The writer is former professor and chair, department of History, University of Delhi.
Ancient regimes in India were far from democratic, had little place for other castes
It may be pointed out that there were a large variety of intoxicating drinks, nearly 50 types of them, available in ancient India. The use of alcohol by men was quite common, despite occasional dharmashatric objections in the case of Brahmins; and instances of drinking among women were not rare.
It has struggled its way to sanctity through centuries of incongruous attitudes.