Bar dancers hope to get jobs back after SC's verdict
On Thursday, the Supreme Court relaxed strict rules needed for obtaining a dance bar license in Maharashtra and this has raised hopes of bar dancers. The Bharatiya Bar Girl's Union (BBGU) feels many will get their jobs back, DNA reports. President Varsha Kale said the verdict will help dancers break free from the chakrayuh. Similarly, there were others who felt exploitation would end.
SC told government the different between ban and regulation
The top court noted no dance bar license has been handed out since 2005. Chastising the state government, the bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said they can't ban bars under the pretext of regulating them. The court allowed giving tips to performers but banned showering cash. It also accepted the state's demand that dance bars should function between 6 and 11:30 PM.
No CCTV cameras in dance bars, rules SC
To ensure women aren't exploited, the SC said contracts should be made. However, it struck down the state's demand of installing CCTV cameras saying it violates privacy. The state also had a condition that licenses will be given to people of 'good character' which the court found absurd. "There is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents," the court said.
Nearly 70,000 were rendered jobless, reveals Kale
Kale feels this verdict is different from previous ones. She said after bars were closed, nearly 70,000 women lost their jobs. "Some worked as waitresses, others were forced into prostitution or faced poverty," she said. She welcomed the ban on showering notes saying it will help the dancer know how much she earned. But she agreed there's a long way before bars re-open.
Getting a license won't be easy, Kale tells
"Bar owners will have to approach the government for permits and since it is an election year, the government will take more time deciding on permits," she said.
Notably, SC judgment made many unhappy
The judgment may have made restaurant owners and bar dancers happy, but not everyone welcomed it. NCP MLC Vidya Chavan said they found minors were exploited in bars. "We can't do anything on court order but we can look to making a law," Chavan said. Similarly, Smita Patil, daughter of NCP leader RR Patil (who banned dance bars), called it a 'black day'.
The state government is thinking to take legal route
Like Kale pointed out, there's a long way to go before dance bars are re-opened. Especially, since the Maharashtra government is planning to take the law route to dig its claws deep into such businesses. Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the Supreme Court order was analyzed and discussed. "If needed, we will issue an ordinance to stop dance bars in Mumbai," he told ANI.