Two weeks ago, Dhawal Oza, a Worli-based businessman was dining with his friends at a Gamdevi eatery when at 12.30 am, police officials barged in and asked them to leave in a gruff tone. Humiliated, Oza decided to take some action, rather than submit to the high-handedness of the cops and this led to his campaign against moral policing called ‘Young partygoers revive Mumbai’s nightlife’.
The 36-year-old was seen on Thursday giving final touches to his campaign — he plans to start from today — which includes two huge get well soon cards, a la Lage Raho Munnabhai that he intends to send to Home Minister RR Patil and another to ACP Vasant Dhoble. Other than the greeting cards, Oza is also using the social media and will upload around 25 posters calling attention to the ongoing police high-handedness. “We are not going to chant slogans on the streets or call for morchas. We are taxpayers and it is our right to party and enjoy life after a hard day’s work. This is our way of condemning the police action.”
Bizman to saviour
Recalling the day, he decided that enough was enough, he told MiD DAY, “We were simply sitting and eating dinner when the cops walked in and asked us to leave our table. I was not only humiliated but also insulted as I felt like they had treated us as dirt. The city is known for its clubs and night outs. Why all of this moral policing?” He added that the authorities have created such a fear in the minds of people that few want to venture out at night and most choose to party at home. “We were planning a pre-wedding party at a SoBo club but dropped the idea because we were told that we wouldn’t be able to party till late.”
Explaining further, Vihang Kotadia, Oza’s friend said, “We were making inquiries for my sister’s wedding and asked some clubs but they were unsure about timings. We were expecting friends from all over and hence, didn’t want problems about raids. We have called off the party. Instead, we will have a brunch at a banquet hall.” Oza added, “We would party regularly, every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and would enjoy going to various city joints, but now we prefer to move out of Mumbai to have a peaceful party.”
Support for the campaign
Others have also joined the ‘Young partygoers, revive Mumbai’s nightlife’ campaign. Here’s what they had to say: It seems that Dhoble is so jealous of people enjoying their life. Hey ACP, nobody forced you to join the police force. It’s a free country, get a life dude — Forum Shah, 20, Lokhandwala
My dad knows where I am partying and is alright with the fact that I party. Why Dhoble uncle, why? I will continue to party, though my parents are scared but they know I am not doing anything wrong and they trust me.
— Rushabh Savla 20, Matunga
It is unfortunate that a city that is known internationally for its nightlife and eateries is slowing losing its image. Thank you uncle Dhoble, all because of you
— Mukti Sawla, 27, Wadala