Politicians have long been conspiring to defame the state by branding the youth as drug addicts. But the negative propaganda of political parties stands exposed now as only 1,542 out of 1.12 lakh male aspirants for the post of police constables tested positive in the dope test made mandatory by the Punjab government.
Dope test has put the addictive-drug users at 1.36%, which shatters false claims of politicians – as the results are nowhere close to often, repeated statement that ‘more than 70 % of Punjabi youth are drug addicts’.
Punjab government has created history by making it mandatory to conduct the dope test of almost 4.7 lakh aspirants for 6,252 jobs of constables in the state. The result of first batch of 1.12 lakh young men of state has finally put to rest the controversy and false claims of politicians on drug abuse in state.
The controversy began with Rahul Gandhi’s statement in 2012 when he claimed that more than 70% of youth in Punjab are hooked on to drugs. Obviously questions were asked on such unrealistic claims. Answers could be found in a study conducted in 2009 by Ranvinder Singh Sandhu, professor of sociology at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) to understand the socio-economic profile of the state.
The study had rather a very small sample size of 600 drug addicts from four districts of Punjab with 150 respondents from each district with 75 from a village and 75 from a city. The study claimed that 73.8% of the total respondents were between the age group of 18 to 35.
While Prof. Sandhu went on record to state on several occasion that finding of his study were misquoted in media report, it almost became a norm to fit that into the narrative already doing the rounds.
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, has conducted the dope test. The researchers at the university are upbeat about this landmark move as nowhere in the country data of this scale is available. What is believed to be the biggest reality check on the drug abuse in the state, a database of more than four lakh will be available after the completion of recruitment drive in police department of Punjab government.