Friday, August 5, 2011


New Delhi, India - Cheerleading arrived in India three years ago with the inception of a shorter, more TV-friendly form of cricket, a three-hour version of a game that, in its purest form, lasts five days with breaks for tea.  To attract audiences to the glitzy new Indian Premier League, organizers drew on an age-old principle - sex sells - and introduced U.S.-style cheerleaders in bikinis, miniskirts and high boots.  Many male fans welcomed the idea. But right-wing, religious and feminist groups quickly condemned it as “vulgar,” “walking porn” and “frivolous eye candy” in a nation where, sensuality is not frequently discussed or displayed in public.  At least half the cheerleaders were foreigners, including several members of the Washington Redskins cheerleading squad who wear short skirts.  They’re “worse than bar dancers,” complained Maharashtra state minister Siddharam Mhetre. “Mothers and daughters watch these matches and it does not look nice.”

In a bid to appeal to the cultured side of the sports-fan brain, the Warriors introduced its traditional-culture, fully clothed approach to crowd excitement. Cheerleaders juggle seven traditional dance forms and multiple costumes in a bid to encapsulate India’s 5,000-year diversity before spectators, all in a heat that can reach 120 degrees Farenheit.  The cheerleading squad for the Indian cricket team Pune Warriors takes a traditional-culture, fully clothed approach to motivate players and fans. It calls for complex hand waves and traditional dance steps in saris. “The concept of Cheer Queens is an extraordinary way of showcasing our national artistic heritage to the world,” says Abhijit Sarkar, director of the Pune Warriors.

An Indian cricket team said it is “showcasing our national heritage” by employing cheerleaders dressed in full-length traditional clothing.  Abhijit Sarkar, director of the Pune Warriors, said the “cheer queens” reviving up the crowds for the teams are dressed conservatively and use complex hand waves and traditional dances in the place of high kicks and splits.  He said the idea of the “cheer queens” is an incredible means to expose to the world their ancient artistic tradition.  Keeping traditions and avoid losing the sense of decorum and decency are the basis of social morality.  

Tradition includes dress-code, demeanours and flexibility or by its popular name, social freedom, as diagnostic devices for nature, impression and depiction of inner discipline. It describes about the subtle impact of every inch of thought, exposure and action in character, which may not be digestible to the fashion world. ... Unfortunately, this is branded as a western culture, whereas it is a degraded form of global cultural stamina, which has infected the western community.  Due to continuous engagement in scientific and economic pursuits, west has lost its immunity in self and social control, which has made it the first and the worst vulnerable region for ethical degradation. ... Without cultural framework, any self styled discipline, audacity and insecure freedom will certainly dismantle any orderly society or even an organised one.

Śrīla S.A.R. Prasanna Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swamy :
Acarya de la Ramanuja Sampradaya
“International Conference on Interfaith” - “Culture”
“Culture, Philosophy, Literature and Religion” 2009, Mumbai, India.

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