One day in 2014, a wine shop was removed from a small village in Cuddalore district, by the sheer determination of a group of widows, whose husbands had succumbed to alcohol addiction. These women do not want to vote this time around, because although a battle has been won, they say that it takes a lot more than closing down a standalone wine shop to win the war.
The over 100 widows of Kacharaiyanatham village, near Vriddhachalam, lost their husbands to alcoholism in one form or another. They are now unanimous in the decision to give their voting power this election a miss, saying that they do not have faith in any political party’s ability to impose prohibition.
“People jokingly call us the kamanati sangam (widow’s association). Around two years ago, we managed to move the wine shop run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or TASMAC to the next village, which has made us unpopular amongst the men,” Manthiri Kumari, one of the young widows says.