Published: 09th February 2019
Should we test temptation? It is upon us to resist and counter our weaknesses
Temptation is more than a matter of jest or levity as the above quotes imply. It is a serious matter which engages the governments and even the Supreme Court
I can resist anything except temptation.
Do you really think that it is a weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength and courage to yield to — Oscar Wilde
Do not worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older it will avoid you — Joey Adams
Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is? — Sam Levenson
Temptation is woman’s weapon and man’s excuse — HL Mencken
Marriage is popular because it combines maximum temptation with maximum opportunity
— George Bernard Shaw
Temptation is more than a matter of jest or levity as the above quotes imply. It is a serious matter which engages the governments and even the Supreme Court. But first, the facts.
Stating that there can be ‘regulation’ but not total ‘prohibition’, the Supreme Court on January 17, 2019, paved the way for the reopening of dance bars in Maharashtra by setting aside some provisions of the 1916 law imposing restrictions on their licensing and functioning. The apex court said that the provision which mandated that dance bars should be located on kilometre away from religious places and educational institutions is ‘unconstitutional’.
Readers may be aware that the ban on selling alcohol and tobacco products within a certain distance of religious places and educational institutions is still on. They will also recall that bars and alcohol outlets cannot function within 500 metres of highways so that drivers do not get access to them, and, thus, reduce accidents due to drunken driving. Such quixotic provisions do not look at the practical aspects of the growth of cities and towns which in high-density population states like Kerala are unbroken cities and towns along the highways. With the result, some cities and towns went on deleting the highway tag for roads running within their jurisdiction. Also, how long does it take a driver to access a liquor store located 550 metres from the highway? Also, he can carry his liquor stock in his truck and hold the bottle to his mouth even while driving. This applies to students and temple-goers to access alcohol or tobacco products.
While driving, as part of a group, from Mangaluru to a backwater location beyond Bekal Fort in Kerala to enjoy a day on a houseboat, the women needed to use the toilet and men had to quench their ‘thirst’. Scouting for a decent hotel, we found what looked like a star hotel from the highway. But, there was no direct access. One had to drive into a lane, enter the hotel complex through many twists and turns of a driveway within the vast complex and enter the hotel. That was legit. The car meter showed 600 metres from the highway and the hotel served alcohol!
Coming back to temptation, it is with us from the creation of the world under the Biblical account. Adam and Eve, the first human creations on Earth had everything granted to them subject to not eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. Then the devil, in the guise of a serpent, tempted Eve to eat the fruit and she, in turn, tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit and, thus, paradise was lost for them and their descendants. Even today, the Lord’s prayer, recited by Christians on a daily basis, says ‘Lead us not into temptation’. Under Hindu/Indian history/mythology rishis meditated, with beautiful Apsaras lounging around — to prove their resistance to temptation.