Nothing kills as incompletely-yet-completely as drugs!!! A hollow shell of a man remains behind while his remains float out to sea or return back to the dust. But no matter where it goes and what it does – that is, whether it floats away in waves or plummets to the depths of the earth – it seldom…if at all…flies!
A very good day to all those sane and sober men and women out there. To the others, I simply offer my condolences for there is very little I can do through this article to bring you back to life. And just in case, to those reading this…if it sounds too grim…let me assert…it’s because…IT REALLY IS!
“Drugs” is a strange sword…and like the sword, it possesses both the ability to assist and annihilate. While on the one hand and in the hands of a qualified doctor, it has the power to save lives; on the other hand and in the hands of the young Punjabi youth, it has the power to ruin lives…forever! And that is the story of “Girta Punjab” [or “Falling Punjab”. And I am truly sorry, I could not even bring myself to say ‘Udta’ Punjab…after all, the power of flight rests in the hands of W”RIGHT” brothers].
Of course, from the philosophical and the surreal, let us now move into the realm of the real, that is — hard core facts…and simply for the sake of optimism, I shall choose only two. [For if I were to list all the cold bare facts, I’d probably sink in deep wells of depression…as would you].
Fact 1: According to the NCRB (i.e. National Crime Records Bureau), Punjab recorded the highest number of people being booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances or the NDPS Act of 1985.
Fact 2: Furthermore, NCRB reports that Punjab has aced and claimed the highest rate of drug abuse amongst its youth — standing tall at a whopping 51.6% against a meagre 2.8% national average. [See, maybe I WAS wrong, for they are indeed flying high!]
Now do you see what I mean…51.6%?!?
When you see those ‘HIGH’ numbers, you seriously need to stop and think for a moment…where have we gone wrong? Especially, since arresting them is not an option; punishing them is not the intention; and locking them up in a de-addiction centre is not a solution. For the drug problem that has gripped Punjab in its tight embrace is simply a symptom of a larger malaise. But what is this malaise? Well, let me take you to the trusted and tested concepts of human psychology.
When a man is poor, all his life is spent in the back-breaking pursuit of some food, clothing and shelter. If and when he attains these three basic needs and has some cash to spare, he then uses the extra cash to indulge in some extra extravagance [let’s call that ‘Jayaz Shaukh’ or ‘Legitimate Desires’]. But when he earns a lot more, he yearns a lot more too…and thus, gives in to his ‘Illegitimate Desires’ or ‘Najayaz Shaukh’].
And that is what ails Punjab too. As a prosperous state, the affluence influences the Punjabi youth. For he no longer finds happiness in the fruits of his labour as a farmer. And yet there are few and far between white-collar jobs available to occupy his idle time and idle mind. [Note: Punjab ranks 5th in the country by virtue of its high unemployment rates. Source: Economic Survey 2012-13, Government of India].
Thus, when there is so little to occupy their idle minds, the devil rises to get fast at work. And soon, he consumes it all. For have you ever looked deep into the depths of a drug addict’s eyes? If you have, you know…there’s no life there…the devil robbed him of life a long time ago.