Friday, September 22, 2023

CBCC dismayed over demand to lift NLTP Act

The Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC) has expressed its displeasure over the decision of the Dimapur civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) vis-à-vis the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act.

Acknowledging that the Act was a total failure not only in Dimapur district but in other districts as well, the council in a statement alleged that it had never been seriously implemented since its inception.
The council pointed out that no Act would be effective unless it was implemented with conscientious efforts, adding that the NLTP Act had remained on paper without any proper mechanism to let it work.

Lamenting that all government machineries as well as the CSOs had miserably failed on the matter, the CBCC alleged that the failure had been intentional thus far.
According to the council, the irony of the NLTP Act was that the authorities did nothing substantial to keep the Act effective and then started blaming the Act itself for being ineffective.

“If the CSOs have the audacity to appeal for the lifting of the Act, they have the authority as well as the capacity to strengthen the Act. If the CSOs and Govt authorities claim to be ignorant about where the loopholes are in executing the NLTP Act, they are inefficient to hold their positions because they are not only incapable but unreliable,” the statement pointed out.

The council mentioned that booze joints were a common sight in the so-called dry state, with bootleggers being acquaintances of the law keepers, mini mineral water shops with pigeon holes, etc, all operating right under the nose of the authorities.

According to the council, it was an open secret that consignments were also transported in the cars and lorries of the law keepers. Since there was a war against drugs, it stated that calling for lifting of the liquor prohibition Act was ridiculous.

Asking the CSOs to enlighten the public the difference between the two evils, the CBCC mentioned that as for the church, it would choose none. Hence, it insisted that the NLTP Act must stay because the war against drugs must go on, adding “two-wrongs do not make a right”.
It noted that the primary mistake was intentionally not implementing the Act, then moving on to lift the whole Act for not being effective

The council said the church did not deny that it had failed because local churches as well as the associations had not done enough to be moral and spiritual guardians of their members in many ways. However, it pointed out that the church had limitations when it came to executing legal matters.

The council stated that the church could not usher in transformation to the masses when the state had no will to act or work. The state government was the guardian of law and order, but if it was half-hearted or had no will at all to safeguard the morality of its citizens, then it was directly or indirectly inviting anarchy and social anomie.

Noting that revenue was another temptation to ruin human lives, the church body said capitalism had always impacted human life adversely, lamenting that prosperity craze had overshadowed human dignity in the land.
It however stressed that human beings were not raw materials for revenue generation, calling for choosing human dignity above economic development.

Contending that influx of spurious liquor was a genuine concern, the council said liquor however did not come to the state on its own, but brought by people who were not ordinary citizens.
“So, should people amend their attitude and conduct or allow liquor to come to our State legally and ruin people’s lives? You cannot drink what you do not have but you will always be tempted to take what you do not need if it is readily available. Telling people not to use after providing it is illogical,” the statement pointed out.

Quoting a “reliable source”, the CBCC alleged that the genesis of the NLTP Act was an external conspiracy of “a bottle in every office” to ruin Nagaland, which prompted the church to go on a hunger strike to save the land and people.

The council lauded the state leadership of the time that brought in the legislation, adding that no sensible government would dismantle what was passed to safeguard the state and its citizens.



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