There’s controversy brewing in India ahead of Saturday’s World Cup of Cricket championship game in Mumbai.
While most of the country is hoping that legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar can lead India past Sri Lanka to its first World Cup title since 1983, in what could very well be his last major tournament, others are a bit worried about what might follow. Are they concerned about possible riots? Nope. Looting in the streets? Guess again. Nudity? You bet!
It all stems from a promise made earlier this week by an Indian model named Poonam Pandey.
Following fellow model Larissa Riquelme's lead (and perhaps taking it a step further), Pandey is promising to strip for the team – either in the dressing room or out on the pitch – if they bring home the hardware! That pledge has been met with fierce criticism from India’s right wing parties and has even landed her a court date, but Pandey told the Times of India (via the AP) on Friday that she definitely plans to follow through. That is, if India’s cricket association gives her permission.
While I’m sure the players wouldn’t mind having Pandey around for the postgame celebrations should they win, it looks like there will be some pretty aggressive pressure being placed on the Board of Control for Cricket in India to say no.
One right wing party told the Hindustan Times that they are “totally against such vulgarity and obscenity,” but others, like the Shiv Sena party, are taking a much tougher stance. The extreme right wing group is asking the government to step in and stop Pandey from disrobing, adding that “if they do not handle it, we will.”
Who knows what that means, but it certainly sounds scary!
It looks like Pandey has been, or will be charged with “obscenity” as well for even promising to strip down. She’s also in trouble in her home state: A lawyer has filed a petition in Bhopal, accusing Pandey of giving people “a wrong impression” of the community and “insulting Indian culture.”
That’s a crime? They must not have reality TV!
Either way, the Pandey promise adds a bit of extra spice to a game that certainly doesn’t need any extra hype – when India beat Pakistan in the semifinals, it’s estimated that one-sixth of the world was watching. This game is expected to break that record!