Indian IPL Cheerleaders

From Times of India:

Pune Warriors, during their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter with Delhi Daredevils on Sunday, unveiled a new concept at the D.Y. Patil Sports Complex by replacing cheergirls with traditional Indian ‘Cheer Queens’ to goad on the team.

The concept is a brainchild of Sahara India Pariwar’s Managing Worker Chairman Subrata Roy. Indian girls dressed in designer ethnic dance costumes to cheered for the Pune Warriors, who are having a great run in their maiden IPL season.

Like Amy S. (forever missed), I generally opposed the presence of cheerleaders on or near the cricket field. The game already suffers from a terrible gender deficit (please! More on-air female commentators, and more female umpires!), and I didn’t feel placing women as eye-candy was the way to fix it. That said, an equally difficult problem was that all the cheerleaders were white, a decision obviously born out of a complex mix of marketing and nationalism. IPL organizers could satisfy the male gaze and local feminists by saying they were protecting Indian women, at the expense of the foreigners’.

Which, of course, is a terrible discourse to perpetuate. Allowing Indian men to cheer on white women isn’t the answer — and I’m not sure I much prefer the traditional Indian alternative described above. But it’s a terribly difficult thicket here: on the one hand, I don’t want to sound like right-wing demagogues, who oppose female cheerleaders because they see any role for women outside the kitchen as inappropriate. On the other hand, it’s galling to see shots of scantily clad white women dancing in front of all those male Indian eyes, like some terrible reversal of colonial edicts. What’s the answer?

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5 thoughts on “Indian IPL Cheerleaders

  1. achettup says:

    Also, the walrus was Amy…

  2. Sunny says:

    Already the image of white women in India is that they are all promiscuous, and now the scandily clad cheerleaders in IPL is adding more fuel to this fire. Thanks to the media, they never get to see western women as loving moms to their children, managing work and family, doing missionary work abroad. There already has been a recent splurge in sexual assault of foreigners in India…the inclusion of scantily clad western women in bollywood item songs and IPL cheerleading is going to make it even worse.

  3. Indian Premier League {Cricket Of India} : The diamond-encrusted trophy of DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket was designed by Orra brand, owned by Antwerp-based Rosy Blue Group. It comprises of a player in a gold leafing. He is shown holding a bat in his hand, next to a map of India. On the map, the names of all the IPL teams have been engraved by rubies. It took a team of as many as 14 craftsmen to make the trophy. Every year, the winners of the IPL T20 tournament are presented with a replica of this trophy, along with the prize money.

  4. […] like that they’re mostly white, and no, I’m not inclined to feel better about the Indian IPL cheerleaders either. This isn’t the first time an IPL cheerleader controversy has erupted; during the […]

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