Bangalore is the youngest city in India, if one is to look at the fact that 63% of its population is below the age of 25, as opposed to the nation’s average of 54% being below the age of 25. That is, of course, if you leave out university towns such as Manipal, where possibly 94% of the population is below the age of 25!
A young city needs to think young and act young. Bangalore deserves a nightlife for sure. This is a city that works the oddest of hours. In many ways, we are the capital of the IT industry in India, and we are not far behind when it comes to ITeS. This is a city that is young-leveraged and needs to offer to its young enough opportunities to let their hair down. The young of this city work hard right through the day, and when it comes to looking forward to a nightlife that is safe and happy and fun, there is a 11.30 pm deadline that comes in the way. While most head out and reach their favorite nightspot by 10 pm, by the time the music has started, and by the time the night has really got going, its gotta stop! This is an irk-point for most youngsters in the city.
Bangalore is also a city that attracts a high percentage of the floating population. This comprises people from all over the world and most certainly from every city in India. People who come in come mostly for work, and having done with work, look forward to enjoy a clean nightlife that is a kind of a therapy to work. But then, Cinderalla turns into a watermelon half an hour earlier in Bangalore!
Our city is host to the largest expatriate population in India. Time to make them all feel at home. Every expat today contributes valuable revenue to this city. Time to offer them nightlife like they know in their own country, if not worse.
Yes, I do know that our police force is woefully understaffed to manage a mega-city like Bangalore, but this has been a perennial issue that just does not see a solution. We have been hearing it for the pas 12 years. I think we need to try. All of us need to try and experiment with an extended deadline that goes up to 1 am for a start. Everyone involved in the eco-system of nightlife, from pub owners to those who use them, from slick bouncers to slicker still DJs , the not-so-slick autorickshaw drivers and the city police who man the streets in the night, all need to give it a try.
Bangalore nightlife needs a chance, Mr Siddaramiah! Give it that if you will!
NOTE: Hey! When I ask for extended hours for nightlife, I also ask for extended hours for eateries that cater to the Owls of this city. I am not one, but I know many a hungry and angry Owl!
Harish Bijoor is a brand-expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. twitter @harishbijoor