No IPL cheerleaders for hypocrites

Published: May 31, 2012

They showcase their hard worked routines at the fall of a wicket, a boundary or sometimes, just for the heck of it and blow kisses into the camera. PHOTO: AFP

IPL never appealed to me as a concept; I pretty much perceived it as a cheap rip off of the English Premier League. As it happened, I watched an innings in which both Chris Gayle and A B De Villiers were on the field and, well, I got hooked.

With time the awareness sunk in that IPL was nothing like EPL. The recent off-field drama has brought IPL into the lime light much more than the on-field performances. These include antics from Bollywood superstars along with allegations of spot fixing.

With all the glamour and dazzle of the IPL, it is only natural that skimpily clad women be imported and placed at the edge of the boundary line to ‘shake it’ when required. Around the globe, major sporting events can rarely go without female objectification. IPL cheerleaders have been a source of much debate and speculation. They showcase their hard worked routines at the fall of a wicket, a boundary or sometimes, just for the heck of it and blow kisses into the camera. Sometimes, a brave anchor will instigate a show down between cheerleaders of two sides, assuming they are on the set of a Hollywood movie like “Step-up 2”.

It was only a matter of time before a certain television network in Pakistan took notice of these women prancing lewdly on screen and decided it was not fit for audiences to view such scandalous things. They took it upon their hands to rectify this issue.

They devised a time-tested – and might I say extremely successful – policy for Pakistan Television Network (PTV) to invoke the censorship clause. Now, instead of watching the game, we got to view a colourful display plastering IPL on the screen. After a couple of weeks of censoring cricketing shots, players, cheering crowds, replays and yes, also the cheerleaders the censor guys finally discovered when to bring up the IPL censor sign. After many hit and miss runs, the guys in the control room managed to synchronise the censoring with the cheerleaders.

Well done, credit should be given where deserved!

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the censor board filling out my TV screen, but I find it highly hypocritical that the same TV network which broadcasts these matches goes on and displays the most lewd Bollywood songs on its prime time news hours. Song and dance is considered to be more important that the unrest in Syria or even the Egyptian revolution.

You will often find Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor in the bawdiest dances on screen along with equally suggestive advertisements. To allow this is perfectly acceptable, but IPL cheerleaders are completely unpalatable?

What hypocrisy.

This poses the question of why there is this dichotomy in the media and who gets to decide what is fit for viewership and what is not. I, for one, find it very difficult to keep preparing myself mentally about what is appropriate to watch on screen and what isn’t.

This censorship policy screams out the legacy of our esteemed leader, General Ziaul Haq and needs to be critically reviewed.

Also, as a staunch believer in gender equality, I believe that showing skimpily clad men should also be banned, especially the wrestlers. Why should our female counterparts be exposed to such indecency when men are not allowed the same?

It is high time for Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to develop a consistent guideline on what is ‘decent’ and allowable to be aired and what is not. This should be practised across the board.

The policies that are developed should be consistent with the socio-economic setup of the country, yet at the same time they should not encourage intolerance. As it is, there is a dire need for liberal speech and expression in the country and state control generally results in failure, as  past experiences of illegal satellite dishes and cable have shown.

Follow Jawad on Twitter @JawadRehman4

Jawad Rehman

Jawad Rehman

Is a young opinionated person who has acquired training in economics and has an interest in politics, cricket, food and development. He tweets @JawadRehman4

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • krish

    I thought you are talking about cricketing standard of IPL. but you went after cheer leaders then bollywood actrecess then mr. Zia and his censorship. Then you started talking about PREMRA. Man, why did you give tite about IPL? now change the title. Recommend

  • Faisal

    I didn’t watch any match of IPL that’s why I didn’t notice that but nonetheless you are spot on !! Recommend

  • ..

    IPL is meant for an Indian audience, they can do what suits them best and if they like that kind of stuff then good for them. As far as Pakistan is concerned yes there should be uniform guideline which should be developed with consensus of all stakeholders. However my personal opinion is as adults we are fully capable of self censorship thought I know there a few takers here for this argmt,Recommend

  • oracle (india)

    Mr Author : just for the record, Pakistan ranks no 1 in internet pornography…its better if you write something to stop that….nobody in india is claiming we are ahead of EPL or bundesliga or laliga..those leagues are way ahead and have 100 years of legacy..IPL is the biggest league in cricket world and one of the biggest in asian continent and will remain so for reasonable period of time..

    if you dont like it, then switch off tv..dont pretend to be a saint..It aint suit you mate.. ;)Recommend

  • Mr A.

    Dear writer: May I solve the mystery of how the censoring guys made it 100% spot on… Well they delayed the transmission by 3-4 seconds i.e we were seeing the bowl bowled 3-4 seconds after it actually did. So they knew whenever there were the dancing girls before the viewers and this had to be done in order to avoid a permanent ban on channel from PTA.

    Besides, the article was more of making a contribution to ET once in a while. Nothing in it made sense. Recommend

  • Aqdus

    I think, Jawad, that the way you wrap up an important point of concern in personal feeling and experience, make this not just an interesting read, but also something we can all understand. I feel that the readers should be mature enough to look beyond the title and engage with the deeper issues you present.

    Looking forward to reading a lot more from your end. Recommend

  • adeel samuel

    i do not watch ipl nor did i read the article but the video is hilarious…..hahahaha….these cheerleaders should get a chance for stand up comedy…..Recommend

  • faraz

    Cheerleaders were going to destroy the social fabric of our great society. Empires have collapsed because of dance and nudity. Thanks God we have been savedRecommend

  • 1984

    I just wonder about the cheerleaders in the upcoming PPL..

    Will they be dressed in black burqa??

    or would they replace girls with Kalashnikov bearing men shooting in the air???Recommend

  • Abbas

    @faraz: your country collapsed even without cheerleaders. So?????Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    @faraz: Yeah! And my S-class fell to pieces when a woman in skinny jeans and a tight t-shirt walked by! Ouch!

    Anyway… How much longer will we be running away from the human body? Where are we living in, the Zia era? Everybody knows that Pakistan googles porn the most. By censoring such stuff we are flogging a dead horse.Recommend

  • Wayne

    Cheerleaders are good.

    Pakistan should bring (female)cheerleaders in every sports league in the country.
    There should even be cheerleaders in School and college tournaments just like in the states.

    The only thing good about the IPL in my opinion are the cheerleaders.Recommend

  • Wayne

    I say get rid of PEMRA.

    We should be as liberal as the Scandinavians.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @faraz: Have we ???Recommend

  • KChawla

    Dear .. and Oracle India. I couldn’t disagree more. Primarily, the IPL is NOT meant for an Indian audience alone because if it were then countries around the world would not have the TV rights to broadcast it. The ethos of the article is not about the superiority of the IPL or EPL or the pornographic nature of the songs/cheerleaders- its about gender equality and a hypocritic society. If anything, Jawad is critical of his own country.Recommend

  • Varun (India)

    @oracle (india):
    Why don’t you read the whole article and then comment ?
    What you took offense to wasn’t the central point the author was trying to make …

    And please don’t make anything even slightly against IPL a national prestige issue.Recommend

  • faraz

    @Abbas, Parvez

    Cant blame you for not getting the sarcasm. The majority here seriously believes that rise and fall of nations is linked to clothes, especially that of women.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @faraz

    Got it first time.May be, because I am familiar with your views by now.
    Your second post is even better.I’m still loughing with ‘rise and fall of nations is linked to clothes, espcially that of women.’ Recommend

  • Hammad

    I really dont understand. This article is about Pemra and Censorship. Why have so many people started talking about the IPL?

    And censorship goes back to bad old pre-Pemra days. When PTV began censoring CNN.Recommend

  • Mr. Weird

    :@ writer can you these cheerleader infront of your family?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    @1984:

    Buddy, I don’t think you have seen PPL, because if you had you would have noticed instantly that guys, not girls, are cheerleaders. :)

    Its very funny, you should watch. I am waiting for the time when all of them will grow beards and will be completely unrecognizable from each other. I am reminded of that new movie The Dictator for some reason.Recommend

  • gp65

    @faraz:
    Did get your sarcasm the very first time because I have read many other posts from you. Unfortunately the views you expressed are actual views of so many people that, unless the people actually were familiar with your thinking process – the sarcasm would not be evident.

    I can guarantee that some of the likes you got is from people who took it at face value.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Mr. Weird: ” writer can you these cheerleader infront of your family?”

    I don’t know about the writer but I CAN watch it with my family. Don’t find anything objectionable. In your case it looks like you feel you can watch it by yourself but not with your family. Why so? Why would it be bad for your wife or daughter to watch it when it is Okay for you to watch it?Recommend

  • Awais

    @Wayne:
    Can they all be hot? I’d like that.Recommend

  • raw is war

    @ Author, even the male wrestlers have MALE audience in pakistan. Doubt if women watch them.Recommend