Madhya Pradesh Cabinet Minister Narayan Singh Kushwaha’s Unique Approach to Curb Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption has long been a concern in various parts of India, including Madhya Pradesh. Addressing this issue, Madhya Pradesh Cabinet Minister Narayan Singh Kushwaha recently proposed a rather unorthodox method aimed at curbing alcohol abuse among men. During a Nasha Mukti Abhiyan program in Bhopal, Kushwaha suggested that women should encourage their husbands to bring liquor home and drink it there, hoping that the shame of drinking in front of their families would discourage the habit.


Madhya Pradesh, like many other states in India, faces significant challenges with alcohol consumption. Efforts to control this problem have included awareness programs, rehabilitation centers, and stricter enforcement of alcohol-related laws. Despite these measures, alcohol abuse remains prevalent, prompting officials to seek new solutions.

The Minister’s Statement

At the Nasha Mukti Abhiyan program in Bhopal, Kushwaha made a striking recommendation. He advised women to tell their husbands to drink at home, in the presence of their families. The minister believes that the embarrassment of consuming alcohol in front of their wives and children would eventually lead men to quit drinking. Furthermore, he suggested that women should form ‘Belan’ gangs to confront their inebriated spouses and refuse to serve them food.

Rationale Behind the Suggestion

Kushwaha’s advice hinges on the psychological impact of shame. The idea is that men who are confronted with the consequences of their drinking—seeing the disapproval of their families and the disruption it causes—might feel a sense of guilt and remorse, ultimately deterring them from alcohol consumption.

Public Reaction

The public reaction to Kushwaha’s statement has been mixed. Some people appreciate the creative approach to a persistent problem, while others view it as impractical and potentially harmful. The media has widely covered the minister’s comments, sparking debates on the efficacy and ethics of such a strategy.

Criticism and Support

Critics argue that the minister’s suggestion oversimplifies the complex issue of alcohol addiction and might expose women to greater risk of domestic violence. On the other hand, supporters believe that any new approach that sparks conversation and raises awareness is a step in the right direction.

Alternative Measures

Existing strategies to combat alcoholism in Madhya Pradesh include stringent licensing laws, higher taxes on alcohol, and extensive public health campaigns. Compared to these measures, Kushwaha’s approach is more direct and personal, focusing on family dynamics rather than regulatory enforcement.

Social Dynamics and Alcoholism

Alcoholism significantly impacts family structures, often leading to domestic violence, financial instability, and emotional trauma for family members. By involving the family in the battle against alcohol, Kushwaha’s approach seeks to leverage the social pressure exerted by loved ones to bring about change.

Effectiveness of ‘Belan’ Gangs

The idea of ‘Belan’ gangs—women wielding rolling pins to confront their drunken husbands—is symbolic of a grassroots, community-driven effort to fight alcoholism. Historically, similar movements have seen varying degrees of success, often depending on the social and cultural context in which they were implemented.

Food Denial Strategy

Kushwaha’s advice to deny food to intoxicated men is another contentious point. This strategy aims to create a direct, immediate consequence for drinking, reinforcing the negative aspects of alcohol consumption. However, the effectiveness of this approach is debatable and could lead to unintended negative consequences, such as increased domestic tension or violence.

Legal and Policy Framework

Madhya Pradesh has strict laws regulating alcohol, but enforcement is often inconsistent. A potential statewide liquor ban is under consideration, although its effectiveness is questioned, given that alcohol is still accessible in states where such bans are already in place.

Comparative Analysis

States like Gujarat and Bihar have imposed liquor bans with mixed results. While these bans have reduced alcohol consumption in some areas, they have also led to illegal bootlegging and black-market sales. Comparing these scenarios with Madhya Pradesh can provide insights into what might work and what might not.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Public awareness campaigns play a crucial role in combating alcohol abuse. Educating people about the dangers of alcoholism and promoting healthier lifestyles can significantly reduce alcohol consumption. Successful campaigns often combine media outreach, community involvement, and support services for those struggling with addiction.

Future Prospects

The long-term impact of Kushwaha’s suggestion remains uncertain. While it has sparked a valuable discussion, its practical implementation and effectiveness are still in question. Future government actions will likely include a combination of public awareness, policy enforcement, and possibly new legislation aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.


Narayan Singh Kushwaha’s advice to women in Madhya Pradesh has certainly stirred debate and brought attention to the issue of alcohol abuse. While his approach is unconventional, it underscores the need for innovative solutions to this persistent problem. Whether or not his suggestions will lead to a significant reduction in alcohol consumption remains to be seen, but they have undeniably highlighted the importance of involving families and communities in the fight against addiction.

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