Dance bar – morality and India

Following is the article written by Daya Sagar Sharma titled Why ban only dance bars, there are many other trades ?? and published in americanchronicle.com on January 03, 2008.

Acts that are termed as immoral are those that adversely affect the quality of life and social standards of a community and hence ultimately even the economy and security of a country.

It is a hard fact that the forced prostitution, the illegal extra marital sexual relations and the like activities not only affect the participants but also adversely affect other members of the society. And ofcourse the social moral values and ethical sensitivity of the members of the society too fall. More dangers emerge when the youth gets involved in such affairs and the new generation cares more for material lust than social lust. The hazards to health and adverse economic affects on the education & nutrition levels of the other family members of those involved result damage to the overall growth and economy of any country . The security and economic growth of any society is badly affected under such conditions. It is here where comes the need to worry seriously.

Recently Maharashtra Government banned the dance bars. The logic given was that under the guise of Dance bars the trade of prostitution too is conducted by some. A PIL was file in Supreme Court by Forum for Justice and Peace which contended that the Government’s decision was illative of fundamental rights of bar girls. The court directed the petitioners to approach Bombay High Court under Article 226 for appropriate action . In the meantime the Maharashtra government passed a Bill in the Assembly on 21-07-2005 banning the dance Bar Trade. The bill had been returned by Governor to Government. As per some estimates there are about 309 dance bars affected by the Bill .Over 10000 Dance Bar girls and 15000 to 20000 associated workers are said to be affected as regards earning the livelihood. Dance Bars and those working there have been indirectly accused of promoting prostitution .

The Maharashtra Chief Minister has termed the action taken to be for betterment of the society and also for saving the young generation .. But there are many other trades allowed by the government that could cause and are surely causing some social and moral damages to the society. Hence it is surely unjust to so brutally crush many needy and professional artists in this trade of entertainment.

Though male prostitution too has been reported but the prostitution that has concerned society all these years is one that has involved the fair sex. And hence I shall be focusing on that side only.

The call girl rackets in the country are not unknown. The Disco and Bear/ liquor Bars are not unknown. How much damage these bars are doing to the youth and the families of individuals can not be simply over looked. The Health Centers/ Health Clubs run by individuals and attached with hotels of star rankings too have enough of scope for those who want to conduct flesh trade or sophisticated prostitution.

The type and style in which the Big Screen movies are made these days should have made the Maharashtra Chief Minister to even ban the Bollywood Cinema or order his own Censor Board. The display of the sex appeal, nearly compromising scenes and almost missing clothes on those from fair sex taking the lead role in movie and those in group roles too can promote flesh trade and may be promoting. The electronic media advertisements are these days so open that it could be alleged that some models could use the opportunity for their person exposure and marketing of their fellowship.

May be the Maharshtra Chief Minister had not seen the modern video albums otherwise he would have been so much frustrated with the style of these albums that he would have banned such albums prior to banning the dance Bar trade. The Video Albums and the re mixes being made are so uninterruptedly played by the Video Cable networks that it confirms that these have become very popular among the youth. Those who have some memories of cultural values and moral standards observed in the past by Indian families have to either leave the Television room when video albums are tuned or have to look for corners.. The openness is so advanced that elders will have to wait endlessly till they will get a movie that could be called a family drama.

Ofcourse the media is full of news and whispers that these days for better holidaying , modern amenities and exhibitionism the girls from even rich families & those studying in colleges are getting fascinated by the call girl culture or the friendship club culture. In the name of modern culture some parents intentionally close their eyes.

It was in January 2005 Mumbai High Court had held that cabaret dance involving indecent and obscene Act in a hotel is not an offence under the existing law if it does not annoy any body. A Division bench comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and P. V. Kakade said” Cabret dance where indecent and obscene act per se is involved, would not attract the provisions of section 294 of the IPC ( obscene act in public place to the annoyance of others is punishable), without fulfillment of one of its essential ingredients- evidence pertaining to ‘annoyance to others.’ While delivering the judgment in Narendra H Khurana and others vs The Mumbai Commissioner of Police, the Judges said’ “ there was no annoyance caused to others as the audience had visited the hotel paying fees with a view to watching the nude dance which is one of the main ingredients of the offence.”No witness had lodged a complaint while watching the cabret performance at Blue Nile restaurant at Colaba from where the cabaret dancer and its owner Khurana were nabbed by the Mumbai police during a raid, said the order pronounced recently. It was further observed that ‘ “ in the absence of a special law where cabaret shows are held on the floors of a hotel in which adults attend on payment , prosecution can not contend that such cabaret shows come within purview of section 294 of the IPC. Hence why accuse Dance bar trade as well. There are many things those could be made reference here.

Any how the short and open message is that the parents have to understand their responsibility and atleast save the coming generations from falling prey to material and immoral lusts. Otherwise there are many who would term any law made by government to safeguard moral values of society as undue imposition of a code to control the likings and dislikings of an individual

Theft and other criminal activities are prohibited both socially and under law. Still some take to these acts due to unfair circumstances before them, some under pressure of other strong elements . And ofcourse there are some who adopt such practices as a regular trade and this class can be checked only by a social value treatment to them at the level of their elders and friends.

Hence for those who want to promote the sex/ prostitution trade there are many other means and methods in the behavioral practices of todays’s society other than the trade of Dance Bars. Those who would like to sell their fair sex fellowship could join as waiters in restaurants as well as the hospitality sections of five star hotels and restaurants. Hence the action of Maharashtra governments banning Dance Bar trade has no justification and the justifying reasons are still not known. Rather those promoting immoral trade should have been booked instead of doubting the integrity of all dance bar girls.

Laws have been made over the years to book the criminal. But the Crime is still committed. Needs are arising every day to make news laws. The criminal is saved under the provisions of same law that has otherwise been made to punish the criminal. True some justice is still secured for the victims.

But the laws made to secure and protect the social values and behaviour of society need more of the support of the members of the society for the effectiveness of such laws. More particularly when it is a hard fact that moral values change from society to society. Drinking liquor / wine could be immoral in a society where as it may not be immoral in another society. Similarly cutting the hairs of even male could be immoral in one society where as trimming the hairs of even the woman in another society is a normal practice. Hence the social laws could better be promoted for implementation by the members / elders of a society than it could be by the government through its law and order machinery.

Prostitution, flesh trade and socially illegal sexual relations have remained the subjects of discussion over ages. The rich as well as the poor have remained involved and affected by such like issues. Some where the rich has been using the company of the opposite sex just for making merry & fun and at occasions it has been found proving a curse for the married life of many.

In view of the natural behavioral difference being there between the man and women as gifted by nature, women has in general been exploited for her material needs by the rich and resourceful. And ofcourse some women did adopt prostitution for earning livelihood or were forced by circumstances to fall in the trap. But it is also a hard fact THAT SOME from the fair sex have been finding it easier means for effluent living though they had other means too available to make their living.

The Voluntary Social Organisations along with the parents have a role to play for constructing a morally strong society. Laws made by a State can not perform social reconstruction in a system where parliamentary democracy is their. Governments that can not dare losing revenue in case the alcohol trade is prohibited, can never succeed in checking practices like prostitution by only making laws.

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