Rajasthan: Sale of liquor down, bhang up as devotees celebrate ‘Shravan’ | Jaipur News

KOTA: The sale of liquor has gone down sharply and more ‘bhang‘ is being sold at licensed shops during the holy month of ‘Shravan‘, observed enthusiastically by the devotees of Lord Shiva.
According to traders and shopkeepers here and in neighbouring districts, the sale of non-vegetarian food has also dipped with the devotees observing abstinence.
Bundi District Excise Officer Manoj Bissa said the sale of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor fell significantly with many Hindus avoiding alcohol due to their religious beliefs.
Bissa said in his district the sale of such liquor came down to 55,000 litres in July (16 days of ‘Shravan’ fell in the month) from the average monthly sale of 80,000, while that of beer slipped to 1.36 lakh litres from 3.10 lakh litres in June and 4 lakh litres the month before.
He said what may have also contributed to this dip is that most labourers stay away from their work during the rainy season as mines are filled with water.
He said the sale of bhang, believed to be a favourite of Lord Shiva, at licensed shops has remained unaffected, and in fact it has gone up at some places.
Amit Sharma, a licensed contractor for bhang in Bundi, said, “The sale has witnessed a 15-20 per cent rise. People also offer it to Lord Shiva with Bilva Patra. It is distributed as ‘prasad’ at some Shiva temples during Shravan.”
“Some of those who usually take liquor make do with bhang during Shravan,” he added.
Shravan this year commenced on July 14 and is scheduled to end on Purnima on August 11.
Akhraj Singh, a salesman at the liquor shop No. 1 in Bundi, said his evenings at the shop are not as busy as they used to be earlier.
“The number of customers has declined to around 40 per cent from the usual, because people avoid liquor during the holy month,” he said.
With the sale declining, many non-vegetarian food outlets and restaurants have stopped opening on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Abdul Kareem Khan, the proprietor of a popular non-vegetarian eatery chain with four branches in Kota city, said their sale has dipped to 40 per cent.
“People belonging to Hindu religion tend to follow ‘Saatvik Jeevan’ (pure) with prayers and worship to God,” he said.
The sale of vegetarian food too has also come down as people prefer homemade ‘Saatvik’ meals in the holy month, he said.
Love Singh, the owner of another non-vegetarian food outlet, said, “The business has come down to 75 per cent during the month.”
A local resident here said, “My family stays away from liquor and non-veg food during Sawan. In other months, we usually take these things twice a week.”

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