New Delhi Nightlife Shuts Down Early
8 July 2014
As any Delhi resident who attempted to step out for a night of drinking and dancing this last week would know, nightlife has taken a turn for the worst with cops ensuring that all bars, restaurants and venues across the capital start to filter out crowds by 12am with venues having to be completely shut down by 1am.
The directive has been issued by Delhi Police Commissioner B.S Bassi, after an increasing number of incidents involving drunken brawls and criminality at various pubs in the city - most recently, a very public incident allegedly involving the son of a former MLA at Keya, a club in Vasant Kunj which led to the stabbing and serious injury of three people. Unsurprisingly, the episode received wide coverage and became a tipping point for the Delhi police to start cracking their whips. You can read more about the case here.
Besides this unfortunate incident, the police commissioner also addressed the safety of women – a very real, inescapable issue that has been a public blot on the capital in recent times.
This is a sad turn of events for music lovers, especially considering that the directive came soon after talk of promoting and encouraging nightlife by keeping shops open until late at night. Last weekend saw a lot of popular haunts in Delhi abandoned by midnight; lights off and doors closed by 1am. This means an earlier curfew of before midnight for performances and serving alcohol in venues across the board. Even high-end venues like LAP were targeted, with the Narcotics Unit of Delhi Police Crime Branch reportadly raiding the venue on early Sunday morning, allegedly, for flouting norms and staying open after the stipulated time.
Looking at both sides of the coin, however, it isn’t hard to see why the Delhi Police is so stringently enforcing these rules with cases of injury and brawl reported across the city. The move may be well intentioned (giving Delhi police the rare benefit of doubt), but its stands to reason that this new directive isn’t actually making things better.
There is only one solution, really, to the Delhi madness, and apologies to our police, it isn’t them (they might actually make things worse). Delhi residents have simply got to be more responsible for everyone’s sake - a good place to start would be to not stab each other. Once that's covered, maybe we can try and get our weekends back on track.
This weekend will be a test to these newly enforced and temporary rules, with no events seemingly disrupted and going ahead as planned. More info as we have it.
Words: Diya Gupta