Chandigarh's warning that discotheques could be shut down if they allow in “scantily dressed women” or permit “indecency” has elicited anger and irate humour.
The territory has framed a policy titled Controlling of Places of Public Amusement, 2016 that will require the city's pubs and bars to shut at midnight, two hours earlier than its previous deadline, reported The Times of India on Wednesday.
The policy, which came into effect on April 1, says that a nodal committee – comprising municipal commissioner, Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police, among others – will call the shots in the city. This nodal committee can refuse renewal of permission for business operations in case of “exhibition or advertisement of scantily dressed women” and “indecency” or if it is “seditious and likely to excite political discontent”.
There has been no further clarification on what would constitute “scantily dressed”, what would constitute of “indecency” or what would amount to “sedition”.
This policy formation follows a Punjab and Haryana High Court order asking the Chandigarh administration to frame a policy to regulate the operations of city bars and restaurants. There have been several violent incidents in the vicinity of city discotheques in the recent past.
Pubs in Goa and Chennai have also faced the prospect of similar sartorial restrictions. In 2014, Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar endorsed the idea of banning women in bikinis and short skirts from Goa’s numerous beaches and night clubs. Last year, Chennai pubs warned guests to “dress conservatively”.
Twitter didn’t take kindly to the Chandigarh policy.