Mumbai: The trouble with laws that seek to stamp out any form of expression - from dancing, to music to partying - is that they tend to drive those practices underground - as the Mumbai example shows.
It's a typical Mumbai Police crackdown on illegal dance bars. The bar girls will be booked for soliciting customers at one such bar.
"Nine girls have been arrested for soliciting customers," said Inspector, Special Service Branch, R B Mane.
The ban has just driven the business underground. Many dance bars now feature live orchestras and women waiters to entertain customers. Legally allowed only up to 9:30 pm, several bars generally close around 1:30 am -provided the police get their cut.
"This is legal extortion," claimed president, Dance Bars Association, Manjeet Singh Sethi.
Made famous by the film Chandni Bar, many dancers found themselves out of work after the ban, and have had no option but to turn to the flesh trade.
"Prostitution is up 10 fold, they have so many expenses. The can only earn Rs 100 - Rs 200 a day as waiters," said Sethi.
"I have no option because of the 9:30 pm ban," said former bar dancer Shabnam.
And often the real culprits get away scott free. In this case, while the girls, orchestra members and the bar manager were arrested, the owner escaped.
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