Playboy Club in Hyderabad: How moral police spoiled the party

Hyderabad: Vendors on the pavements in the downtown Abids area may be selling Playboy magazines, which are officially banned in India, in a secretive way but the celebs of Hyderabad, esquire men and aristocrats, drawn from several walks of life, made no secret of their liking for the risqué bunny, the custom-dressed and custom-trained bargirl, as they wangled invites for the inauguration of the Playboy Club at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC)-Novotel on Saturday night. However, what was expected to be an exciting affair became subdued one after the moral police struck.

DJ Sebjak, the star of the Swedish music and dance, and DJ Anees, were set to herald the opening with their shows, when a score of activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and Hindu Jana Jagruthi Samithi thronged the upmarket venue and squatted in front of HICC. Some activists of BJYM tried to smash the window panes and some furniture at Novotel Hotel. The event continued after arrests were made. However, this does not seem to be the end of the matter. With women organisations too lending weight to the anti-Playboy Club groups the controversy is likely to fester.

 Playboy Club in Hyderabad: How moral police spoiled the party

The promotional poster for the opening. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Though the police officials, including Deputy Commissioner Kanthi Rana, maintained that there would be no nudity or any sleaze in the service at the Playboy Club, women’s organizations have their own objections and apprehensions.

Popular social activist Devi told a TV channel that a delegation called on Cyberabad police commissioner CV Anand and raised two questions: 1) How can the authorities justify the opening of Playboy club in the City, when Playboy magazine was banned? and 2) Where is the guarantee that the officials and government would ensure that nothing untoward and obscene would happen in the Playboy Club?

Some women’s organizations have serious objection to the permission given by the Telangana government for the Playboy Club, at a time when the government appointed a woman tennis star as its brand ambassador.

Though the actual venue for the setting up of the Playboy Club is not known, it is expected to entertain its guests on the outskirts of the megacity in its southern direction or north-western side. A local newspaper, The Hans India, recalled the quote of Sanjay Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of PB Lifestyle Ltd, that the club would be set up in a five-star property in the City.
The Goa government had declined permission to the setting up of a Playboy club in the Candolim Beach in 2012 under similar circumstances.

Aware of this the Playboy Club has sought to downplay the risqué bunny and, instead, proposed to put forth a demure bunny for Indian market. The daily newspaper said that a US-designer, Mohini Tadikonda, has redesigned the outfit with long drapes of chiffon to the bottom half and satin bustier to the upper half. The fatigues of the bunny with bow ties, bodices, bunny ears and tails would all be customized to suit Indian needs. Sanjay Gupta was quoted as saying in an article that there would be no nudity and the bunnies would meet the Indian moral values and sensibilities at the time of Playboy Club’s proposed launch in Goa.

The California’s adult entertainment brand wants to reposition itself as a lifestyle brand for an aspiring middle class Indian. The company, which operates 40 Playboy Clubs across the globe, plans to expand its global footprint in the next one decade with manifold increase in the number of clubs. It is planning to establish its outlets in South Delhi and Worli in Mumbai.

The Hans India also quoted Sana Satish Babu as saying in an interview that the Playboy brand would open new vistas in Hyderabad’s young culture. His London visit and the proposal he made drew Playboy to India and that all of its merchandise and lifestyle goods would be brought within the range of the urban middleclass.

Mohan Gowd of Hindu Jagran Samithi strongly condemned the granting of permission to the Playboy Club which promoted nudity and sex. The promotional narrative of bunny by the Chief Creative Officer of Playboy, Hugh Hefner, that bunnies were “fresh animals, shy, vivacious and sexy” was highlighted by the HJS.

Updated Date: Aug 10, 2014 10:01:29 IST