Where do I stay?


Bachelors not allowed Is a sign that greets you at the entry of many societies in Pune, especially in areas like Aundh, Pimple Saudagar etc. that are closer to the IT Hub in the city – Hinjewadi. Isn’t this like stereotyping an entire set of people? And I used to believe that stereotyping isn’t a good idea. One must not have a prejudice against anyone and must allow the other person to prove himself/herself.

If not here, then Where do I stay? It is unfortunate that some of our bachelor friends are forced to ask this question every now and then.

The various industries (mostly IT) in Hinjewadi area today employ upwards of 1 lac people. This is the floating population that comes in to work daily and returns home in the evening. They do create traffic problems, but this isn’t about the traffic issues. It would be safe to assume that about 30% of this population are bachelors (given the average age of the IT organizations) and many of them have come from out station to create a livelihood for themselves. The issue is where do these 30K people stay?

Many societies have banned bachelors from staying in their premises on the pretext that they create nuisance and their presence is detrimental to good and safe family environment. While there are bad fish everywhere, do we really think that all the bachelors are creating issues? At the same time are all families really setting good examples of how to live in a society and inculcate good family values? So why single out bachelor tenants only?

A simple question to all those ‘family’ folks standing in the forefront and feeling proud of having invoked this ban, where they born married? Didn’t they grow up like all others and weren’t they bachelors at some stage in their lives? Do they claim that they were good well-mannered bachelors setting the right example? And if they were, why can’t the ones of today can be? Or are these people claiming that they were the last of such a breed and the ones now have suddenly lost all moral values? But then isn’t that a tricky question. If they were good people, they would have taught good values to their kids and those kids with good parents, and good values would have grown to become good people themselves, so how come they are now suddenly labeled as not good? Is then that a flaw in that bachelor or the family he/she belongs to?

Another question is if these families have thought about future? About their own kids? They will also grow up, will go someplace to study and the find a job. What happens if tomorrow everyone follows suit and bachelors are banned all over. Where will the kids stay? Ah! But I am forgetting. These are good kids from good families, who will grow up to be great people. It is only today’s bachelors that are not well behaved, right? How ironical!!!

Does anyone recall Satyamev Jayate, the show that Aamir Khan anchored and it got record breaking viewership? Most of the problems shown there are those plaguing the so called family folks. The female foeticide, the child molestation, the honor killing, mostly had examples from families.

Banning all is just trying to look away from the problem and trying to create a solution that doesn’t really addresses the issue, but outcastes an entire generation of people. Yes, I agree that there are some of those who really cross the line, but then we should punish only those and not everyone else. Let’s say if a male commits a crime, we don’t throw entire neighborhood or all males of that age into jail, do we? Societies can easily create a set of rules that everyone should follow to maintain the harmony of the society and anyone violating it should be asked to leave and this should be equally applicable to families and bachelors, anyone staying as tenant. As a punishment, some public service could also be imposed like watering the gardens, cleaning the society or anything else, which could become an example for people intending to create trouble?

If you are thinking that it is easier said than done, then you are wrong. The society where I stay, we have this working for the past 5-6 years. We have bachelors as tenants in our society and all stay amicably. In fact in one of society events, where people had put up food stalls, it was the bachelor’s stall serving corn bhaji that sold the most plates. They had to run back home to cook fresh stock at least two to three times, given the demand. Yes, we have had our share of unwanted incidents and we have promptly asked those specific individuals to leave.

Even legally this isn’t allowed. See some discussions here
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/forum/Society-law-Bachelor-tenants-prohibited-14430.asp
http://www.punemirror.in/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=20090124200901240639247501ca3a64a&sectxslt=  

While owners can object to this rules as in the Pune Mirror article, the owners may be a bit apprehensive to take any such steps for fear of repercussions later like at the time of resale of the flat, society make create trouble in granting NOC.

Bachelors have an option to appeal in consumer court for discrimination against them. With a large population being affected, they can come together and raise their voice collectively. But I will strongly urge them to get their act together as well. They need to think with an open mind if breaking rules, creating nuisance for maybe just a little bit of fun really worth it? There are legitimate ways and places to have fun. Even within the society you are staying and want to do a late night, you can do it, but with proper decency and being accommodative of the fact that others in the next flat aren’t doing a night out with you. Is it really worth being adamant and creating that nuisance factor and then being outcast and banned from living in any society?

I think societies need to rethink on their strategy and figure out a better solution that is a win-win for all. They should think of innovative ways to solve the issue and be a leader in that space rather than compete against other societies on who will throw out all the bachelors first. Hinjewadi based organizations and associations like HIA can also possibly take up this cause. An option that organizations can consider is vouch for the character of their employees, but at the same time link it to say employment. In case of complaints not only the person has to leave the society premises, but will also stand to lose his/her job.

Why not just live and let live. 

Comments

  1. This is very thoughtfully penned with all the points well put and considered. The HIA part is very nice and I guess people can make use of this as well.

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