There are only a handful of businesses which are always in demand irrespective of the market conditions. The liquor industry is one such business that is thriving year after year. The percentage of the population consuming alcohol in India is increasing at a rapid rate. Out of the total alcohol production, a large chunk of it is consumed by our Armed Forces every year. You might have wondered why our forces get alcohol at subsidized rates and why they are allowed to consume liquor when we know that it is not good for health.
Here, we’ll be discussing a few reasons as to why liquor is not banned in the Indian Army.
The first and biggest reason is the legacy that the British had left.
There was no formal system of alcohol consumption before the British had arrived. The Royal Army had the boozing culture, since time immemorial, where the officers and the soldiers were given a fixed quantity of liquor ration. When they came to India, they brought this culture in the Indian Armed Forces as well. They established a formal system of drinking wherein only a fixed quantity of alcohol would be given to the jawans under the supervision of the officer. Thus, the legacy of the British has continued since then.
The other important reason is the kind of work that the soldiers do.
They have to work in extremely harsh conditions in order to safeguard the nation from enemy attacks. There are times when our jawans are posted in places where the temperature remains below zero throughout the year. In such situations, they need some quantity of alcohol to warm up their body in order to survive. Thus, alcohol helps them improve appetite and digestion and maintain the physical and mental balance in such harsh conditions.
The Indian Armed Forces give a lot of importance to their customs and traditions and they are known to uphold them at any cost.
One such instance is when an officer is newly recruited and posted, it is customary to mark the occasion by raising a toast and welcoming the officer with a drink. There are umpteen numbers of such traditions that are being followed for a long time.
Apart from all the points stated above, it is also worth mentioning that our jawans do not get a lot of free time. They guard the borders living far away from their families and working continuously for hours on a stretch, that too surviving on basic necessities. In such conditions, when they get some time for themselves, alcohol helps them relax and enjoy with their fellow mates.
However, the Indian Army is very strict and does not tolerate any kind of indiscipline at all. There is a proper system of checks and balances at work that makes sure there is no over-consumption of alcohol. A proper register is maintained by the officer in charge where he keeps all the records of the quantity of alcohol consumed by his soldiers. Intoxication is a serious offense under the Army Act punishable by imprisonment and even Court Martial in extreme cases.
The Indian Army is a responsible army and we have faith in our soldiers who are guarding our borders 24×7 so that we can live without fear. Salute to our brave soldiers.