-Gyati Tado (Tadu)
President, Union of Apatani Educated Unemployed Youth (UAEUY)
Alcoholism and drug addiction are two ignored social evils which endorse for weakening people's moral fibre. It spells disaster not only for the addict but also to his family and society as a whole. If we take a closer look of social and cultural fabric of our society, the "O" culture is most predominant. At this stage of globalization and modernization we surely are on backstage and struggling for identity. Every man of prudent mind can understand the evil effects of alcoholism and drug abuse but nobody is concerning and for why? Being a social animal we can atleast appreciate Apatani Youth Association (A.Y.A) and District Administration, Ziro for their noble initiative i.e., 'Mission De-Addiction' by banning GUTKA.
Legally, it is a crime in which the addict himself is criminal as well as victim. However, sociologists and criminologists reveals through investigation that a major chunk of the crimes are committed by a person in abuse of narcotic drugs and alcoholism. Under the influence of intoxication the person loses self- control and may develop criminal tendency which results into acts of misbehaving, indecency, aggression or assault at any moment.
The process of addiction starts when person makes stimulant like alcohol and narcotic drugs as relief for stress, depression, tension, family discord, discontentment etc. In broader sense the spread of these evils are mainly due to apparent failure in personal life, unemployment especially among youths, lack of parental care, careless habits of elders at home that arise interest among younger to taste it, negative influence of peer group and the recent development in pharmaceutical and medical sciences having capable to produce variety of toxic synthetic substances like nail polish remover, dendrite etc. Among the youngster it happens as fun or enjoyment on experimental basis at first and gradually good majority of them turn out to be habitual. Due to addiction they detach themselves from worldly affairs. Consequently, the individual's health gets affected as mental faculty of an alcoholic does not function in a normal way and delinquency especially juvenile delinquency follows addiction.
To eradicate this twin menace there is a dire need to evolve an effective control mechanism to check unrestricted production and their sale in open market. Accordingly, the Constitution of India under Article 47 mandates that the State should endeavor to bring about prohibition of intoxicating beverages and drugs which are injurious to public health. But society cannot blame administration all the time for eroding social and cultural fabric mainly caused by individual's irresponsible act. It is a part of individual's duty to stay away or abstain/refrain from devastating melody of alcoholism and drug addiction. Administration, however, has corresponding duties to undertake corrective measures as India being one of signatory to International Convention on Drugs which reiterated faith in human dignity and the legitimate aspiration of humankind for a decent life. It insist the need for generating universal consciousness of, and determination to battle, the drug problems in all it's pervasive forms at national, regional and international level. Under the auspices of United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 under proviso (1) of Article 38 and International Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 under proviso (1) of Article 20 has emphasized the need for prevention of abuse of psychotropic substances and early identification, treatment, education, after- care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the person involved. The Indian Parliament by taking legislative measures has enacted the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (Ammenament) Act, 1988 to tackle these menace in socio-legal perspective. Under Section 71 of the Act, it provides for rehabilitation and reformative measure for an addictive whether he is an offender or not. Thus the Act seeks to prevent people from the dangers of drug-abuse.
Despite existence of various tough and reformative laws the menace of alcoholism and drug addiction cannot be effectively controlled without the helping hand of voluntary social organization in cooperation with Government Authorities and self-realization of the addicts. To check these evils, every sections of the society should stand unitedly by saying ''No" to narcotic drugs & alcohol. Besides, the addicted should be given a chance for treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration and that would definitely turn out to be Midas touch to our society. Due to acute problems of drug-abuse in North -Eastern States the Government of India has decided to provide 100% liberal grants to start drug de-addiction centres in these states. For this noble venture, a voluntary social organization should come forward to bring awareness about it's harmful effects and rehabilitation. As the principle and purpose of reformative penology is to "destroy criminality in a human being without destroying humanity in a criminal."