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‘Dress conservatively’ warning bell to Chennai pub goers

Warnings and rumours of a possible pub raid by ‘moral’ police spread like a wildfire in the city.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
August 14, 2015 2:17:51 pm

Apparently several regular pub goers in Chennai were flagged down on Wednesday by this rumour going around: “Dress Conservatively.” Taken by surprise, many customers called up the pub owners and much to their amazement were told to be cautious in dress codes for a few days as they feared a raid by the ‘moral police’ or the police.

While warnings and rumours of a possible pub raid by ‘moral’ police spread like a wildfire, many regular female clients were warned of problems in wearing short skirts or anything that wasn’t as long ‘for at least a week.’

When contacted, some who got the message from pubs refused to reveal more details citing that no raid happened. Another one said she received the message to ‘Dress Conservatively.’ “I checked with two pubs where we go regularly. Two of them suggested to ‘come in appropriate’ dresses, another suggested wearing pants ‘for next one week,’ while yet another one suggested they keep away from night parties as there may be a police raid,” said a regular pub goer, who is an HR consultant in the city.


A Whatsapp group comprising members of a music team and their fans alerted their members to cancel the shoot of a music album they planned at one of the city pubs. “Short dresses might be a NO and regular police raids might happen regarding age verification,” said one message cancelling their party itself. “And be careful when your girls go out for a drink. More trouble for alcohol consumption,” said the alert.

While many pub owners claimed ignorance or refused to comment on the alerts they sent, some assumed that it may be an after-effect of on going anti-liquor protest in the state. “Or it could be the routine police raids ahead of festivals, this time Independence Day,” said a ‘moderate’ drinker who organise weekend parties and events through his WhatsApp group. Some even suspected the role of real ‘moral police’ which is however something unheard of in Chennai.

A senior police officer however denied of any such plans in the offing to raid city pubs or impose a dress code or do age verification of customers. “Ahead of independence day celebrations, we always keep a tab on all late night programmes and parties. But that too would be all about people who run it, we never interfere in the events or privacy of people who participate in it unless,” he said.

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