A month after Sudin Dhavalikar, PWD minister in the Manohar Parrikar-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in Goa, asked for a ban on bikinis on beaches, his party member Lavoo Mamledar said that if tourism had to be promoted and is necessary, then there could be a bikini beach with entry fees.
“A beach labelled as a bikini beach could be created, if we really feel that bikinis will promote tourism in Goa. There can be an enclosure and an entry fee of Rs 1,000 to 2,000 could be levied. This will not only increase tourism prospects but also generate revenue,” Mamledar opined.
Aldona MLA Glen Ticlo put a safety spin to the issue by saying that he was concerned that women who wear sarees and salwar suits in the water may drown since this kind of clothing is heavy. So he supported the wearing of bikinis to protect women tourists from drowning.
“You see on the beaches, we see tourist men are in shorts and women in sarees and salwar-kameez. It is very dangerous although lifeguards are stationed there. Women can drown…wearing of swimwear is very important. Awareness should be created,” he told the House while refusing to utter the ‘bikini’ word. “At any beach, anywhere, there is a system. It has to be implemented,” the MLA, who recently returned from Brazil trip, added.
Reacting to the plans to create a bikini beach in Goa, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that it exposed double-faced nature of the ruling party. “It is very unfortunate. On the one hand, the BJP talks of safeguarding India’s traditional and ancient cultural values, and on the other, they make these remarks. This is why we keep saying that the BJP is double-faced. They have a dual character,” said Alvi.
Goa Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat said such statements will ruin the state’s image both nationally and internationally. “These statements are ridiculous, and they have started coming after the BJP came to power. Somewhere a full stop needs to be put, as Goa’s image is at stake. It has gone for a toss in the past three months, nationally and internationally,” said Kamat.