In India, about 2,000 people took part in a demonstration in the capital of New Delhi on Sunday (11 September) calling for a total ban on the sale of alcohol.
GV: Anti-alcoholic drinks demonstrators marching through New Delhi street, ringing bells and chanting (FIVE SHOTS)
GV: Crowd gathering at rallying-point
SCU & GV: Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai addressing gathering PAN TO crowd applauding and chanting. (FOUR SHOTS)
India's Central Prohibition Committee, which includes representatives of all states, decided in July that India should go "dry" in four years. At present, only the state governments have the power to pass laws outlawing drink. The planning Commission has been asked to work out how much the central government will have to pay the states in compensation for the excise duty they'll lose as a result of prohibition.
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Background: In India, about 2,000 people took part in a demonstration in the capital of New Delhi on Sunday (11 September) calling for a total ban on the sale of alcohol. They were also demanding a complete half to the slaughter of cows.
SYNOPSIS: Some of the demonstrators wore saffron robes and caps and carried saffron flags as they marched through the streets of the capital. Saffron is the colour often favoured by Indian priests and other holy men.
The demonstration was organised by followers of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform group totally opposed to alcoholism and the slaughter of cows, which are regarded as sacred by the Hindus.
Led by Mr. Ram Gopal Shalwale, a prominent member of the Arya Samaj, the marchers carried placards and shouted slogans as they paraded through the street.
The demonstrators were on their way to the New Delhi home of the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Morarji Desai, who's long been a staunch supporter of prohibition.
When the marchers reached Mr. Desai's residence, the Prime Minister came out and gave them a sympathetic hearing. He said he was determined to stamp out alcoholism throughout the country. And he assured the demonstrators that soon there would be no shops selling alcoholic drinks within 40 kilometres (25 miles) of the capital. He also said he supported their demand for a ban on cow slaughter in every Indian state. There are only three states where such a ban is not in operation.