All the party lovers, while you've already decided the venue and made the list of guests, I hope you didn't miss out on the booze check! That's right. You may be all set for your party but a dry day could wreck your plans.
So if you like throwing parties once in a while or you like having a drink all by yourself on a rough night and you don't want it to clash with a dry day, here's to stocking up for future. But before jumping to the list, let's understand what it means and why we really need them.
What Is A Dry Day?
A dry day refers to a particular day of the calendar when the sale of alcohol is banned. This not only includes liquor shops but also bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol. Multiple events can result in a dry day, such as national or state elections, festivals etc, like the Independence day or Republic day.
On this day, not only is the sale of alcohol banned, even consumption of alcohol is banned in public places. While dry days are only restricted to a particular day in most cases, they have different durations when an election takes place. The election commission imposes a ban on alcohol sale 48 hours ahead of the closing of polls in the voting constituency.
Types of Dry Days
While we now know what are dry days, we must also know about the different types of dry days.
State Dry Day - In this case, a dry day is observed only in the concerned state on a particular day. It is allowed for people in other states to consume alcohol and there are no restrictions on the same.
National Dry Day - A national dry day means drinking is prohibited for all the states and union territories on that particular day.
India has 3 National Dry Days :- Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti.
International Dry Day - In this case, the blanket ban on alcohol for a particular day increases to the entire world. Examples of this include the International Dry Day on October 2nd
Election Days - These dry days occur when an election is taking place. Election Dry days are enforced during the voting process as well as on the day the counting of votes takes place.
Why Do Dry Days Happen In India
While you may be wondering as to why exactly do states observe a dry day, we should know that they exist for a variety of reasons in India.
They are declared mainly to respect religious or patriotic sentiments of the public and to honour a religious festival. Some dry days are commonly known, such as Independence Day or the Republic Day, in order to pay respect to the freedom fighters of India. But dry days aren't only restricted to these national holidays.
For example, the day our Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was born is also regarded as a dry day. This is because he was a strong proponent of total prohibition. This is also the reason why alcohol is banned in the entire state of Gujarat. The state enforces alcohol prohibition as a homage to Mahatma Gandhi's values.
His views on alcohol are widely known. Once, when he was part of a debate discussing the monetary gains one makes from the sale of alcohol he said "I venture to suggest to you that it is a matter of deep humiliation for the country to find its children educated from drink revenue. We shall deserve the curse of posterity if we do not wisely decide to stop the drink evil, even though we may have to sacrifice the education of our children."
Therefore, not only October 2 is regarded as a dry day in India, but it is also regarded as World No Alcohol Day since 2008.
Since alcohol is a subject under the State List in the Constitution of India the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.
Some states, such as Bihar also practice prohibition. Another argument in favour of dry days and alcohol prohibition, in general, is that it helps in reducing gender inequality. Several studies have shown how states which have stricter alcohol consumption laws in place report lower threats of violence against women.
In some states like West Bengal, drinking and serving alcohol in 5-star hotels, clubs and resorts is permitted. Only the open sale of liquor at restaurants, liquor shops and other permitted places is disallowed on those days.
Additionally, during elections, dry days are held because in the past it has been found that alcohol has been used to bribe voters in the rural areas. During the elections, reports are widespread of liquor and cash being seized by the election commission. A report by the election commission showed that as much as Rs192.067 crore (about $28 million) worth of alcohol intended for bribes has been seized so far by the authorities. Therefore, the concept of a dry day is used when elections are around the corner, to ensure that liquor is not used as an incentive to create a vote bank and the purity of the democratic process is maintained.
Another reason why dry days or prohibition is practiced is to curtail the growing consumption of Alcohol in India. India's is one of the fastest-growing markets for alcohol consumption. To prevent public health and safety issues, dry days and prohibition of alcohol are used as federal mechanisms. Therefore states like Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur etc have enforced complete prohibition on alcohol in their states.
List of dry days in Mumbai 2021
14th (Thursday) - Makar Sankranti
26th (Tuesday) - Republic Day
30th (Saturday) - Martyr's Day/Shaheed Diwas
19th (Wednesday) - Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti
8th (Monday) - Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti
11th (Thursday) - Mahashivratri (Iss pe special dard hua)
29th (Monday) - Holi
2nd (Friday) - Good Friday
14th (Wednesday) - Ambedkar Jayanti
21st (Wednesday) - Ram Navami
25th (Sunday) - Mahavir Jayanti
1st (Saturday) - Maharashtra Day (Maharashtra)
12th (Wednesday) - Eid ul-Fitr (begins on this day)
13th (Thursday) - Eid ul-Fitr (ends on this day)
20th (Tuesday) - Ashadi Ekadashi
24th (Saturday) - Guru Purnima
10th (Tuesday) - Muharram
15th (Sunday) - Independence Day
30th (Monday) - Janmashthami
10th (Friday) - Ganesh Chaturthi
19th (Sunday) - Anant Chaturdashi
2nd (Saturday) - Gandhi Jayanti
8th (Friday) - Prohibition Week (Maharashtra)
15th (Friday) - Dussehra
18th (Monday) - Eid-e-Milad
20th (Wednesday) - Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti
4th (Thursday) - Diwali
14th (Sunday) - Kartiki Ekadashi
19th (Friday) - Guru Nanak Jayanti
25th (Saturday) - Christmas
In addition to the above days, a dry day is observed on the following days too-
- Election Day
- Ram Navami
- Maha Shivaratri
- Eid al-Adha
- Eid al-Fitr
- Milad un Nabi
So that's the full list of dry days that Mumbai is going to see in 2021. Read and save it in order to make sure there aren't any unplanned surprises when you reach the club or bar.