Why nightlife is vital for Mumbai

Following a push by Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis agreed to get certain areas such as Nariman Point and the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) designated as nightlife zones. With restaurants, bars and other establishments open 24X7, Mumbai may once again become the city that never sleeps.

The CM yesterday agreed to push this proposal for legislative approval. According to a front-page report in this paper, Fadnavis assured Shiv Sena’s youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray that there will be relevant rules amended to facilitate the city’s nightlife in the budget session starting next month.

Predictably, the reaction from common people and celebrities has been one of happiness. For a while now, Mumbaikars have seen nightlife dwindling. There are few options for relaxation, fun, and entertainment for those who want to enjoy a night out post-work.

This will cut down on the under-the-table greasing of palms done by several establishments who beat the deadline and keep open till 3 am or 4 am. It will also take away the stigma and negative perceptions associated with nightlife. For so many people, nightlife is something that is close to evil. They cannot comprehend that people may simply be having a meal or a drink at a pub or club that has licence to stay open till the wee hours of the morning.

This also means that the city can stagger its entertainment avenues through the week and not necessarily crunch everything into the weekend. It means greater security for women on the roads, as there will be more establishments that are open; more people frequenting them, and more people on the streets.

It is also in line with other global cities. After all, if Mumbai aspires to be a hub for culture, entertainment and nightlife on the lines of international zones, then the party timings have to reflect that.

Most of all, it will be an option for people to take a break and have somewhere to go to for a fun time in these well-regulated, secure nightlife zones.

Bring it on, Mr. Fadnavis.

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