Saturday, June 30, 2012


A month ago I wrote a blog post (given below for your convenience) wondering whether the problem of Alcoholism would be discussed on Satyamev Jayate. 
I got a comment from a handle called Bombay Sound that there is an episode on Alcoholism scheduled to be aired in June 2012 and that I should not miss it.
The month of June is over. Alcoholism affects all strata of society. Earlier alcoholism was a male-dominated malaise, now even women have started falling victim to the disease of alcoholism, especially in urban metros.  I hope there is an episode on this important social issue of Alcoholism and they telecast the episode in Satyamev Jayate tomorrow or maybe soon.
Meanwhile, do read the post below and give your comments, views and feedback. 

A Major Social Problem

There is a country liquor bar on the main road near my house in Pune. 

You probably will not believe it, but the bar opens at 6 o’clock in the morning and you will be surprised to know that there are customers eagerly waiting for their first drink of the day.

This morning on my way to Taljai Hills for my morning walk, I saw a familiar face - that comparatively well dressed man who is unfailingly there every morning waiting for the country liquor bar to open. 

He was shaking with Delerium Tremens (DT) as he desperately craved for his first drink of the day – his early morning dose of alcohol.

On my way back I saw that this man was dead drunk and was being helped into an auto-rickshaw to drive him to his house since he was so inebriated that he was in no condition to walk the short distance to his house. 

He would be back after a few hours for his second drink, then a third, maybe a fourth, and the same sequence of events would repeat themselves.

Someone told me that this man was once a successful manager in the corporate world, but his alcoholism had ruined him and reduced him to this state where he could afford only country liquor. 

They said that the man who now looked like a skeleton was once a handsome healthy sportsman before his alcoholism destroyed him.

The man lived with his joint family, his wife, his brothers, their wives, children, grandchildren, et al. 

Owing to his alcoholism he was a big embarrassment to his entire family and the only reason they had not thrown him out was because he owned the bungalow where they lived. 

But they did not allow him to drink at home and that is why he came to the country liquor bar. 

Someone said that his family members had made all efforts to make him give up drinking, but in vain, and now they had given up hope and were fed up with his drinking and were waiting for him to die.

There was a time when there was prohibition in Maharashtra and you could not drink alcohol in Pune. 

But that was long back – maybe around 50 years ago. 

Now liquor flows freely and there are bars and shops selling booze all over. 

A large number of people, from all strata of society, from all age groups ranging from students to senior citizens, drink alcohol regularly, and many become dependent on alcohol and risk ruining their lives by turning into alcoholics.

It is a common sight to see totally inebriated people lying dead drunk in a state of unconsciousness on the roads and footpaths of Pune throughout the day. 

This evening I saw a sorry spectacle of a wife and small son trying to lift a drunkard (who had fallen down outside the bar on the pavement). They wanted to take the inebriated man home. But, in his drunken stupor, the man was hurling filthy abuses at his wife and son. 

I have witnessed young boys and girls pass out drunk. 

Some are unable to hold their liquor and they puke and wallow in their vomit after binge drinking sessions at high-falutin watering holes which have sprouted all over the place to cater to the alcoholic cravings of the nouveau-riche IT Nerds and wealthy students. 

It is a disgusting sight to see these youngsters in this terribly intoxicated state.

Most youngsters start drinking because of peer pressure and try to show off their drinking prowess and land up getting drunk.

In these places, drunken brawls are quite commonplace and drunken driving is on the rise.

Someone told me that the scourge of alcoholism is a Pan-India phenomenon, rapidly proliferating in urban as well as rural areas, in villages, towns and metros, penetrating in all strata of society, and, you may be surprised, but many women too are succumbing to this disease.

Alcoholism is a disease and the effects of alcohol are worse than tobacco. 

Smoking affects the smoker whereas alcoholism affects the entire family and society around too. 

They say that smoking ruins your body, affects you physically, but alcohol affects both your body and your brain, and, in the long run, damages you physically and mentally too. 

Like smoking, alcohol has an adverse effect on health. 

But unlike smoking, efforts are not being made to discourage people from drinking alcohol. 

In fact, easy availability of alcoholic drinks and lack of taboo due to increasing globalisation of culture, are facilitating, even encouraging, consumption of alcohol.   

All of us need to be made aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol and to what extent alcoholism has affected our country and society. 

I wish Aamir Khan and the director Satyajit Bhatkal and his team cover this topic in Satyamev Jayate.

Making people aware of a problem is the first step towards solving the problem. 

Satyamev Jayate has done yeoman’s service by creating awareness of the ills plaguing our society like female foeticide, child sexual abuse, health issues and many such relevant issues. 

I hope this program will highlight the dangers of alcoholism, both in our rural and urban society.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Adam Booth said...

Your post is so interesting. and it is more useful and helpful for me. Thanks for share this valuable post.

Hari Narayana said...

Your wish is fulfilled Vikram Sir..

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Yes, Hari Narayana - I saw the episode of Satyamev Jayate today with interest. It was quite good.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Adam Booth - Thanks

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