Booze and dare? Imran, take a chill PIL..

Here, genie in the bottle?

Imran Khan, the young actor, has decided to “take on” the Maharashtra government. Why? Because he does not agree with the state raising the drinking age to 25:

“I am really disturbed by the state’s perception that the youth of today are a bunch of idiots. I am working with my legal team and plan to draft a petition. When one gets the right to vote at 18 and elect a government and even marry and have children at the age 21, to ban drinking for people below the age of 25 is ridiculous.”

It is and I don’t have a moral issue with people drinking but once again the elite are taking over. It reveals just the sort of people who lead closed lives and romanticise alcohol. As for idiocy, what has that got to do with whether you can swig a cocktail or not?

His knowledge is limited to a certain category of people:

“The issue is a raging debate on all social networking sites and most of the youth feel that it is unfair. It’s completely unfair to expect that one has to wait till one is 25 to exercise the freedom of choice regarding one’s lifestyle.”

I should assume he knows that ‘lifestyle’ is not restricted to what you imbibe. People are not born with visions of booze and they do not wait to grow up for that. If we take the argument even further then there are child labour laws that affect youngsters and they do not even elect the government, so should they talk about freedom of choice?

This is not on Imran’s radar. In fact, the quiet guy has come out with what will be perceived as a strong statement that may well catapult him to youth icon status because he has one of those ‘bold’ films coming up. I can see maamu jaan Aamir Khan’s strategy here. This is classic marketing AK style. So, why has the senior not raised a voice? Simple. He is now the face of many public service government campaigns so he cannot spoil his image.

Besides, this is about youth, the film is about youth. I wonder why Imran has not sneaked in the bit about how the youth can go down during sex, for that is one of the USPs of the film, or at least what the fed ‘scoops’ tell you . If he is so concerned about “right to choose” and how such laws should not be “imposed upon the youth”, will he also raise his voice about crimes committed against the youth? Paedophilia? Incest? Drug couriers? Imprisoned suspects?

There is no plausible reason for the Maharashtra government’s move, but this statement by Imran is shocking:

“This kind of regulation is bound to turn the youth into outlaws.”

What the hell does he mean? Are young people who drink law-abiding citizens with no criminal record? Has he not read about cases of drunken driving and people getting killed in the streets? If people do not get their favourite tipple, they will turn into outlaws? If the pub refuses to serve them, will they start smashing the bar?

Many do – when they are drunk. In the debate, no one seems to take into account the poor who become victims of spurious liquor even when it is freely available simply because they do not have a choice.

Has the government given this a thought? It would seem that this youth business that has gained momentum is essentially about a creamy layer. The charmed circle of Mumbai. Even the authorities will not enter many of these lounge bars to check on age, least of all the pub owners.

If you want to take on the government, then first go to some small town and find out about the ‘choices’ the youth there have in any matter.

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