Mokokchung, 9 September (MTNews): In recent times, the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act has become a hot-button issue, sparking intense debates and discussions within the state and beyond. The focus has primarily centered on the perceived failure of the Act, raising questions about the factors contributing to its shortcomings and the role of the church in the ongoing debate.
The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), through a press release on 9 September, argued over the issue stating that “the Act was legislated to be implemented and not left in cold storage.”
The NBCC also noted that there has been strong objection to the church’s voice against NLTPA, with some stating that the church cannot impose its morals onto secular society.
“If by this, they mean that the church cannot impose theocracy, they are right. But as a Christian majority society, if they mean that the church should not contribute to the formation of societal standards and welfare, it is wrong,” argued the NBCC.
Furthermore, the Church acknowledged that there are people who opine that the Act should be completely done away with while arguing that the church should not define what is right and wrong for society. Meanwhile, according to the NBCC, there are others who argue from a revenue perspective, as if NLTPA has drained the state’s revenue dry. At the same time, the NBCC observed that there are still others who propose a trial approach without knowledge of the Act of 1967.
To this, the NBCC argued that it was the unregulated Act that “created havoc” in the society in just two decades. “Random issuance of permits and licenses became the main issue, leading to a situation that went out of control. The regulated Act miserably failed! Had that Act been implemented, the Act of 1989 could have had better success,” stated the NBCC.
Furthermore, the NBCC argued that the Nagaland Excise Act of 1967 was a regulated Act that proved to be a failure. The NBCC further highlighted how the Act had clearly defined the power, penalties, procedures, and limitations but did not work due to rampant manipulation.
“This led to an uncontrolled situation where liquor was let loose in Nagaland. It became a business run and controlled by a few, and those who could not get into the system sought other alternatives,” added the NBCC.