On the Path to Forced Sobriety: The Church Spearheading the Temperance Movement

On the Path to Forced Sobriety: The Church Spearheading the Temperance Movement

ABSTRACT

The relationship held with liquor varies from person to person; a dear friend to those habituated to drinking however, a foe to those that lost a husband, a mother, a daughter and a son to liquor addiction, be it through consumption orharm induced by another consumer(s). The case of the Mizo Christians presents a unique construct on the making of a good Christian thoroughly rooted by the British Missionaries. One necessary pre-condition to the making of a good Christian was abstention from their beloved zu implying the renunciation to the ‘thing’ that held a tread that connected them to their cultural past. Thus, making abstention the symbol of the indigenized Christian and the culture left behind. The passing of years had only increased the Church’s aversion to the drink. Government policy enforced in 1973 had caused for such varieties to be introduced in the state. Prior to the introduction of the Mizoram Excise Act, 1973, civil society had done much to curb the proliferation of country liquor. The Mizoram Presbyterian Church in particular had lobbied for ‘total prohibition’ since 1991 which resulted in the enforcement of their objective, leading the reluctant Government to implement ‘forced sobriety’ in the state.

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