Look at these facts about Indian attitude towards alcohol consumption in India.
Maintaining a bar at home stuffed with a variety of good spirits and beers as well as wines in double earning middle class families has become a status symbol. Alcohol is no more to be a privately consumed vice across all classes and castes. Rather in the privacy and comforts of home alcohol is best enjoyed in the company of friends.
Visit gourmetindia.com and you will see what the site says - 'Too much of anything is bad, but too much of a good whisky is barely enough.' !
In tandem with global phenomenon, Indian youth is falling into alcohol attraction faster than ever. A NIMHANS study reveals that the average age of alcohol consumption in India has fallen by nearly nine years over the past decade, from 28 years to 19 years and projected to fall further to 15 years in another five to seven years. Blame it on liberalised generation.
Wine has become cool and sophisticated drink. Statistics show that consumption of wine has increased by over 25 % in recent years, perhaps because added to change in social attitudes, quite a few independent medical research have revealed that wine, especially red wine contains reservatrol, an ingredient proved to be beneficial for its cardiovascular, anti-cholesterol and anti-inflammatory properties.
Look at the commercial scenario. Indian alcohol market has crossed a whopping $ 14 billion in 2008 and projected to grow @ 10% per year - a growth rate more than China, US and Europe combined! Yet the imported liquor share is very meagre. Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron says, he hopes his flagship United Spirits Ltd to top the world's liquor market. Not without reason; in addition to the Karnataka Govt. liberalising its wine policy, now said to be more liberal than Goa, in India, he says, the fact that every year a 100 million potential consumers attain legal drinking age, which alone should help realise his aim in next five years! India is already the third largest market in the world and with the tag of second largest population, I will not be surprised if it becomes the biggest alcohol market in the world soon. In recent times viniculture has rapidly expended, thanks to Govt. declaration that wine is a family drink. In and around Bangalore area of vineyards is rapidly increasing. Bangalore has become a noticeable wine exporter with rapid growth in wine export to countries such as UK, France and the US! State Govt. support for viniculture has helped greatly in this 'achievement'.
In America, in recent times, because of the liberalisation, the Govt. is facing drastic increase in alcohol related crimes. I have reason to believe that it will increase more drastically in India, if not already. But then in America, law enforcement is far more superior in all respects than the shoddy state of law in India. Unless youth awareness is brought in on a war footing instead of Governments keeping its eyes only on revenue earnings, I don't see any bright future to this country. I do not have dumb hopes. I can only shout - 'Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai' and MERA BHARAT MAHAAN !