Playboy confident of Parrikar's green signal to Club

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 14 April 2013 14:39 IST

Playboy designs special outfit for bunnies in India

A final decision on starting Playboy Club in Goa lies with chief minister Manohar Parrikar, according to the report filed by Indian edition of Wall Street Journal.

The blog-based section of Wall Street Journal, called IndiaRealTime has reported that tourism minister Dilip Parulekar would discuss the issue threadbare with Parrikar this weekend (today).

The Mumbai-based promoters of Playboy Club however are hopeful that they would finally secure the licence.

In order to counter opposition to Playboy on the grounds of vulgarity, the Indian promoters have even changed the traditional costumes the bunnies (club girls) wear.

Playboy plans to set up 120 clubs in India, beginning  with Goa.

While Goa club was to start in March, the second in line was Hyderabad. But opposition in Goa has delayed all the plans.

The Wall Street Journal report states as follows:

As many as 120 Playboy-branded clubs, hotels, fashion bars and cafés are set to open in India over the next 10 years, starting with clubs in Goa at some point this year. The location for the first Playboy Club is Calangute – the Goa constituency Mr. Lobo is from. 

Mounting political opposition to Playboy may thwart these plans. 

Wilfred Mesquita, a spokesman for the BJP in Goa, said: “Anything which affects the morality and culture of Goa will be opposed by the party. If this Playboy is the same Playboy which is abroad, then we will definitely oppose it.” He added his party is looking into what form the Playboy Clubs would take in India, and respond accordingly. 

Subhash Shirodkar, a senior member of the rival Congress party in Goa, said his party is opposed to Playboy Clubs.

Adult entertainment is widely frowned upon in India. This is the key reason why Playboy magazine isn’t even permitted on local newsstands. 

In keeping with local cultural sensitivities, the Playboy brand has been significantly toned down in India. 

For instance, Playboy bunnies in India will show less skin, says Sanjay Gupta, chief executive officer of PB Lifestyle Ltd., a Mumbai-based company that has an exclusive license to market Playboy merchandise and to set up and manage clubs here. 

The original bunny suit – the outfit worn by waitresses in Playboy Clubs– has been modified to suit Indian sensibilities. 

“Playboy bunnies are integral to Playboy clubs and we have told them that we have toned down the bunny outfit,” Mr. Gupta told India Real Time. In India the so-called “bunnies” will wear full-length sheer skirts and tube tops.  

“We filed an affidavit to the government categorically stating that as far as our club format goes, there is definitely no vulgarity,” Mr. Gupta told India Real Time. PB Lifestyle is unrelated to the empire of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. 

Failure to secure a license from Goa’s tourism department has already delayed the opening of the first club by several months. But Mr. Gupta is confident that the company will secure the license it needs from Goa’s tourism department. 

Dilip Parulekar, Goa’s tourism minister, told India Real Time he will discuss the Playboy license this weekend with chief minister Manohar Parrikar. 

Previously, Mr. Lobo has crusaded against dance bars in his constituency. He said he got 14 dance bars, a front for prostitution which is illegal in India, to shut down.

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