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Ipl 2017
IPL cheerleaders: Cheers versus jeers
Both sides in the debate over cheerleaders are betraying mid-life crisis. It does not matter much to the young. It would not have taken place had our country not been a gerontocracy, where many 40-plus men want exclusive rights to voyeurism.
THERE ARE many things that look odd in the prevailing debate over what apparently is a non-issue: Should cheerleaders be banned from prancing or, is it dancing - during the matches of the Indian Premier League?


Blaming a certain minister of the Congress Party in Maharashtra or a certain politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the opposition party in the state, would shift the focus away from the greater malaise that authorities in this country suffer from. If not for raising such controversies, how many of us would know that some Mehtre and some Gadkari existed in this world numbed by an overdose of events, whose importance in public perception varies in degrees as distinct as fingerprints of individuals? How many Indians outside West Bengal have heard of Subhash Chakraborty, Kshiti Goswami, Nandgopal Bhattacharya and Pratim Chatterjee?

Politicians and bureaucrats would do well to note how people joke about them. In the late 1980s, Doordarshan first showed and then discontinued showing films with ‘adult’ content in late nights following frowns of some moralists in the government. People would quip that the person who demanded a ban must have had a great time watching those objectionable contents perversely after which he must have mused that he was entitled to an exclusive right to voyeurism and, hence, denied the public the same ‘pleasure’!


Some people are also seen envying jocularly the members of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), who get to see ‘everything’ while others cannot.

Media, especially the English one, has never had kind words about moralists. Its editorials are, to that extent, predictable. They fall, after all, under an unwritten code of conduct that supposes that a government is too holy to intervene in matters of ‘recreation’. Let us grant the media its entitlement to this presumption. But whose recreation is it anyway? Are not the editorials calling the matter ’frivolous’ going by a popularly held myth that the semi-clad girls in cricket stadia entertain the young alone?


Enter any household in your neighbourhood without an appointment and you could well run into a man facing mid-life crisis, feasting on every visible millimetre of a Fashion TV model’s skin. Women, who have to bear with mild to severe molestation everyday inside public transports, will tell you that the older a man is, the greater are his chances of being a pervert, having lost all interest in his post-menopausal wife. Yet, as the young are not represented in the higher ranks of media, the older people (the editorial commentators) can get away with belittling today’s generation, age-wise the biggest section of the Indian population. These men and women past their prime, perpetually question the cerebral prowess of the young, whatever be the topic of discussion.


One wonders if any old man who observes the young has ever viewed his judgment this way: Does it give me any pleasure to declare that while I am intellectually evolved — if not intellectually gifted — my son is intellectually challenged? In this case, the equivalent inference is worse: While I am not licentious, my son certainly is!


But much before the psychology of moral police and their detractors bother you, strikes the very nomenclature of the subject that is now in the eye of a storm. Nothing can be prompter than a spontaneous reaction. And the promptest obviously leads the rest. Therefore, how come the hired girls cheering two respective teams are called ’cheerleaders’ if their choreographed display of joy succeeds — instead of preceding — the crowd’s delectation? Whose idea was it anyway? More importantly, what inspired the idea? Is it the sight of bikini-clad women lying all around the stadia — a view that many Indians have been associating with cricket in Australia since the 1980s? Thanks to the television crews’ roving cameras. Voyeurs must be asked which of the two — flesh displayed voluntarily or that displayed for money — titillates them more.


One wishes emotions too could be bought by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Beyond the lure of the so-called cheerleaders’ skin lies the fact that it feels nice to have pretty members in your club when you are cheering your favourite team. If anybody is blessed with sublime taste and discernment, he would agree that the sight of fully clothed (yet Westernised) Pakistani girls cheering their team in Sharjah was much more pleasurable. But which cricket fan watching television today is naive enough to believe that those half a dozen pretty girls are actually friends in the same camp? Since inducing such a crowd-cheerleader, fellow-feeling is impossible. Let the cricket board admit honestly that the girls have been hired for nothing other than a mild version — or the first stage — of erotica, if at all even that can be achieved.


There is a joke that goes: Women hate cricket because when a match is on, men do not turn around to look at them! The BCCI does not seem to have taken this joke seriously. The spectacle of semi-nude women, if the minuscule population of lesbians is overlooked, cannot be targeted at anybody other than male spectators.


If so, this trend of employing girls with reluctantly draped busts exhibiting artificial joy not only disregards women as incapable of appreciating cricket — for which they cannot be the target viewership — but is also a glaring example of commodification of the fairer sex. Viewed in this light, it is both ironical and unfortunate that the overwhelming presence of women in the editorial boards of two pro-market Indian newspapers did not influence their editorial comments, which focused solely on decrying the moralists.


Celebrating ’the woman of substance’, it seems, is akin to reducing a woman to a substance.


Where in this brouhaha would you place the ’generation next’? Disgusted with the incorrigible proclivity of hyper-sensitive politicians and journalists to debate endlessly what a Very Important Person said rather than what he or she did, the young have turned their faces away from the media. Young boys want real girls in their lives rather than fake girls on TV and in cinema. The debate would have never taken place had our country not been a gerontocracy, where one of our 40-plus uncles wants exclusive rights to voyeurism and another is obviously worked up for being denied the peep show.

COMMENTS (3)
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mohnish
The most talked about cricket tamasha is the IPL. I could do with the red cricketing outfits, golden helmets and the music videos but hiring cheerleaders to boost the rating I feel is just an act of violation and dehumanizing women. The corporate giants have played it safe. If the 4s and 6s wouldn’t do it, scantily clad white skinned cheerleaders will b able to attract crowds in large numbers (esp. the avg Indian male who aint gonna miss a chance to get close to his wildest fantasy). If that’s not all there’s a lot of off the field activity going on with cricketers in blazers (fully covered) and the same cheerleaders in bikinis walking the ramp. The best part about the whole tamasha is the police who are always in the news for harassing bar girls for spreading sleaze too seem to be enjoying themselves watching these cheerleaders. Here’s an idea lets have cheerleading males as well( i think they have taken my suggestion) We live in a country where cops won’t even file an FIR after several attempts by a mother to get justice for her 15 year old daughter (yes the infamous Scarlette Keeling case). How the hell can local women get justice? The media too has gone bad esp. the Hindi news channels. “Ashleel mms” seems to be the best story they can come up with. If no story then create one and term it as breaking news or should I say breaking “sleazy” news. What is frustrating is how none of the corporates come forward and invest in building private security agencies to tackle the growing problem of mob molestations (yup Mumbaikars are well aware of what I’m talking about) be it the Baadshah of Bollywood or The King of good times and politicians support the guilty coz they speak the local language therefore they can do no wrong (Khhhhaaakkkk Thhhhhuuuu!!!) My apologies for deviating there a little don’t get me wrong I’m not against the concept of cheerleading but in The Indian Premier League? Sorry it’s just not cricket!!! its not just attn its the wrong kinda attn...they're thrown in there as live bait in front of a gaping audience who newaz associate white skinned women as being characterless...for me its SECURITY which is the main issue...whose gonna be responsible if these sex starved perverts pounce on them saying it was just "harmless teasing" of course all people associated with IPL are gonna support it ...they're getting paid millions remember...not an astrologer but i predict next year IPL we'll have steakers with Red Chillies printed on their butts...Its all about money honey!!! also strongly believe cheer leading is something part of the baseball culture...its actually considered to be a sport there...there are foreigners who throng ancient religious and spiritual places just to know what indian culture (watevr there is remaining of it) is all about ...indians on the other hand only associate the west and the people with skin show, meaningless sex...how abt adopting their practical way of thinking and living...the recent spate of incidents of attacks against foreigners is there to prove my point...
mohnish
The most talked about cricket tamasha is the IPL. I could do with the red cricketing outfits, golden helmets and the music videos but hiring cheerleaders to boost the rating I feel is just an act of violation and dehumanizing women. The corporate giants have played it safe. If the 4s and 6s wouldn’t do it, scantily clad white skinned cheerleaders will b able to attract crowds in large numbers (esp. the avg Indian male who aint gonna miss a chance to get close to his wildest fantasy). If that’s not all there’s a lot of off the field activity going on with cricketers in blazers (fully covered) and the same cheerleaders in bikinis walking the ramp. The best part about the whole tamasha is the police who are always in the news for harassing bar girls for spreading sleaze too seem to be enjoying themselves watching these cheerleaders. Here’s an idea lets have cheerleading males as well( i think they have taken my suggestion) We live in a country where cops won’t even file an FIR after several attempts by a mother to get justice for her 15 year old daughter (yes the infamous Scarlette Keeling case). How the hell can local women get justice? The media too has gone bad esp. the Hindi news channels. “Ashleel mms” seems to be the best story they can come up with. If no story then create one and term it as breaking news or should I say breaking “sleazy” news. What is frustrating is how none of the corporates come forward and invest in building private security agencies to tackle the growing problem of mob molestations (yup Mumbaikars are well aware of what I’m talking about) be it the Baadshah of Bollywood or The King of good times and politicians support the guilty coz they speak the local language therefore they can do no wrong (Khhhhaaakkkk Thhhhhuuuu!!!) My apologies for deviating there a little don’t get me wrong I’m not against the concept of cheerleading but in The Indian Premier League? Sorry it’s just not cricket!!! its not just attn its the wrong kinda attn...they're thrown in there as live bait in front of a gaping audience who newaz associate white skinned women as being characterless...for me its SECURITY which is the main issue...whose gonna be responsible if these sex starved perverts pounce on them saying it was just "harmless teasing" of course all people associated with IPL are gonna support it ...they're getting paid millions remember...not an astrologer but i predict next year IPL we'll have steakers with Red Chillies printed on their butts...Its all about money honey!!! also strongly believe cheer leading is something part of the baseball culture...its actually considered to be a sport there...there are foreigners who throng ancient religious and spiritual places just to know what indian culture (watevr there is remaining of it) is all about ...indians on the other hand only associate the west and the people with skin show, meaningless sex...how abt adopting their practical way of thinking and living...the recent spate of incidents of attacks against foreigners is there to prove my point...
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