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Prohibition bad for India's health

| India
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A waiter pours a mug of beer at a pub in Mumbai.   © Reuters

India's state governments are embracing bans on the sale of alcohol, seeing prohibition as a way to check crimes against women, reduce road accidents caused by drunken driving and, most importantly, woo voters to win elections.

There is no lack of believers. Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, one of the poorest Indian states, introduced strict prohibition on April 1, shortly after winning a third consecutive state election. Kerala recently banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in all bars and restaurants except those in 5-star hotels. And J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of the big southern state of Tamil Nadu, recently promised to phase out alcohol sales.

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