One night in 2005, as a ban turned the lights off on dance bars, the lives of Mumbai’s dancers changed forever. With it, that of taxi drivers, tailors, waiters, hawkers — an entire economy that sustained the industry. Fourteen years later, as Supreme Court clears the decks for reopening of dance bars, Tabassum Barnagarwala tells their stories.
The bar owners are however not happy with the new law passed by the Maharashtra government, which puts in place measures like shutting down of dance bars by 11.30 pm and not serving liquor in the areas where bar dances were performed.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected certain conditions like providing live CCTV footage to Police on performances in dance bars and asked the Maharashtra government to grant licences to owners within 10 days after they comply with modified guidelines.