The manace of alcoholism in Naga homes and personal lives was first brought to public domain for debate by the Ao Baptist Churches Association (ABAM) in 1988 which was followed by mass support to do away with liquor trade led by the NBCC, NMA and NSF. After nearly a year of representations to the government and token protest in various forms to register public resentments, the infamous “Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition” 1989 was finally enacted as an Act under Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
But over the years the resultant of NLTP Act is like a toothless instrument to combat the life threatening element since there seems no pragmatic policy to help the victims of alcohol addiction from either the govt. or churches or NGOs besides the stringent policy to curb the defaulters of either the trade or the users of alcohol and award exemplary punishments. Hence in some areas the situation grew worse than before, especially, the growth of abusive drug users. The overwhelming flow of spurious IMFL from across the State and encouragement of the syndicate form of alcohol business is rather a boon for some spineless greedy money mongers, which cut short the lives of many alcoholics.
Over the years, different groups of people are pressurising the State Govt to either lift or partially modify the NLTP Act 1989 and legalise Liquor Trade in Nagaland; citing examples of its failures and also the failure of the similar policy in other Indian states and aboard. With sound intention, and of course looking at the well-being of our non revenue generating State; to provide better quality of alcohol to consumers at reasonable prices, to stop black marketing of IMFL etc. But our State government seems to be in a jam between the Churches and its people.
Due to pressure from various angles, the govt and concern law enforcing agencies have come up with multiple policies to apprehend the alcohol traders in the past but any tiny flaw in the system has been the channel for easy flow of the spurious IMFL into our dry State.
Now, the biggest challenge for the government and the church is to legalise the once banned alcohol trade in the so called Nagaland for Christ which when succumbed to the pressure groups to lift the NLPT Act. in fact, as Christians we will be demeaning the value of Christianity to a state of bargainable commodity.
This liquor ban in Nagaland was not the wisdom of common people but it is believed to be from above. It is evident that alcoholism is the mother of all addictions, besides abusive substances, which includes addiction into immorality, love of money, love of power etc. Unlike, other state Law, Act or Bill this NLTP 1989 is a sacred Act which bear the signatures, prayers and tears of many fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. “In a nutshell it bears the pains of many Families”. The lifting of the NLTP Act 1989 is never going to be a bonus in any aspect but Nagaland and its people will be invoking an irreparable divine CURSE for it will tantamount to blasphemy and testing the nerve of our living God who brought Naga people from the darkness to light, from shame to pride and from the slavery of paganism to the freedom of the great gospel of Christ Jesus. People are tend to commit sins because as human beings we are given the privilege to choose from right and wrong, as human nature we can’t be right all the time so there is always a door wide open for reconciliation with God if we earnestly seek His face.
(We have a source of comfort here as the Bible says, “Call unto me, I will hear .” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Finally, it seems again that our God has heard the cries of His people which is evident in the Churches’ schedules of fixing “Detoxification Camps” for its congregation who are combating to hang up addictions of any abusive substance. One of which just concluded it’s week long program in Ao Baptist Church Diphupar. Here we witnessed the testimony of 29 alcoholics being freed from the bondage of years of alcoholism. A very special congratulations to the Churches and NGOs/Ministries who have embarked on such noble and Christ like character; to initiate and to HELP these helpless people drawn into alcoholism for years, even decades. Honestly speaking, our churches would have taken up such moral lessons first before suggesting the BAN because Disciplining has proved to be more effective than Restrictions.
Now, it is evident that our State govt. too have a parental role to play instead of simply strengthening the security forces because this battle is not against alcoholism but it’s a battle against the powers of the dark world – the Satanic regime. The government is suggested to incorporate some chapters or a completly separate subject in Schools on “Healthy way of Life” covering academic exercises on the health and moral hazards due to alcoholism, drug abuse, sex abuse , early marriage, teenage love affairs, misuse of technology and the advantages of good governance etc etc
“I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle”
Jeremiah 8:6 NIV
Friends!! I was an addict to all abusive substances for 27 long years (till early 2008). But it was through the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the tear-filled prayers of my late mama on her knees for 27 years I’m a Freeman today.
I request the government, churches, families and our society to know that these addicts to abusive substances are sick people, it’s a disease; another syndrome of inferiority complex, without it they believe life is incomplete which is a total nonsense.
They’ve to be made known that they are a special species for God’s grace to be revealed through them and they are extremely LOVED AND CARED by the World too.
Chairman, Action Committee NLTP Act 1989.
Diphupar Naga Students’ Union
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