|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Vote at 18, but enter dance bars only at 21
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | February 25, 2004 22:41 IST
Last Updated: February 26, 2004 13:22 IST
If you are 18 years old you can vote, get a driver's license, watch an 'A' certificate movie and even get married, provided you are a girl.
"This is ridiculous," said Manjeet Singh Sethi, president of the 'Fight for the Rights of Bar Owners Association'.
Dance bars, especially, have always been at the centre of controversy in Mumbai. Many question the moral basis of the government in allowing these bars to function, where young women dance and entertain customers till the wee hours of morning.
Amid protests the government had restricted the timing of many bars to 1:30 am and anyone found running his bar beyond that time is liable to be arrested.
Running a dance bar is an expensive proposition. An owner has to pay Rs 250,000 per annum to the state government as licence fee. Besides the owner also has to pay Rs 30,000 as monthly fee and another Rs 15,000 to the Mumbai Police Commissioner's office.
"We provide so much money to the exchequer but still the government is always imposing new rules and regulations on us. Besides this we have to pay hafta (extortion money) to policemen and local goons for running our business. There are 1,250 bars in Mumbai city and nearly 80,000 lives are directly dependable on these bars. All dance bar owners are now meeting in two days and if the government does not stop harassing us we will have no other option but to go on an indefinite strike," he said.
More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts