Shakira of the ‘Whenever, Wherever’ and ‘Waka Waka’ fame is reportedly set to perform in Vizag at the Beach Love Festival in February. The three day beach festival is being organised by the the Andhra Pradesh government in collaboration with Positive Global Services and Consultancy from Mumbai.
The festival has been planned on behalf on Valentine’s Day and is said to be held in Feb 2017. Representatives of the firm have already visited Erramatti Dibbalu, Sagarnagar, and Thotlakonda to scout out a 10 acre area for the event. The event that will be attended by CM Chandrababu Naidu and other political bigwigs is being organised by the Department of Youth Affairs, Tourism Department and VUDA. 9000 couples from across the globe, food festivals, dance programs, beauty contests and performances by Hollywood and Bollywood stars can reportedly be expected at the event.
While all of this sounds too good to be true, the idea has already received a lot of flak from student activists and women organisations. The fact that the state government believes that the beach festival will put Vizag on the map is facing a lot of dissent.
POW President Lakshmi gave out a statement saying that such festivals will leave to the deterioration of society and that the “AP Government has already begun the cheap publicity stunts held in the name of culture, tradition, and tourism development”. She also said they would oppose “western ways of love” displayed at the event. BJP leader Vishnu Kumar Raju questioned how the CM can expect to attract investments holding such “vulgar festivals” as there are reports of bikini-clad girls performing at the festival. It is apparently a “conspiracy against Indian culture”. The YSRCP is also against the festivals stating that “we Indians have enough love in our hearts” and that there is no need to host such festivals. Party MLA RK Roja has said that her party would do everything they can to stall the festival.
The state government has not responded to the dissent.