Saturday, August 13, 2005
Don't you dare to dance
The moral police swings into action in Bangalore. The Indian Express reports:
A new law ‘Licensing and Controlling of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005,’ originally introduced to curb the unregulated growth of dance bars/cabarets, or ‘live-band joints’ as they are known in Bangalore, has pulled the shutters on night life in the city.Well, 'provokes' and 'dancing' do make for an unusual verb-noun juxtaposition, as if 'dancing' was a synonym of 'insurgency'. Oppression provokes insurgency, music provokes dancing, and so on. The proposed ban on smoking in films, the banning of dance bars in Mumbai, the suggestion to impose dress codes on college students, and now this: there seems to be a puritan backlash rising up spontaneously in India. I wonder what 'provokes' it.
The law which came into force on June 24 is seeing owners of not just cabarets but also lounge bars, restaurants and discotheques struggling to meet stringent licensing conditions.
"You can be arrested for dancing. You also cannot play music that provokes dancing. We have had to put sofas and fill spaces to prevent customers from dancing," says Amardipta Biswas, owner of Taika and Cosmo Village, two of the city’s in-vogue lounge bars and restaurants.
"A lot of the live music in hotels in the city was real good clean fun. The politicians have now taken this to an absurd level and the controls imposed are beyond commonsense," says writer and food critic Ajit Saldanha.
"DJs have been prevented from playing music at nightspots as they incite people to dance. Night clubs have been told to play classical music, so people do not dance," says Biswas.