As Mumbai ushers in another year in just a few hours, let the days be filled with joy, laughter, and love and let nothing blight the peace and happiness of all those who believe in living for today, planning for today and of course, partying tonight.
Just like the past years, the city will no doubt rev into party mode, as revellers fan across the streets, and congregate in hotels, bars, pubs, homes and, of course, in public spaces too. While celebrations are in order, of course, the focus should be to ensure everybody — women in particular — rings in 2016 safely.
Every year, unfortunately, we read about women becoming targets of molestation. They are especially vulnerable on the streets, where sometimes you see crowds of young men walking long past midnight. Women become easy targets for lewd remarks, groping and other forms of harassment. This is not to say that every man, drinking or sober, is out to target women. Yet, one cannot deny that New Year’s Eve commonly witnesses such cases. In fact, this paper had once reported on a case of a New Year molestation near the Gateway of India, where a woman was subjected to groping in a crowd, even as her male companion struggled to protect her.
Today, large swathes of the city are under the watchful eyes of hundreds of CCTV cameras, and establishments like hotels and pubs claim to have hi-tech surveillance as a deterrent to any rowdiness. On this day, and on all the days through the new year, the CCTV cameras must function properly, so that in case of any untoward incident, there are no tiresomely familiar excuses like lack of CCTV footage.
The police, of course, will remain vigilant when it comes to drink driving, but safe driving, respecting speed limits and adherence to rules is the duty of each one of us.
The onus is not just on the cops, but the people too. Party hard, Mumbai, but don’t forget to party responsibly too.