Sure, in America we might have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as fundamental rights, and those things are swell. But how could the Founding Fathers leave out booze?

In India, a controversial minister is pushing for “drinking liquor” as a fundamental right in one of the country’s designated dry states, Madhya Pradesh.

While India might be one of the fastest-growing markets for liquor in the world, several states still have prohibition laws in effecta hangover from the days of Gandhi. Eighty-five-year-old minister Babulal Gaur wants to change all that, holding firm to his belief that drinking liquor is not only a status symbol in the country, but is important enough to be treated as an unalienable privilege.

“Alcohol does not increase crime. People lose their consciousness after consuming alcohol and that’s how it causes crime. The person who drinks within control does not cause crime,” he said. “One should not overdrink. It is one’s fundamental right. Drinking is a social status symbol these days”.

The highly charged claim comes on the heels of a recent outbreak of tainted alcohol in the country, which has killed 92 people this month. The worst outbreak in more than a decade was caused by illegally brewed home alcohol, hooch that had potentially been spiked with pesticides to increase its potency.


imfl-gyanizPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

What’s more, Indian whiskey brand Officer’s Choice toppled Smirnoff last week as the top-selling liquor in the world, hocking over 28 million cases in 2014. (That’s roughly one quarter bottle of Officer’s Choice for every Indian citizen.)

[via Quartz]