By now, I am sure you’ve have heard about Alcohol free Deepavali 2015. Here the Facebook page if you haven’t.
This campaign is the combined efforts of UNITY ( United National Indian Teams of Youths), ASAPCOM ( Alcohol Substance Abuse Prevention, Control & Rehab Council of Malaysia), Malaysian Hindu Youth Organization- HYO and other Indian – Hindu NGOs.
All these organizations are like minded in combating alcoholism culture on Deepavali. They have a plan to extend this campaign beyond Deepavali because the alcoholism among Malaysian Indians doesn’t only make us look bad in the eyes of the other races because of Malaysian Indian males’ tendency to become violent then so intoxicated, they sleep in public places after thanni goes in, it also paralyses our economy, that is the money spent by Malaysian Indians on alcohol that can be used for other community uplifting causes.
You know that this is a serious problem when alcohol Free Deepavali 2015 got full support from the Ministry of Health and Majlis Belia Malaysia.
Why alcoholism and Malaysian Indians is bad not only on Deepavali
Some studies suggest Malaysian Indians spend about RM150Mil for alcohol and entertainment during this festival season. Think about that for a moment. Let the amount of money spent on alcohol in approximately one week alone, sink in. We can fund Tamil schools with cash to spare with that amount of money. Per annum, Malaysian Indians spend RM750 mil on liquor..!! I am mereselaiten! I am feeling like Sivaji The Boss:
Indeed, with that kind of money spent on alcohol, it’s laughable when we say Indians are poor. Alcoholism and Malaysian Indians relationship need to be broken up NOW and the money, spent on alcohol, spent on worthy causes.
For example, to eradicate poverty among Malaysian Indians, those displaced Indians that live dangerously in slums fringing the urban cities and suburbs or the types that are featured on Kannadi, this money, spent on alcohol can be used. I especially pity the children who have little to eat and not going to school. We can establish bodies and NGOs and see that the money be channeled to those who need it most.
I will give you just one example. My Chinese friend told me that kids in Chinese vernacular schools go house to house to ask for donations for their schools (Chinese houses of course). They make it a competition, who can raise more money for their school. She said her father gets angry because he pays income tax and yet his daughter has to act like a monkey so that her school can have the necessary amenities.
We all know how well Tamil schools are doing despite the lack of facilities. Imagine what Tamil school kids can do if they’re properly funded. I would like to stress here that we should stop giving to temples and start giving to schools. Education will uplift a whole community. We have enough temples for god’s sake. No need to build a temple for each 333 million gods. Not only that, we can give to organisations like ASTI, Project Ilham, Tamil School Transformation Program and Education, Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia.
And, you know what, this Deepavali would be a good start to break the bond of alcoholism and Malaysian Indians.
Alcoholism and Malaysian Indians, a breakable bond by religious imposition and a shift of priorities
Although Hinduism doesn’t forbid alcohol consumption, it doesn’t encourage it either. If you drink, you certainly cannot attain moksha. From being a religious festival on the platform of good overcoming evil – Lord Krishna slaying Narakasura, Deepavali has become a party festival with free flowing booze. It’s okay to enjoy the festival by merry making and eating but they shouldn’t be left to cloud the significance of the festival. Deepavali should not be just another excuse to booze. Certain degree of reverence for this festival is required.
Like how you won’t drink on Ponggal or Navarathri, Deepavali accounts as the same. Ill results and harm to health and other people is something one shouldn’t do on religious festivals.
The objectives of this Alcohol Free Deepavali 2015 aren’t only to clarify and Stress that Deepavali is a Religious Festival like Thaipusam and Navarathiri and to promote Alcohol Free Deepavali Celebration to resurrect value base realization but also to separate alcoholism and Malaysian Indians by reducing Wasteful Expenses on alcohol during the festival and non-festival times. Alcoholism and Malaysian Indians have been long associated – the term India mabuk. It’s not something to be proud of. It’s shameful.
Alcohol Free Deepavali 2015 campaign is holding CHEERS program where individuals can donate their money meant to be spent on alcohol to be donated to orphaned children in the kindred spirit of Deepavali.
So, think again before drinking. Let’s break the affinity between alcoholism and Malaysian Indians for the sake of our community.
Happy alcohol free Deepavali folks!