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  Opinion   Edit  27 Mar 2023  AA Edit | India must win war on drugs

AA Edit | India must win war on drugs

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 27, 2023, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Mar 27, 2023, 1:42 am IST

According to World Drug Report 2022, India is one of the world’s single largest opiate markets in terms of users

The key to defeating the war against drugs is awareness. (Representational image)
 The key to defeating the war against drugs is awareness. (Representational image)

Data compiled by agencies including State-run ones and surveys by government and non-governmental agencies point to the sharp increase of the number of people who turn to drugs in India. This calls for a resolute action by the government and the people at large. According to World Drug Report 2022, released in June last year by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes, India is one of the world’s single largest opiate markets in terms of users. Registration of cases and seizures of drugs have also shown a sharp increase in India, post Covid. Some states have become hubs of drug trafficking and use.

Home minister Amit Shah in a recent meeting of senior ministers and officials of south Indian states insisted that the government will continue to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards narcotics. The government would treat the users as victims but those in the trade would get no leniency from the government, Mr Shah had earlier told parliament. He went out of the way and called for making the anti-drug movement a non-partisan one, saying “we won’t even say it is our government’s initiative, or our success. Let everyone help make India free of drugs”.

The home minister has a point when he says that the higher seizure of drugs and registration of drug-related crimes of late is because the government is strengthening policing mechanisms. However, the fact remains that, as Mr Shah acknowledged, cross border smuggling of drugs is a comprehensive problem. 

The key to defeating the war against drugs is awareness: the target of the drug mafia and those agencies and societies which fight them are the youth. The government must hence design campaign strategies to keep them, especially students, away from the menace. At the same time, a no-nonsense zero tolerance policy must be implemented with the iron hand of the law to deal with traffickers. It is a war India must win.

Tags: drugs, amit shah, drug trafficking racket, cross border smuggling, un office on drugs and crimes, world drug report 2022