Securing and Safeguarding Rights of Stigmatised Through Social and Legal Action

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Varsha Kale
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Movements of different social groups are closely related with law in many ways. However when particular social group becomes target of assault from the state, majority community, media, intelligentsia and even social political activists on certain moral grounds, the relation of movement of any such group with law obviously is more pronounced and dimensional. Bar girls and bar dancers in Mumbai are such a distinct social group in recent times. Therefore the movement of the bar girls bound to have important relation with law, lawyers, law enforcement agencies, judiciary and issues such as morality, legality and rights. The reason is obvious when the present society goes against you en mass you can only look for safeguards in the constitution. But this is not the only reason why bargirls movement have intimacy with law.

Right from the very beginning of the bar girls union, it was interaction with law and law enforcement agencies that help us to organise and unionise bargirls in many ways. Before the ban on dance in the bars of Mumbai, the legal standing of the bar dancer was quite different. The bar and dance in the bar till midnight was legally sanctioned and politically blessed. But at the same time the law enforcement agencies; police had certain legal weapons against the bargirls. These weapons were acts against obscenity, indecency in public places etc. This has made them vulnerable to constant police harassment. It would not be over statement that the union of this most unorganised and scattered section was able to emerge because of police, the law enforcement agents.

You can download this 6 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.