Trouble brews for Playboy in Goa

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 10, 2013 15:29 hrs

Panaji: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Michael Lobo has been supported by his party in Goa and women's wing of the Congress party in opposing Playboy's proposal to start their operations in the coastal state.

In two separate press conferences, the BJP and All India Mahila Congress Committee expressed their displeasure on the proposed setting up of Playboy nightclub at Candolim beach.

BJP's Goa spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita said the party does not approve Playboy Club anywhere in the state and they will take up the issue with the state government.

"We are indeed taking into consideration the objections raised by Lobo. We will talk to the government," he said.

The government's own legislator had threatened to go on indefinite hunger strike if the government approves the proposal for setting up the club in Candolim, claiming it will encourage prostitution.

"If the government allows Playboy in my constituency, I will sit on hunger strike till my death. The brand is only about nudity and vulgarity. Goa should not be allowed to become international destination for prostitution through such brands," Lobo was quoted as saying.

All Goa Mahila Congress Committee President Anita Verma, in another press briefing, said it will discourage tourism but at the same time, left the decision to be taken by the people of Goa. She even went to say that the concept will not be a success.

Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar will reply to a Calling Attention Motion moved by Lobo on Playboy on Monday.

Earlier this month, the government in their written reply on the floor of the House had said it was considering the proposal of the Indian franchise of the US-based group to start a nightclub in Goa.

Various organizations in the state have been opposing Playboy since last over six months saying it is insulting to Goa's rich culture and tradition.

Women's group opposes Playboy club in Goa

A women's group on Wednesday joined the protest against a proposed Playboy club in Goa, the controversies surrounding which have already created a rift in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sabina Martins, convenor of women's rights group Bailancho Saad, said that Playboy was known the world over for "denigrating women and promoting voyeurism" but Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was not committed to refusing permission for the club to operate in Goa.

"Bailancho Saad strongly condemns the setting up of the Playboy club as it reduces women to a sex object and perpetuates exploitation of women. State cannot legalise exploitation of women by giving permission," said Martins in a statement.

She added that the casino industry and prostitution had already resulted into a lot of women being trafficked to Goa from across the world.

"There has been an increase in trafficking of women especially foreigners. Russian and Filipino women are used in hotels to entertain guests. The number of foreign women found in protective homes after raids is an indication of the prevalent exploitation," Martins said.

The issue of granting permission to Playboy club, promoted by the Mumbai-based PB Lifestyle, has triggered a revolt within the BJP after the party's north Goa president Michael Lobo accused the government of trying to "promote prostitution".

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, who is considering PB Lifestyle's proposal to set up the club in the beach village of Candolim, has sought time until Monday to decide on the proposal.

The government had last week asked the franchisee to submit an affidavit saying that no nudity or vulgarity would be promoted. Martins is, however, not impressed.

"The swearing of affidavits that no nudity or vulgarity or exploitation of women will take place are meaningless pieces of paper as they are never adhered to," she said.

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