Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lewd and Obscene Comments Scare IPL Twenty20 Cheerleaders

You can not imagine an IPL Twenty Twenty game without the side shows. The movie stars, Cricket Stars, Politicians and the Cheerleaders (Generally white, skimpily clad and jumping up and down with their tom-toms).

Unfortunately, behind the beaming smiles and enthusiastic hippy-hippy shakes are some very unhappy and scared young ladies because they are being targeted by the IPL (Indian Premier League) spectators with obscenities and lewd propositions.

The cheer leading ladies of IPL say that the kind of lewd comments and rude remarks they have had to endure over the last week from the Indian public had left them “disgusted and disturbed.

Tabitha, who says she’s originally from Uzbekistan, added, “Wherever we go, we do expect people to pass lewd, snide remarks but I’m shocked by the nature and magnitude of the comments people pass here… Be it a 70-year-old oldie or a 15-year-old kid, they all letch at us and make amorous advances. I feel very threatened. We are here to entertain them, to add a bit of glamor, but we are living in constant fear (of someone attempting something).”

Another cheerleader, worried about revealing her name, said: “It’s tough to dance and keep smiling when the people behind are giving you hell. People here think we’re morally loose women just because they see us enjoying ourselves. We’re doing a job and all we want is a bit of respect, that’s all.”

Cheerleaders, as the name suggests, are supposed to lead the cheer of supporters for a particular team. It encourages viewers’ participation and raises the level of game, or at least that’s what it is supposed to do. But Indian spectator mentality is different. A skimpily clad woman prancing around in a public place is looked down upon as a woman of loose character in India.

There are opposing views about the cheer leading phenomenon in IPL Twenty matches. Some feel it is a revolting and crude spectacle and is not a part of cricket. They question if people come to watch IPL matches or the skimpily clad women. Such people also think we are borrowing the worst from the west.

Others think that cheerleaders add glamour and pep to the IPL Twenty20 matches. They argue we have to change and move with time, otherwise why the colored clothing, the white ball or the 20 20 format?

As for the promoters of the game, as long as people fill up the stadiums they will not be concerned. Isn’t that the whole point? They will go to any length to get people glued to IPL Twenty20 game. They are going to provide better security to the cheerleaders in the future matches.

For the cheerleaders’ sake I, hope things improve and IPL crowds become a little more sensitive. After all these girls are just doing their job and if you don’t like what they are doing, why don’t you just watch the cricket?

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