Organizer’s of Mumbai’s popular GB party were yesterday compelled to call off the scheduled GB bash at that last hour. And it seems Mumbai Police had a role to play. Here is Vikram Doctor’s email to the QAM group;
Quick note on what happened before the GB party that was scheduled for tonight.
That day the venue was visited or called by (a) the excise department, (b) the entertainment tax department, (c) the guys in charge of the public performing license (for the DJ music) and (d) a group of plainclothes guys, from which part of the police is unclear, who walked up to the manager and asked if there was a gay party (chakke log ka party) there that night, and when the manager said yes, he was told he better cancel it or there would be trouble.
As far as the first three went, we had all the permits, so were able to deal with the departments, but when it came to the fourth, the manager called the local police station, with who they are on good terms with, to ask if there were any police instructions about the party. The station said no, but added that if someone did raise a problem they would have to act – clearly covering their base in case someone had a problem with the party.
When we tried asking the reason for all this, the only answer we were given was to check the story in Mid-Day about how this party was meant to reassure guys who were scared from last week’s event. The article did not quote us saying anything negative about the police, but just reiterating our aim of having a party that fully complied with all the police rules. Yet some members of the police seem to have seen it as trying to defy the police (not our intention at all), and so warned us not to try.
By this time the management at this venue had, not surprisingly, started freaking out and insisting we cancel the party. We considered options for a while, but finally decided that combined with the apprehensions of the management, who have always been co-operative with us, and the need to ensure, as far as possible, the safety of the people at the party, the wisest option would be to cancel it and, with a lot of regret, we did.
As far as was possible, in such a fluid situation we tried sending out sms to alert people and stop them from landing up at the venue. If you didn’t get the message and did land up, please accept our sincere apologies (and to the guy who was upset about buying a new T-shirt for the party which he couldn’t wear now, well, just iron and keep it for the next – or wear it to the relationships meet on Sunday!).
All this simply makes more urgent the actions we had planned earlier – to find out details about why people at Oshiwara were charged with public indencency, and then perhaps challenge that, and to try and meet senior police officials to talk with them about how to prevent such police problems and how to demonstrate that we are staying within all the rules. We’ll be posting more details about this soon.
And last – we have been getting lots of calls from people worried about what’s happening at parties and wanting to know what to do. Since we have a relationships meet this Sunday, we thought that we could keep part of it towards the end to answering questions and sharing experiences on this issue. We have no clear and easy solutions, other than working together on this and not being daunted, and talking about it is one way towards that.
Details: Hotel Imperial Palace, Andheri East – at Roti (formerly Zouk lounge). 3.30-7 pm.