2013-07-19

Unique Flavor of Mumbai Dance Bars and political double standards

There was a time where the city in Mumbai could not be considered to be complete without the Ladies Bar in the famous Mumbai Central by-lanes. The island city aptly termed, 'Maximum City' offered a unique flavor through the countless dance bars frequented by rich patrons, media professionals, script writers, rickshaw driver and people from different social strata. Once you enter the ladies bar, there is a certain aura and spark magic that makes you want to stay since there is the heavenly feeling. Sadly, the heavenly night life provided was scrapped by a stupid political decision.
In a judgement of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the verdict by the apex court was upheld making the ban imposed by the Maharashtra Government illegal. It's been six years since the dance bars where the ladies danced to the sheer delight of patrons were made illegal. Business suffered but the poor women who earned a livelihood in the dance bars were stripped of their livelihood and as a means to earn a living. Personally, I am in favor of the judgement of the Supreme Court who ruled in favor of the re-opening of the dance bars.
I have been a regular to the dance bar where the beautiful ladies swarmed to the top chartbusters of Hindi film songs and provided entertainment to patrons. On the outset, the contentious claim by the politicians with vested interests and double standards that the dance bars promote prostitution is ridiculous. I would often have a chilled Kingfisher beer and admire the moves of the bar dancers and I have never ever been proposed for sex by a bar dancer. One should understand that the ladies bar in Mumbai provide entertainment to clients. For once, we should stop with the double standards flouted by politicians. Fine, you are ready to chuck out between 5,000 to 20,000 rupees to watch Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu or Malika Sherawat indulge in pelvic thrusts and yet you don't call them prostitutes. Fair enough since they are artists providing entertainment during new year eve bash. Then, why the fuck you label bar dancers prostitutes? Those so-called guardians of moral of society should learn how to chill.
One should understand that there was a time when dance bar offered employment to 75,000 women in Mumbai and these ladies could easily earn between 25 to 40k. The bar dance provided a source of livelihood to those women and sudden closing of the bars has driven so many of these unfortunate women to embrace the life of a commercial sex worker. Some were even driven to commit suicide. This is the grim reality in the dark shades of Mumbai. No, mister, prostitution doesn't happen in Ladies Bar and when you decided to pass the buck on these hard working women who have children, you cannot justify your failure in preventing terror attack in the city. You, politicians, made the city vulnerable to terror attacks and stop doing cheap politics by piggy backing on innocent women. The argument put forward by politicians rest on empty promised made where assurance was given that the state of Maharashtra will ensure that these women will be provided with jobs. Nothing has been done for these women who were rendered unemployed.
It is important to highlight that no murder were committed in the dance bar that makes the argument of Maharashtra government that it is a place where underworld dons meet to plan terror attack. No woman has ever been arrested for indulging in illicit activities such as drug and prostitution. It is not a prostitution racket and mind you, there are college students and some from well-to-do families who were bar dancers in the name of their love for dance. This was testified by the director of Chandni Bar, Madhur Bhandarkar whose movie was based on the lives of bar dances. Some very beautiful girls performed in the dance bar so that they may earn good pocket money to afford branded and luxury items. What's wrong with that? It is a perfectly legitimate aspiration. Script writer of many super hit movies like Aashiqui 2 and Murder 2, Shagufta Rafique started her life in a dance bar since it provided her a gateway to freedom. This is the story of many bar dancers in the city of Mumbai.
The Supreme Court has sent a very strong and direct message to the government of Maharashtra and in particular to Maharashtra former deputy chief minister and present Home Minister, R R Patil for his retrograde stand on bar dancers. It brings warmth to the heart that Ladies Bar that once was the pride of Mumbai and provided livelihood to thousands of women in the city will be opened soon. The dance bars gave dignity to these women who danced to entertain patrons. Dance is an art form that many have seemed to forget.
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I am looking forward to visit the dance bars very soon during my next visit to Mumbai and chill with my favorite King Fisher Beer. I will love seeing the happy smiles on the faces of those women and gentlemen posing as waiters and manager in black suits. I rest my case.
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