The Dance Bar Ban
What is the criteria for identifying the target group of morality? any guesses. I believe, with miniscule intellectuals, none of us would be able to define it just on the basis of some theoretical data. But believe me, this is not the case of Maharashtra government. In 2005 order, the state Home ministry evoked ban on dance bars across Mumbai , except for 3 star and above rated hotels. This, further supported by the argument that elitist visitors of the expensive hotels are high on morality ratings and thus are allowed to enjoy same form of entertainment which is banned for lower class outlets. Also, the lower class outlets are dens of anti-social elements and thus effecting and , in the sense, encourages social disharmony in the city.
Flawed, as the argument seems to us AAM ADMI, the honorable Supreme Court upheld the Bombay High Court orders and quashed down the ban arguing against the archaic logic of the state government. Bombay has been the only true cosmopolitan city of the country. for over a century it played as the city of dreams for millions of Indian population. Such places are, though may not be honorable, are the part and parcel of lives there. The dance bars have provided some solace to large number of destitute women coming from all over the country and also their daily bread and at the same time a shade if independence.
The revocation of ban demands a sort of appreciation and encouragement but there is nothing to celebrate. The profession though provide, as i argued, financial independence to large number of women but it is not something which has been able to give them respect in society. A large number landed up their not with their choice, but since it provided a financial security to the family also, it is hard to leave it. at same time, a large number of women can’t even tell their family members source of their income. When the dance bars are raided, it is always the women workers who are targeted and taken into custody, and never the bar owners or the visitors of such places. Thus provides an ammunition in the hands of highly notorious Mumbai Police.
Criminalizing these women is wrong but not providing them the opportunity to improve their standing in society and upward social mobility is equally wrong. A requirement is of regulation and not banning. Investment on developing their vocational skill would certainly go a long way in improving their socio-economic status in society and at the same time would ensure and their future generation is not marred by the same set of problems as faced by their mothers.
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