Case Study 16

It is a State where prohibition is in force. You are recently appointed as the Superintendent of Police of a district notorious for the illicit distillation of liquor. Illicit liquor leads to many deaths, reported and unreported, and causes a major problem for the district authorities.

The approach till now had been to view it as a law-and-order problem and tackle it accordingly. Raids, arrests, police cases, and criminal trials – all these had only limited impact. The problem remains as serious as ever.

Your inspections show that the parts of the district where the distillation flourishes are economically, industrially and educationally backward. Agriculture is badly affected by poor irrigation facilities. Frequent clashes among communities gave a boost to illicit distillation. No major initiatives had taken place in the past either from the government’s side or from social organizations to improve the lot of the people.

Which new approach will you adopt to bring the problem under control?

This case highlights the importance of persuasion for attitudinal and behavioural change among people to develop a value-laden society.            

The details mentioned in the case call for a change in strategy in the governance of illicit liquor distillation. Rather than punishing the unacceptable behaviour state must target determinants of behaviour – values and attitude.

The state must also alter the situation that encourages such behaviour – economic, industrial and educational backwardness, a low prospect in agriculture and communal disharmony.

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Following persuasion techniques must be adopted for change in value system and attitude –

  1. Value education in schools, panchayat and other social institutions to instil dignity and self-worth.
  2. Motivating youth through speeches, literature, videos, workshops, and Mohalla meetings to dream and work hard to achieve their dream. They must inculcate perseverance and discipline.

“Dream, Dream, Dream

Dreams transform into thoughts

And thoughts result in action.”


They must be taught the message of Rudyard Kipling-

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

Insaaf K dagar pe bachoon dikhao chal k

Ye desh hai tumhara Neta tumhi ho kal k

[Oh youth, walk on the path of justice and righteousness,

This country is yours; you are the leader of tomorrow]

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

  • Female members of society can be organised and trained to explain the harmful impact of liquor using emotional intelligence.
  • Males can be motivated to provide a better future to families by invoking values of love and compassion.
  • Explanatory videos and short films illustrating the harmful physical, mental, psychological and spiritual impact of liquor must be popularized.
  • Role modelling by people who have successfully overcome their liquor addiction.     
  • De-addiction centre and gifts, credit facility for entrepreneurship, appreciation by village etc. for people who successfully overcome addiction. 

Following administrative measures must also be taken to remove situation that favour such behaviour –

  1. Educational institutions must be strengthened through funds, teachers’ training, use of ICT and innovation like mid-day meals, sports etc. for high retention. 
  2. Increasing agricultural investment for irrigation, productivity, marketing, food processing and entrepreneurship.
  3. Skill development and engaging youths in more productive jobs. An empty mind is the devil’s workshop.
  4. Ease of doing business to attract investment and industrialization in the region.
  5. Ensuring communal harmony through the cooperation of local politicians, spreading the message of peace on social media and regular media and implementing constitutional provisions.
  6. Police training to deal with illicit liquor distillation seriously. 

Human capital is the greatest asset of a nation. The state must not allow its degradation through liquor consumption.  

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