evil," she said.
religious leaders have came together perhaps for the first time
in the history of independent India to deliberate on a vital
issue of social change," said Swami Agnivesh, Arya Samaj
leader and convener of the convention. He said that this was
decided at a conference of religious leaders on the occasion
of Mahakumbha mela in Haridwar in April, where the action of
the Andhra Pradesh and Haryana governments to lift prohibition
in their states was termed a "betrayal" of the people's mandate.
Religious leaders will now work for total prohibition In the
country at the Haridwar Conclave, he said.
the sadhvis of Uttarakhand to the sanths of Hrishikesh and Madhya
Pradesh, the event was conspicuous by the presence of a large
number of Hindu religious leaders. And they, along with leaders
of other faiths did express their angst against liquor, and
condemned all political parties without sparing any. Beneath
the huge banners of "sharab hatao, desh bachao (Remove
liquor, save the country)" the sleepy-eyed sadhus listened
to the leaders tirade as they promised to start the Nashabandi
Abhyan (Movement for total Prohibition) in full swing.
the first time in independent India a stage has been set to
start a movement to eradicate one of the greatest social evils
of the country," said Bishop Karam Mash of the church of North
India. And the organisers did make a special mention of his
presence, not forgetting to declare that Christians of the country
are as serious about the harmful effects of liquor as other
Bishop by attending the conference has proved all the allegations
made against the Churches and Christians wrong," said Swami
Agnivesh. "As a first move the demand of the movement should
be to ban all the drinking scenes in the movies which people
usually emulate," said Jaswant Singh, " The skull and bones
sign, indication of danger or poison should also be used on
liquor bottles to warn people against it," he added.
leaders are fighting on anything and everything but they are
certainly unanimous in their fight against liquor," said Swami
Agnivesh. Revealing that about Rs 90,000 crores worth of
liquor is consumed in India every year, he said, "we
will try to end the menace with the help of the people and Lok
Shakti instead of politicians".
and other leaders like Jagadguru Shankracharya Madhyasharmji
(Jyoti Peeth), Mahant Glan Dev Singh Ji, Swami Inderveshji,
and Dr. Maheep Singh participated in the conference organised
by the Akhil Bharatiya Santh Samiti.