New Year, no partying? Chill, cops

New Year, no partying? Chill, cops

The authorities in Bengaluru have thrown a wet blanket on the plans for the celebration of the New Year with a number of curbs and regulations on the conduct of the people. Section 144 will be imposed in the city on the evening of December 31 and it will be in force through the night till the morning of the New Year. No celebrations will be allowed after 11 pm, forcing many to cheer the New Year an hour before it officially arrives. No celebrations in parks and streets and other public places and the happy frolicking grounds of MG Road and its surrounding areas will be no-man’s land. Apartments, clubs, bars and restaurants will all be under various restrictions and even bikes have been told not to rise in the stunt, and their owners have been served the copies of the orders. Not even a cake to be cut in apartment buildings, nor should anyone dance, says a police notice. 

Bengaluru has always welcomed the New Year boisterously, on its streets and in public places, apartments and homes, and anywhere else that people can meet, sometimes going beyond the limits of normal celebrations. The spirit often runs ahead of the rules. But we know corona is a hard nut to crack, unforgiving in temperament, present everywhere and ready to strike. Our rulers know that better and that is why a warlike scenario has been drawn up and something like a scorched earth policy is being implemented so that any hopeful viruses will be disappointed, seeing the deserted streets and other places without people. We do not know if viruses celebrate the New Year in their world. If they do, we should not make it easy for them to go over the top. 

But the New Year spirit may pose some questions to the regulations. The virus is said to be beating a retreat. Many of our places are safer than they were in the past few months. There are big congregations happening in many places, and small ones in many more places. An election rally in West Bengal can provide a bigger carnival for the virus than a single night’s festivity. The government itself is opening up schools the next day with no thought about how many children should walk, sit or run together. So why discriminate against the New Year revellers? After a run of depressing days and months, many would be looking forward to let go and have some fun, hoping for better days. This New year is like no other New Year, and it is bound to sneak and breakthrough all the gaps in the rules for the night. Cops, just chill.