The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Letters to Editor

Easy on the eye

Sir ' The Indian women's cricket team reaching the World Cup final and its subsequent loss to Australia received scanty media attention compared to the hype around the ongoing India-Pakistan series. However feminists may dislike it, when it comes to cricket, men are way ahead of women in the popularity index. Perhaps women cricketers should take a leaf out of their tennis counterparts and try to glamorize the game by making the players wear designer outfits and look like Sania Mirza or Maria Sharapova on the field. This will rope in sponsors and viewers alike.

Yours faithfully,
Anagh Pal, Calcutta

Out of tune

Sir ' It is with dismay that one observes the protests being staged by the dance bar owners' associations and the Bharatiya Bar Girls' Union against the Maharashtra government's decision to ban all dance bars across the state ('Bar brawl brews', April 14). The main reason for the agitation is the 'welfare and livelihood' of the 75,000 dance girls, who supposedly will be rendered jobless and consequently be forced into prostitution. There is also the argument of the loss of revenue. However, there is little reason for such apprehensions. First, the permit rooms have not been banned. So the girls could always take up jobs as waitresses or bartenders. Besides, the state has promised them rehabilitation.

As for revenue, the government would continue to rake in money from liquor or restaurant licence fees, entertainment tax, excise tax, sales tax and so on. Patrons' grouse that they would be deprived of seeing girls dance is hardly an issue. Girls dancing in various stages of undress can be seen on a range of channels and nothing can stop bar owners from installing widescreen television sets displaying them.

One wonders why such an excellent piece of legislation has been greeted so negatively by the media. Look at the other side of the coin ' the amount of money wasted on frivolous pursuits can be prevented as also the agony caused to families of men who visit the bars. The media should also have taken into consideration the fact that those protesting the ban are vastly outnumbered by the silent majority of those who wholeheartedly welcome it.

Yours faithfully,
G.R. Vora, Mumbai

Sir ' It is strange that on the one hand, there is talk of legalizing homosexuality and on the other, the government is banning dance bars across Maharashtra because of its corrupting influence on youngsters. What about the vulgar remix videos and blue films which are easily available in the market and on the internet' The future of more than 75,000 girls are at stake. It is only expected that the same poverty that forced them to choose the dance bar will now lead them to brothels. It is okay for the moral guardians of society if a provocative dance is publicly performed in the name of mujra or strip-tease is performed in five-star hotels. But not if they are held in Mumbai's bars.

Yours faithfully,
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta

Unhappy birthdays

Sir ' Celebrating birth anniversaries of leaders like B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi by declaring the days as public holidays is an insult to the ideals they stood for. April 14 and October 2 should be celebrated by increasing working hours in offices by a nominal half-an-hour. Government employees should pledge to commemorate these days as 'no-bribe' days and actually work for public welfare, unlike most other days. Politicians should be spared the formality of offering tributes at the memorials of the leaders. There should, in fact, be an austerity drive and the government should avoid spending on publicity for these occasions.

Yours faithfully,
S.C. Agrawal, Dariba

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