A decade after the then Maharashtra home minister R. R. Patil shut down dance bars in the state, his daughter Smita has decided to carry forward the mission of her late father.
Under the auspices of the R.R. Patil Foundation, Smita Patil on Saturday launched the anti-dance bar movement and plans to take it to all big cities and towns soon.
“At a function in Aurangabad, we asked the youth about their opinion on dance bars. We were surprised to learn that everybody was against reopening the dance bars,” Smita was quoted by IANS.
She said that state government should have represented their facts properly before the Supreme Court which finally ruled in favour of the dance bars.
“We demand that in the forthcoming winter session of Maharashtra legislature, the government should promulgate an ordinance with suitable amendments to stop the dance bars. If they fail to do this, we shall take to the streets across the state,” she warned.
She alleged that the Maharashtra government is “simply not interested in banning dance bars” as some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders want them to be revived.
She pointed out that after her father had implemented the ban, all parties in the state had supported it inside the legislature and outside.
Accordingly, for 10 years, the ban remained in place, but now there are uncertainties as the BJP-Shiv Sena combine appears to be reluctant to pursue the case for continuing the ban.
On November 26, the Supreme Court lashed out at Maharashtra government for not implementing its October order on dance bars and asked it to issue fresh licences to hoteliers within two weeks. The matter is expected to come up before the apex court on December 10.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that though the government respects the Supreme Court order, it was principally against reopening the dance bars and assured all legal options will be examined.