New Delhi: IPL is in the midst of a controversy, but the latest storm has got nothing to do with cricket. It's all about the cheerleaders who are now being caught in a moral debate between Maharashtra's politicians.
The state's BJP says that the cheerleaders are no better than bar dancers. In fact, BJP Maharashtra President, Nitin Gadkari raised the matter in the state Legislature, saying that the Maharashtra government has double standards.
He wanted to know why the state government banned bar dancers but allowed cheerleaders on the cricket field.
"R R Patil of the NCP is taking a moral stand on the issue of bar dancers saying it is immoral. Then how can they freely allow such cheerleaders to participate in these matches with vulgar dance moves? Isn't this immoral also? And what are they going to do about this? I want RR Patil to respond to this," he said.
In response to this, R R Patil has said that the matter will be investigated into and appropriate action will be taken.
Meanwhile, actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha also lashed out at organisers of IPL matches for bringing cheer girls to the stadiums and making a "mockery" of cricket.
"If you are so interested in deploying these cheer girls who dance after hits of fours and sixes, it is better to give chance to the bar girls who have been rendered unemployed after Maharashtra government put a ban on the dance in bars," Sinha was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"I am afraid that cricket, which has been shortened from five days to one day and now to the T 20 format, might be reduced to 'Toss-Toss' in which the winner will be decided through toss," he added sarcastically.
Earlier Shatrughan Sinha had also taken exception to the auctioning of players for the IPL tournament.
CPM leader, D Raja said, "IPL has commercialised the game and whenever anything is corporatised like this, it will lead lead to degradation in ethics and morals."
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Shukla says that there's nothing wrong in using cheerleaders. He says that ethics and values are not affected by entertainment.
Tourism Minister, Ambika Soni agreed saying that different people have different views and this was not a topic for debate.
MORAL POLICING IN MAHARASHTRA
|March 2007: Maharashtra government puts sex education on hold arguing that it corrupts young minds|
|March 2005: Congress-NCP government bans dance bars arguing that they were corrupting the youth.|
|November 2002: Mumbai Police books couples cosying up on the Bandra seafront.|
|1998: Maharashtra Culture Minister Pramod Navalkar bans kissing in public after objecting to certain obscene ads; several plays were also forced to close down after Navalkar complained about their sexual content.|
(With inputs from PTI)