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Hike in drinking age a gimmick, say Mumbai youngsters

Wednesday June 01, 2011 07:52:37 PM, IANS

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Maharashtra raises minimum age for alcohol consumption

In an attempt to discourage youngsters from consuming alcohol, the Maharashtra government Wednesday raised the minimum age for drinking beer from 18 to 21 years and for hard liquor from 21 to 25 years.  »

Mumbai: Terming the Maharashtra government's decision to hike the minimum age for consuming liquor as "unnecessary", Mumbai youth Wednesday said the move was a gimmick on the part of the government and will not work.

"It is a gimmick on the part of the state. It is trying to be a protectionist state, but in actuality it is a pretentious state. We all know that it won't be difficult for 19-year-olds to procure beer. The government's machinery is weak and it will not be able to keep a check on bars and wine shops that sell these drinks. Such laws are just too superficial to work," said 20-year-old Chirag Thakkar, a student.

In an attempt to discourage youngsters from consuming alcohol, the state government Wednesday raised the minimum age for drinking beer from 18 to 21 and hard liquor from 21 to 25.

Twenty one-year-old Vineet Ullal, a social media strategist, said there was no point in putting such restrictions.

"I am a social drinker and if it is a law, I would abide by it. But the government will have to understand that there is no way they can keep a check on this all the time. Moreover, a 21-year-old in this age and time is already a working professional and knows his responsibilities well. What is the point of such age restrictions," he asked.

Uday Deshwal, 22, termed the move as wastage of time. "Instead of wasting time in something that is not going to fetch results, the government should invest time in something that does," he said.

"Those who drink are going to drink at home, if not allowed at a bar," he added.

Angad Dutta, a 23-year-old radio professional welcomed the step, but only partly.

"At 21, anyone is mature enough to decide their preference. I advocate the beer drinking age going up to 21, but it could be the same for hard drinks too. Nobody will wait till they are 25 to consume hard liquor," he said.

Agreed Avinash Tolani, a 21-year-old student, saying that 21 is the perfect drinking age and there is no point pushing it to 25.

"This is totally inappropriate and unnecessary. What is the government going to do to keep a check on this? Moreover, it is an individual's choice. Everyone is mature and responsible enough to decide on their preferences. I believe 21 was the perfect drinking age and the government should have stuck to it," he said.

Announcing the move earlier in the day, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan denied that it was an attempt at moral policing by the state and said that the decision was taken unanimously by the state cabinet.




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