My last week piece on drug abuse raised some questions which – if not answered – will leave the debate incomplete. By asking `is it really that bad’, I never meant `all is well’. Mine was not a plain dismissal of a horrible reality we are facing. The feedback I received from my esteemed readers including some noted psychiatrists of the valley educated me about the phenomenon of drug abuse. `It is even worse’, I got a response. Without disagreeing with my friends and readers, (and with little explanation to add) I hold on to my view I had.
My question is simple and straight which needs no expertise, no research, no findings, no study. It hits anyone who is bothered. All I hinted at was to control our itch to sensationalise the issue so much that we ourselves make it much bigger than it actually is. Recall the scandal of girl-trafficking busted in the state some years back. In a bid to expose the dirt we took care lest the whole land look dirty. After all we were fighting a few brothels without brothelizing our society in the process. The same logic I apply here. Fight drug menace with all seriousness, maturity and responsibility it demands, but don’t present us as a people drugged beyond cure. Plug the leak, damn the flood but don’t miss the hazy line between the sense and the sensation. An impulsive report suggesting 70% to 80% people of all age range tested positive gives a shock unless we know the sample size from where the conclusion is derived. It still is alarming, but a single hasty reading can be numerically misleading.
No matter what the proportion of the problem, we can’t deny the problem itself. How sick we are can be a matter of debate but sick we are. If drugs are smuggled into families, schools, colleges, business establishments and all other institutions of earning and learning, who are the people behind this sinister deal. Like some acts which can’t be carried out without a physical intervention, the drug deal involves people who are visible and tractable. You don’t need to hack them like you hack a cyber deal. They are flesh and blood, not icons blinking on a computer screen which evade even the best of hackers. Those who consume drugs are victims to those who sell. (The scheme applies to political and ideological drugs also which some sell, some consume). Sure we should watch the movement of our children in schools and colleges, but who is there to watch the movement behind the scene. What is the police for? Why don’t law enforcing agencies crack down on the whole drug mafia like they do in case of other activities? Or may be they are doing, but the sting has to be harder. If activities of political nature are curbed no matter it involves a gross use of force, what about this? Here any use of force will be appreciated as long as it punishes criminals and saves victims from a perpetual pain.
Catch them, save us.