The Washington Redskins cheerleaders were brought in to show India’s cricket fans how to shake their pompoms — but not everyone was impressed.
The New Delhi team said Wednesday it was switching its cheerleaders for a band of drummers. Mumbai politicians have forced theirs to cover up, saying their performances were lewd and not appropriate for India’s traditional culture.
The backlash began in Mumbai last week when lawmakers from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party pressed to get cheerleaders banned from the home games of the local team, the Mumbai Indians.
“See the pictures of these girls in the newspapers? This is not something you can allow inside your house, or something that you can look at in the presence of your sister or daughter,” said Nitin Gadkari, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s president for the state of Maharashtra. Mumbai is its capital.
“It may be a good thing for America, for the U.S.A., it’s not a good thing for India, for our kind of culture,” Gadkari said.
Police vowed to keep scantily clad dancers out of public view.
“We will take action,” said Mumbai police officer Ramrao Wagh. “The government has said it will not allow obscenities on the field.” He did not elaborate.