OPEN LETTER

Show some empathy

bar-dance A dance bar in Mumbai | Reuters

Open Letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on his government's decision to ban dance bars

Dear Devendra Fadnavis,

Your parent organisation RSS, in general, and you, in particular, have lately been advocating the cause for women equality with no discrimination. The latest instance of women having succeeded in entering the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shinganapur temple proves the point.

However, your government’s flip-flop in permitting the bar dancers to get on with their profession smoothly, has been a dampener to many. It is further disappointing to note that the apex court had to issue necessary directions to the state to ensure that the profession of bar dancers is not sacrificed for (pseudo) moralistic grounds.

Mr Fadnavis, you being the chief minister of Maharashtra, are also expected to look after the interest of the bar dancers since they, too, are your subjects who are in dire need of money to bring up their families and have no other professional eligibility. Therefore, instead of creating road blocks in bar dancers’ way, why don’t you try to ensure the enforcement of the necessary law and order situation in and around the dance bars to avert any obscenity, as directed by the Supreme Court.

Please also remember when the dancers can perform in various functions and celebrations then why can’t they do it within the four walls of a bar? As aptly observed by the apex court, it’s better to dance rather than beg. Hence, please empathise with the bar dancers and let the administration assist them in carrying on with their mode of livelihood.

Pramod Srivastava
New Delhi

…....................................

A dignified life

My apologies for not addressing you as the CM as I feel you have lost the moral right with your ban on dancing girls in bars. Firstly, I wonder if you and your party has even spared a thought on the consequences of your decision.

I pray it's not because you have forgotten the deprived section of the society or is it that you have succumbed to the vested interests of people who will make money by illegally operating these dance bars, which by the way is an open secret.

Sitting in ivory towers, you'll time and again fail to understand the reality of life. These women are at least trying to eke out a decent living by working in the dance bars. And with one stroke you have not only made them unemployed but virtually pushed them and their families onto the streets. With no work on hand you have now left them to the mercies of touts.

It disheartening to see a regressive mindset where one has an opinion that all bad and evil happens at dance bars. You are not only degrading the gender but even insulting their profession. If you do consider yourself as the flag bearer of morality then why don't you ban all the dancing in shows, movies and television?

It is ironic that the reason being given that these places are dens of vice and resort to illegal activities. But then, isn't it the failure of your police and the government?

Instead of trying to deprive these people of their living you should first kill the mafia of the flesh trade and stem the rot in the system. Before you render these people homeless, please explain to the common man why you turn a blind eye to the flesh trade and the red light areas.

Anil J. Rebello

…....................................

Well done, CM

Kudos on your attempt to file a petition against dance bars. It’s truly a commendable decision to ban the dance bars. But the Supreme Court’s decision should be apprehended. Such bars are a social stigma to our healthy society.

Begging or dancing in bars for a living is against the dignity of mankind. It’s truly a shameful decision by the Supreme Court which has not upheld the dignity of women. Instead of providing a meaningful life to the girls in the dance bars the Supreme Court’s judgemental statement is against the honour of women.

In my view, law should be enforced to ban such bars and rehabilitate the girls working in such a filthy environment. They should be provided proper education to make their way into normal society. Dignity of women should be upheld by the law.

Your stance against dance bars is truly laudable. Such issues have to be raised in the Parliament.

Arathi Raghuveer
Mysore

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