Church asks state to stop selling liquor

December 18, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The meeting also urged the government to reject the Madhav Gadgil panel report on Western Ghats.

Church asks state to stop selling liquorKochi, December 16, 2012: The Catholic Church in Kerala has asked the state to stop selling liquor.

The demand came after a meeting of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) in Kochi.

The meeting also approved a 27-point guideline of its temperance commission to establish a drug and liquor-free society in the state.

“India may be the only country where state governments are the main agents in liquor trade,” it said.

The KCBC also dismissed government proposal to entrust local bodies with the decision on new liquor shops in the state, as being of no help to overcome the problem.

This, it said, was “ineffective to reduce the availability of liquor.”

“A government responsible to its people should withdraw from the liquor trade which has been found to damage the physical and mental health of the citizens besides ruining them socially, economically and spiritually,” said Fr. Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary general of KCBC.

The meeting also urged the government to reject the Madhav Gadgil panel report on Western Ghats, saying it would make life difficult for thousands of people residing in such areas.

The report has been prepared with the objective of protecting the Western Ghats’ ecology and recommends zoning of 75 percent of the Western Ghats into different grades of ecological sensitivity.

“The panel has not taken into account the views of the people while finalizing the report. This does not mean that the church is against conservation of nature, but it thinks human life is more important than anything else,” Fr Alathara said.

KCBC also expressed concern at raising the prices of essential commodities and drugs and asked the government to effectively intervene to control the prices.

The government should formulate a policy that encourages farming, the meeting noted.


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