Bars, Ban And After
- 1980s: Dance bars begin to operate
- 1990s: They thrive. There’s sleaze too, and exploitation of bar girls.
- 2001: Chandni Bar depicts the trapped life of a dance bar girl. Wins a national film award.
- 15 August 2005: Home minister R.R. Patil gets dance bars banned
- April 2006: Bombay HC strikes down ban. State goes in appeal.
- July 2013: Supreme Court vacates the ban, upholds High Court order
Munmun is not just a seasoned, self-taught dancer, but a gritty survivor of the harsh, garishly lit and strobed underbelly that is Mumbai’s dance bar grind. It shows in her composure during interviews. It shows in the way she dresses and makes up impeccably, hides a giveaway accent by speaking in short sentences, leaves her long, lustrous hair open and awaits her turn to sing—not dance—at the Elora, an ‘orchestra bar’ in a western suburb. There’s an ordinary bar-cum-restaurant too, in the building, and, on the second and third floors, a guest house with a few rooms. Before the state government crackdown made it take the ‘orchestra bar’ tag, the Elora was a ‘dance bar’. Thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, it will soon be a dance bar again.