Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said his newly-formed party Makkal Needhi Maiam does not believe that prohibition is the answer to reducing alcohol consumption in Tamil Nadu. In his column in the Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, Haasan underlined the need to check the easy availability of alcohol.

“We do not need so many Tasmac [Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation] outlets,” Haasan wrote. “It is easier to locate a Tasmac outlet than a post office. This has to change.”

A total ban on alcohol would lead to the rise of liquor mafia in the state, Haasan said. “My belief is that it is not possible to make everyone in the state give up alcohol,” he said. “If such a thing is done, then these citizens will take to murdering and wreak havoc.” Haasan claimed the human body cannot stomach such a sudden change.

He accused other political parties of being hypocritical on the matter. “First they speak of prohibition,” he said. “Then they favour the sale of alcohol. It is worrying that politicians insist on setting up Tasmac shops even near schools.” Opposition parties have been demanding prohibition to gain women’s votes, he alleged.