There is an old fable, The King Bruce and the Spider, it’s called, and like all fables it’s designed to teach children a moral lesson. The story, in short, is about the King of Scotland Robert Bruce who took refuge in a cave after losing a battle. While in hiding, he saw a spider trying to spin a web on the cave wall. The spider fell seven times before it finally completed its task. King Robert, taking a leaf out of the spider’s book battled the English forces repeatedly with his limited troops and finally achieved success. The story obviously intended to showcase the value of perseverance or more importantly that failure should not stop you from trying again. The Kerala government seems to have followed in King Robert’s footsteps. Previous failure in a host of countries has not deterred Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from declaring that a Prohibition will be enforced in the state, over a span of ten years.
This step taken by the Kerala government may not be uncalled for. India does not have the severe hard drug problems which plague the West, but excessive alcohol consumption is definitely a problem particularly in this southern state. In Kerala an average of 8.5 litres of alcohol per person is consumed. Considering the fact that a sizeable population in Kerala are teetotallers, this figure is cause for serious concern. But is prohibition the best way to tackle the issue?
There seems to be two responses to this question. Despite knowing that Mr. Oommen Chandy made