Indian Youth and Alcohol

While young people in many parts of the world seem to be choosing to give up alcohol many young people in India seem to be doing the opposite.

Referring to alcoholism Pope John Paul II said in 1984: “The conviction is becoming ever more widespread that alcoholism is one of the worst plagues of modern society … the problem touches the human person.  The life of individuals, families, communities and society as a whole is deeply affected, and untold suffering and anguish are involved…”

When the Pope said that in 1984, the average age of initiation to alcohol in many parts of India was 19.  In some parts of India it has now become between 16 and 20 and in some other parts like Kerala it is reported that the average age of initiation to alcohol is 13.5 (see

Recently we needed some blood for a surgery to be done on my brother.  I told my nephew that it would be better to get the blood ready in the evening itself as the operation was to take place on the following morning.  His reply shocked me: “Uncle, at this time of the day, we will not find any young people in a fit condition to donate blood.  They will all be intoxicated!  It is better to ask people tomorrow morning.”  No sober young person to be found in the evening!  No wonder V. R. Krishna Iyer, the former Supreme Court Judge and a human-rights champion  said: “This nation will perish with the drinking bowl with atrabilious liquor because the powerful lobby can purchase the politician at any price to do away with dry days and flood the youth with liquor until blood colours streets and homes red” (The Hindu, January 12, 2010). The young today are being flooded with liquor and being destroyed.


(to be continued)

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