news Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed | The News Minute | October 14, 2014 | 04:00 pm IST The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) which last Sunday, held protests and stopped a beer-drinking fest from being held at a reputed hotel in Chennai has said that it intends to continue opposition against similar such events if held again. ‘Octofiesta – Drink Up’, a beer-fest was advertised by the Hotel Radission Blu in Egmore calling out to people to group in fives and drink at a ‘beer drinking relay’. When cadres of the ABVP, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh protested and called the police to the spot, the event was cancelled. “When we went there, they(hotel management) refused initially. We are a private group, why are you interefering, they told us,” said Muthuramalingam, the ABVP district organizing secretary. The student wing has been campaigning against the use of alcohol in the state for a year. “Beer drinking is not illegal. An organization or a restaurant that holds a festival is wrong. Even those people who are normal start drinking more to win the competition. It is illegal,” he said. The organization also had strong views on the Tamil Nadu Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) which almost has complete monopoly on alcohol sale in the state. “During this one year campaign against alcohol , we have even been protesting in front of TASMACs. What the government is doing is wrong. Instead, they can give the money to the poor for foods .,” said Shanmugaraja, the ABVP PRO. “The government is getting 20 per cent business from these alcohol sales. But that does not mean they can give poison to the people. We are giving other alternatives to gain income, but the government is not listening,” said Muthuramalingam. Liquor sales through the state’s TASMACs account for more than a quarter of Tamil Nadu’s tax revenues. Revenues have shot up from Rs. 3,639 crore in 2003 to Rs. 21,674 in the last decade, reported The Hindu. According to Muthuramalingam, bars and restaurants don’t have permission to hold beer festivals. “If they had asked for permission, they would have been stopped. But even when they didn’t ask permissison, we went ahead and stopped the event,” he said. The student organization intends to hold a bicycle rally from Kanyakumari to Chennai starting on December 6 and ending on January 12 as a signature campaign against alcohol use. Read Beer-drinking fest cancelled after student wing of Sangh Parivar protests

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