Saturday, December 20, 2014

Drug free India

In his third broadcast of Mann ki Baat programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dealt with very important theme of youth and drugs. Unfortunate as it is, the curse of drug addiction has afflicted our youth at various levels thereby causing utter devastation of families and the youth itself. The curse of drugs and narcotics came from developed countries of the west, where affluence among upper class became catalyst to drug menace.  In our country, first the youth from affluent class took to drug addiction but gradually it took serious dimensions and spread among the college and university going youth. Most of the youth thought it a fashion and style paving the path for others to imitate them. We don’t have the data to compute the number of addicted youth in the country, but from the seizure of illegal drugs across the country and the number of addicts under reformative treatment we come to a very disappointing ground situation.

The Prime Minister said that for effective control of the menace, it was important that contribution came from a number of segments of society, the parents, the police, law enforcing authority, intelligence organization, judiciary, medical organization and the addicts as well. In the first place, much responsibility devolves on the shoulders of parents who need to keep constant watch on their wards and watch their movements. There has to be discipline in the home and the impress of social and cultural values has to be maintained by elders and parents. The youth have to be instilled with the urge for purpose of life, a destination that is honourable and rewarding. If life is allowed to flow down like a rudderless ship, it is bound to get lost. A life that could be made beautiful and purposeful by adopting the right course of service to humanity and to one’s own interests is want only left to destruction and devastation.

The Prime Minister has hinted at a very subtle but very important dimension of drug addiction. He has asked the addicts to understand that the money they are spending on drugs could be diverted to the terrorist organization who are shooting our soldiers and policemen just because they on their own have no purpose of life and as such attach no value to the lives of others. Prime Minister is right is saying that if the youth are left idle and with obscured vision, they will be prone to going astray. That is why the Government attaches great importance to bringing various skills to the youth so that they feel pride in labour and honest earning. It is the responsibility of parents to look for opportunities for their wards which would help them earn a living. The Prime Minister said for long he had been feeling unhappy on the misfortune to which our addicted youth are subjected. But he said that the drug is bad not the youth who use it. And those who do not take full precautionary measures to keep the youth away from drugs are equally culprits in the process.

While Prime Minister’s analysis of drug menace is pragmatic and the measures that the Government is likely to consider are welcome, it remains to be said that the Prime Minister will need to come out with his Government’s commitment to take stringent action against drug peddlers who have established widespread nexus across the country and have even established international links. This is not a small network and its dismantling is not that easy. Drug peddlers have made dent in political segments of our country. Drugs and narcotic trade involves incredibly large amounts of money. Part of this money percolates down to swindlers and charlatans many of who boss political parties in the country.   This aberration adversely affects the health of our society. It degrades our moral values.

Of late our State has also become a hub of drug peddling. We are also threatened by drug peddlers from across the border. State police have, from time to time, seized large quantities of narcotics which were destined for conduits in Delhi and Mumbai. Even some narcotics were seized from cross-border traders in J&K. This being the case, we have yet to hear that any drug peddler, fallen in the dragnet of police, has been given exemplary punishment. It is this part of the issue that shall have to be taken up very seriously for proper handling. If there is no deterrent, drug mafia will continue to enjoy the bliss of making enormous money and threaten social fabric of our society.