Bangalore, a city known for technological advancements and recently ranked the 3rd "must visit" city in 2012 by Lonely Planet, is now also the leader in infringing on the personal rights and livelihood of its citizens. The ban on dancing is growing to outlandish proportions and the raids that started up two months ago are again in full swing.
I have seen enough in the past two months to know that things are NOT improving. The local government is still making it almost impossible for bars and clubs outside of the 5 star hotels to obtain a license which would allow its patrons to dance. What was once a ban on dancing to close down “girly dance bars” years ago (which many say were a front for prostitution rings) has now turned into an insane set of new rules and regulations that place Bangalore in league with countries run by religious extremists that investors and tourists try to avoid.
All of the amazing work that Bangalore has done with improving infrastructure to the point that this amazing metropolis is known as the WORLD’S 2nd Silicon Valley is now going somewhat down the drain. How in the world will the leading tech companies who’ve settled here lure the TOP international talent to work in a backwards city with bans on western music, difficult access to booze, no dancing, and other such stringent rules? I know that India has an amazing talent pool and the country doesn’t require expats in the country but it’s a tremendous benefit for Indians working internationally to actually interact with people face-to-face who are actually from other countries. This will become tougher and tougher as Bangalore’s new reputation starts to leak out to the mainstream international press.
I am still so surprised that the government allowed this massive revenue stream to be lost here. The number of victims of this ultra conservative regime is countless. From the state government who loses out on the (I think) 400% tax on alcohol in Bangalore, plus traditional sales and income and employment taxes, to the city governments and on down to the losses by the venue and bar owners, DJs and musicians, taxi drivers who won’t be taking people around anymore, waiters and event staff who’ll lose their jobs, etc etc.
Not to mention how bloody sad I am, of course!
There is now a ban (or it’s in process) to forbid alcohol where live music is being performed. I read that there is a petition to ban western music. And I also read that the raids are going to continue in light of the fact that there are so many other crimes to solve and other issues which should take precedence.
How the hell has this happened in a country that prides itself on its long history of dance and music culture? It’s unnatural. It’s wrong. And it’s starting to gain international attention. What a pity for India that Bangalore is going to shine such a negative light on the country.
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