Is banning stags (men unaccompanied by women) from entering nightclubs the solution to rape? That’s the question hundreds of single men in Gurgaon are asking after the city’s police on Tuesday issued a ban on stags, escorts, and even bouncers inside pubs.
“Are we all criminals? I understand that safety measures should be taken keeping in mind the situation in Gurgaon, but this step is too extreme. Where will I party if I am single? There aren’t even any special happy hours for boys like the ones for girls,” says Vipin Handa, a college student.
Kunal Malhotra, an MNC employee in Gurgaon, says, “It’s wrong to generalise. It’s like having a compulsory partner. Boys in Gurgaon now don’t even have the right to enjoy. This is not done.” Anmol Gupta, 23, says, “Gurgaon is full of offices, and clubbing is the only stress-buster for men there. With this ruling, we won’t even have that option. It’s very harsh and unfair.”
While the police reasons that most brawls take place because of stag entries and escorts who let them in, pub owners disagree and say their business will suffer big. “Whenever a statement such as this is made, everybody is put in the same basket. The stags we allow are decent regulars, and not rowdy miscreants. There have been no fights in our premises?” says Gagan Kapoor of Buzz, Gurgaon.
“Such a rule will kill our business by 50%. We cannot discriminate between women and men — we have a mixed crowd of corporates who are well-behaved,” says Arjun Chaturvedi of Spot, another nightclub in Gurgaon. Single men are left with few options.
“If men want to unwind with a drink, they’ll have to hunt for a female friend. This statement in a way says that single men have no right to party. I think stags should be allowed after screening ,” says Gaurav Soral of Turquoise Cottage, Gurgaon.
Where will bouncers go?
The ruling also states that Gurgaon’s discotheques cannot employ bouncers as they are “not trained.” Security agencies say that’s untrue. “Most bouncers are well-trained. The ruling will take away their jobs,” says Shivraj Singh of Alpha Facility Services, a bouncer sourcing agency in Lado Sarai. “What’s my fault?” asks Raghu, a Gurgaon-based bouncer.
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