Gandhi Jayanti 2022: Why is 2 October dry day in India?


Gandhi Jayanti is being observed all over the country as both political leaders and common citizens come together to pay tribute to ‘Bapu’. Many people continue to be inspired by Gandhi’s ideals and philosophy. The government too remains committed to fulfilling the vision put forth by Mahatma Gandhi for India and has taken several steps to bring it to reality. One such step is declaring a dry day on 2 October. On this day, all establishments that have liquor licenses- bars, hotels, restaurants, wholesale dealers and even casinos- have been forbidden to sell alcohol. The policy of a dry day on Gandhi Jayanti has been followed by the government for decades.

Why is a dry day observed on Gandhi Jayanti?

A dry day is observed on the birth anniversary of the ‘Father of the Nation’ to highlight Gandhi’s philosophy on alcohol. The noted leader was against alcohol consumption. He had frequently voiced his opposition to the sale of alcohol and drugs. “The drink and the drug evil is in many respects infinitely worse then the evil caused by malaria and the like; for, whilst the latter only injure the body, the former saps both body and soul,” wrote Gandhi in an issue of Young India. In India’s Case for Swaraj, he called liquor “an invention of the devil” and enumerated its harmful effects.

Gandhi frequently spoke about prohibition of alcohol and even encouraged women to picket liquor shops. He was one of the biggest proponents of the temperance movement in the country.

After India gained independence in 1947, the Constituent Assembly put prohibition of alcohol in the Directive Principles of State Policy. These policies, while not enforceable on the government, serve as guidelines about what the country should work on. It was Gandhi’s opposition to alcohol that largely guided the Constituent Assembly to add this point. The leader’s home state, Gujarat, follows the policy of prohibition.

What other days are considered dry days in India?

The other two national holidays, Independence Day and Republic Day, are considered dry days as well. Apart from that the sale of alcohol is also prohibited on election days, Many states have their own list of dry days.

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Gandhi Jayanti 2022: Why is 2 October dry day in India?
Gandhi Jayanti 2022: Why is 2 October dry day in India?
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