The selected works of Mahatma Gandhi

Key To Health


Table of Contents

About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
Edited by : Bharatan Kumarappa
Foreword by : Morarji Desai
First Edition : 3,000 copies, December 1954
Fifteenth Re-print : 5,000 copies, March 2011
Total : 69,000 copies
ISBN : 81-7229-040-3
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1954


Chapter 08: Opium

The criticism leveled against alcoholapplies equally to opium, although the two are very different in theiraction. Under the effect of alcohol a person becomes a rowdy, whereasopium the addict dull and lazy. He becomes even drowsy and incapable ofdoing anything useful. The evil effect of alcohol strikes the eyeseveryday, but those of opium are not so glaring. Any one wishing to seeits devastating effect should go to Assam or Orissa. Thousands havefallen victim of this intoxicant, in those provinces. They give one theimpression on living on the verge of death.
But China is said to have suffered the most from the evils of opium. The Chinese possess a better physique than the Indians. But Chinese addicted to opium look miserable and more dead than alive. An opium addict will stoop to anything in order to procure his dose of opium.
Several years ago, what is known as Opium War took place between China and Great Britain. China did not wish to buy opium from India. But the English wanted to impose it on China. India was also to blame in that several Indians had taken opium contacts in India. The trade paid well and the treasury received crore of rupees as opium revenue. This was obviously an immoral trade and yet it went on flourishing. Finally, as a result of a mighty agitation in England, it was stopped. A thing of this type, which simply ruin people, should not be tolerated for a single minute.
After having had my say on opium as an intoxicant, I must admit that its place in Material Medic is incontestable. It is impossible to do without this drug a medical agents. But that can be no reason for using it as a intoxicant. Opium is a well-known poison and its use as an intoxicant should be strictly prohibited.