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B'lore: Live bands banned, eunuchs to dance instead
Vicky Nanjappa | February 19, 2008 14:51 IST
Last Updated: February 19, 2008 14:54 IST
The lights went off a year ago and the nightlife in Bangalore has been quiet ever since. The Bangalore police thought that bands, which performed live, were a threat to security and hence they decided to regulate them.
After a year of waiting, the live band owners have now lost their cool and say that they will fight tooth and nail to ensure that they get back in action. They claim that there was nothing illegal about these bands and the police simply overreacted.
To protest the curb on police action, the Live Band Restaurant Owners' Association has employed 2000 eunuchs to dance at the live bands in Bangalore. "Men will not come to see men dance and women are prohibited from dancing as well as serving liquor. There can be no bar on eunuchs," the association says.
However, according to the police, it is a misconception that live bands have been banned in Bangalore. The police say that they were only trying to regulate the bands, to ensure that there is no obscenity involved in the dancing.
Moreover, the Excise Act already bans women from serving liquor. The cops had also asked bands to down shutters by 11 pm. There would be no problem in issuing licenses if all these directions are complied with, say the police.
From five bands in 2004 to 150 bands in 2005, Bangalore has seen a phenomenal growth in the number of live bands. The police suspected that a full-fledged prostitution racket was being run under the guise of live bands. Several residents also complained about the noise and nuisance created by the bands.
But the live band owners say that the 'regulations' are as good as ban. Over 2,000 girls lost their jobs following the ban and this has resulted in large-scale unemployment. The government ought to either compensate these girls or provide them alternate jobs, the association says.
Association president Sanjay Kochar rubbishes the argument that crime rates have shot up with the mushrooming of live bands. He says that the women participating in the live bands were provided security and transport on their way back home.
The police counter this argument by stating that even if the girls were provided security and transport, there were several drunk men on the road creating a ruckus. They also point out that live bands should not be playing in residential areas.
With regard to compensation, the police and the government say that these girls are not prepared to work as they are used to earning easy money. Howeve, if they genuinely needed a job, the government would be keen on helping them.