Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bangalore: 'Today they are saying we can't dance and tomorrow they'll say we need a licence to go out with our families'

'Bangalore's socialites and pub-hoppers were out dancing on MG Road in broad day-light in protest against the city police's strict clampdown on late-night parties. It seems that partying at night in the city may not be the same anymore as the new police commissioner has initiated curbs on pub life in the city. One of the protestors said, “What we need is a healthy society to come out and express themselves and tell the world that we are all lovely people and we should just be left on our own to have a good time.”

... However, it seems doubtful that the new Government would amend the law as the ban came after a police raid on a rave party in the city's outskirts early Sunday morning. Thirty people were arrested and drugs seized and this gives police additional ground on their stand. Nevertheless, it hasn't stopped people from campaigning for a better nightlife... “It's about our freedom. Today they are saying we can't dance and tomorrow they'll say we need a licence to go out with our families,” added another'.

Source: IBNLive, 11 August 2008

'Amid protests over the ban on playing live music and dancing at pubs in the city, police said they have ensured that 32 discotheques, which were "operating without a valid licence," remained closed. "The discotheques did not have the required licence," Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said while explaining the intensified crackdown on illegal discotheques since the beginning of this month. "Once they get the licences they are free to operate", he said adding that the licences were similar to those required by live bands to ensure operation... The commissioner said that these outlets were permitted to play recorded music but they needed to ensure that the volume was not very loud. On Sunday, people from various walks of life including films, art, music, and disco jockeys employed in the city, staged a protest against the police "imposing a ban" on playing of live music and dancing at pubs'.

Source: Times of India, 11 August 2008

See also: A Plain Truth, Churumuri, Life & Thoughts of Thomas. Bangalore is in the state of Karnataka, whihc is ruled by the right wing Hindu nationalist BJP. I liked this comment posted by Vinod, one of the protestors, to an article at Daijiworld: "Now, all you proponents of 'Indian Culture', tell me - can the definition of Indian culture be left to the cops? Can decisions which are so closely entwined with our personal life be left to the whims and fancies of politicians who can't do their basic jobs without having their palms greased, but deign to decide how we live our lives. So, are you ready to put your trust in a police state to preserve this mythical elephant called 'Indian culture?'". The law used by the authorities is here (see particularly section 31).

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