A national daily reported that the Chandigarh administration had banned short skirts in bars and discotheques according to a policy effective April 1.
Apparently, these places of amusement, where people go to let loose, are opportunities for anti-national elements.
Moreover, they have decided to shut down all bars in the city by 12 a.m. instead of 2. this happened only a couple of months after Tanzania banned mini-skirts.
Although their logic was that they facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS.
I’m sure everyone must have come across this little piece of news in the past couple of days.
Just when you thought you were living in the most free and vibrant city in India, the administration went all out to prove you wrong.
The beautiful city, with a huge crowd of youngsters who love to party till late, was enveloped in a cloud of gloom. But, this wasn’t to last long. The ban was revoked 4 hours later, citing it as a misrepresentation of facts. Absurd, isn’t it?
That was exactly what the Chandigarh administration thought.
When a national daily reports that one of the youngest and most vigorous cities of the nations has banned a particular piece of clothing, we are all in for a rude shock.
But, when it is later revealed that the previous news was a gross misrepresentation of facts, everyone thanks God.
But, no one notices how the fickle-minded crowd swayed with the media and how no one bothered to point out the newspaper’s mistake.
As per the policy, Chandigarh’s nodal committee can revoke permission for running business if it is considered:
1. To be indecent or of a scurrilous character
2. To be seditious or likely to excite political discontent
3. Any exhibition or advertisement of scantily dressed women
4.To contain offensive reference to personalities
5.To promote hostile feelings between different classes
6. To be calculated to cause a breach of peace
Anurag Agarwal, UT Home Secretary was quick to react to the news. He said that no dress code has been prescribed in the Controlling of Places of Public Amusement policy 2016.
Nowhere does it say that ‘scantily clad women’ or women clad in mini-skirts will not be allowed to enter a bar or a discotheque.
He was of the opinion that the policy had been misinterpreted which had created a very fallacious impression about Chandigarh. “The news item has distorted the whole policy by picking up words and phrases from different parts of the policy and have tried to create sensational news,” said Agarwal. “Chandigarh is a modern city and administration can never thing of taking such absurd decision,” he added.
Even if it lets girls wear minis, the policy draft has been highly criticized by city-based restaurateurs and lawyers. It has curtailed bar timings by two hours from 2 am to 12 midnight. The policy has given immense powers to bureaucrats over bar owners, making the running of such businesses even more arduous than it already is. moreover, the policy is being cited as ‘extremely vague and unclear’.
It does not define “scantily dressed women” or “indecency” and also doesn’t elaborate on sedition. City hoteliers and restaurant owners say that not even a single instance of such a nature has been heard from any bar or restaurant of the city.
The Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered the UT administration to frame a policy for regulating the operations of city bars and restaurants. this was following the violent incidents that had taken place outside discotheques.
It is a different matter than they were subjected to un-required mockery and contempt, simply due to careless reporting. If utter confusion was the result, we don’t know how productive it was, apart from all the hype and rising blood pressures of feminists and so.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.