August 26, 2007

"Female bar ban 'should carry on'" - An unfair outcome?

Female bar ban 'should carry on'
By Jyotsna Singh
BBC News, Delhi

The government in the Indian capital, Delhi, has said a ban on women serving alcohol should continue because of the negative attitude and behaviour of men.

Last year, the Delhi high court struck down parts of a 92-year-old law that prohibited women from serving alcohol in bars and restaurants.

The ruling was welcomed by several aspiring female bartenders as well as India's Hotel Association.

But before the ban could be withdrawn, the case was back in the courts.

'Rogue city'

And this time, the Supreme Court is due to rule on the issue.

The Delhi government argues that the city's men cannot hold their drink and that is why it is unsafe to allow women bartenders in pubs and restaurants.

The government cited several examples, including the killing of the model Jessica Lal, in 1999.

She was shot dead by a group of men at a restaurant after she allegedly refused to serve them drinks.

Delhi has a very high crime rate, but not many are buying the government's argument in this context.

"The men in this city are as good or bad as men anywhere else in the world. There are female bartenders everywhere in the world so the government's argument does not seem justified," said social commentator Kamna Prasad.

Lifestyle commentator Suhel Seth held similar views.

"I think it is silly - this is a government which can't basically enforce law and order and wants to create gender division by saying that Delhi men can't hold their drinks. It defeats logic and intelligence," he said.

The government is supporting a public-interest petition filed by five concerned Delhi residents in the Supreme Court last year who want the ban on female bartenders to continue.

The petitioners have said Delhi is a "rogue city", and not mature enough to have pubs and bars with women bartenders.

Story from BBC NEWS: Published: 2007/08/22 16:47:37 GMT © BBC MMVII

How is it that in a democratic country like India the victim gets slapped with a 'ban' and the wrongdoer goes about his life unaffected? The next thing you know is that the woman in India is forced to go into purdah to hide her body so that a frustrated and desperate male does not physically assault her!


kinkminos said...

at least in delhi men can serve drinks to women (i assume) (that's a crude attempt at humour). back home it's not allowed either way.

the whole thing does sound like mismanagement of the issue, sweeping the real problem under the carpet, so to speak, in a typically misogynistic, male chauvinistic manner.

the delhi administration seems to be saying that this whole bar/drinking/partying thing is a sordid affair and women (whose real place is in the home) shouldn't be found at these place of ill-repute.

dirty minds think dirty.

D said...

Well, to hold a view on the real situation of've to be in the city. India is a land of extremes and Delhi is no exemption. There are thousand of cases such as Jessica Lal, which are unheard of.
People can't hold their drink...will say that's true for all over the world. (though am not any close to be labelled a globetrotter).
So what to do? Ban them or not? I don't know...women get eve-teased everyday and I come across some who fight back. How many will lose their lives or will they being 'martyred' bring a change...I don't knw. I knw for sure that SC (Supreme Court) is the only body in the Indian mechanism which has been known to fair....let's hope for best.

Id it is said...

I seriously hope the women in India are going to protest this vociferously.

How do we know said...

he he!

How do we know said...

Sorry.. that was not to make the whole thing sound flippant. Its a very stupid idea,but reminds me of another parallel.

In delhi, the cycle wallah is careful, and the blue lines, rogues though they may be, rule the road.

Pretty much a case of power winning - literally.No wonder they have all the politicians in this city.

Anonymous said...

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check that out.. and currently i am reading another short read called 'woodworm' whioch is an english translation of a bengali novel.. i am totally amused by the kind of allegory used in the book.. so much of meaning in the frailest of plots.. i am not sure if you can find it there but try. I would like to know how you would feel abt both these books.. thanks

Sharique said...

I agree with D here. The situation is not that simple and it is definitely not female subjugation. And plus one cannot compare the situation in west to India.

Raza Rumi said...

A complex situation indeed where an ideal application of equality before the law is an imperative but where social and cultural atitudes are still crawling towards modernity..

Id it is said...

So true!
However, can you see a possible and practical alternative to replace the ludicrous 'ban'?

eshuneutics said...

As a principle, this is patriarchy undressed. Men can't control themselves, so women must be protect spare men...or both? Just don't ask men to sort themselves out!

Lotus Reads said...

I completely agree with eshuneutics... it's akin to saying, men can't control their lust so make it mandatory for women to cover their hair and faces. Next they'll enforce a ban on stewardesses from flying to or from Delhi (don't they serve liquor too?)

starry nights said...

I think there should not be a ban.I think there are so many male bartenders assaulted also when people get drunk. I think the best thing to do is to stop serving drinks to men who are over drinking and not behaving.

Raza Rumi said...

An unfair law has to go, there is no question about it. However, the complexity of the situation would need more than one solution. I think in certain places where the threat of physical harm is least likely, women should start with this job at once. This would create visibility and gradually all bars can have women.

Though I agree with starry nights here - stop serving to rowdy men!

My poor advice is a little hypothetical/academic type as my country has no public bars and this issue therefore does not apply - notwithstanding many similarities between our countries!

AVIANA said...


Thanks for stopping by! I have updated..

Well, your gripe on India being a democratic state and allowing a ban that creates division is well pointed...However, from the little that I know of India, there is gender division, class division, skin color division all over and India is a democratic state...

The attitude of the people in general are going to have to change and people have to look at themselves before people can expect the government to change. The government represents the people.

I don't know how the judges are put into office there. But if it is similar to our system here in America then at the end of the day it is the people at fault for this. The people nominate the politicians/President who in turn nominates the judges into office. Thus it goes back to the people. Be careful of who you vote for.

Of course you can't really protect the judicial/political system from corruption...look at us over here in America...

It really has nothing to do about is people's attitude on equality and if people have mixed feelings on equality then issues like this will keep popping up....


nandini said...

Solve the problem arm the female bartenders!

Id it is said...

hehe, an alternative, no doubt! In fact, I have a couple of friends who also seriously felt that the women bartenders in India ought to be empowered by allowing them to carry a gun for self protection.
However, as you and I both know, that really isn't a viable solution, and Indian women need to find a way to counter the 'ban'.

gulnaz said...

drinks are served in resturants, clubs and in airlines as well so does the govt. plan to do awawy with women there as well.

many men go to dinner after already having had their fill of alcohol at home, so what about that?

they banned dance bars in bombay, all it did was forced them into open prostitution or suicide or to go take their trade to other states. have seen on the news ex bar dancers strutting their stuff in some policitans' rally and once even at an urs of some darghah and once at a ramlila.

this is as mindlessly stupid as banning street food vendors in delhi!

govt. should enforce law and order and that would deter men, drunk or sober from misbehaving.

Anonymous said...

i never knew goodby mr.chips was made into a movie.. thanks for that.

Ankur said...

even chineese citizens have more rights and freedom than Indians