Video: Drugs, booze, 'public sex' at govt 'art festival’ sparks outrage
New Delhi: BJP-ruled Karnataka government has been under huge embarrassment over the reports of the three-day international musical festival organised at St Mary’s Island off Malpe coast turning into a rave party with the Chief Minister denying the allegations and inquiry ordered into the issue.
The Spring Zouk Island Festival 2012 hosted from February 3 by the Udupi district administration and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to promote tourism globally, sparked outrage from all quarters over use of drugs and alcohol by foreigners who were found engaged obscene activities in open.
The public display of sleaze and sex not only shamed the state and embarrassed the ruling BJP but became the burning issue in the Karnatak Assembly.
The Udupi district is a stronghold of the BJP and a well-known pilgrimage centre for the Sri Krishna temple.
The rave party in the BJP-ruling state has been a slap on the party, which has often supported groups indulging in moral policing.
The alleged obscenity has become fodder for the Opposition parties to attack the state government.
Two Congress legislators, including U T Khader and Gopal Bhandary, raised the issue during Zero hour in the Assembly charged that 'liquor was flowing like water and the participants were sported in an obscene and nude dance in the rave party.
Denying the allegations, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said a report has been sought from the Divisional Commissioner and promised action against the concerned if any violation of law was committed.
“The deputy commissioner of the district said that there was nothing obscene or vulgar about the festival. It was organised to promote tourism along the coastal region of the State,” he told reporters.
Facing heat from various quarters over the alleged unethical behaviour by foreign tourists, the state administration has also ordered an inquiry into the issue.
“The government will ensure that public decency is maintained. The Deputy Commissioner has been directed to take immediate steps to stop such activities,” Gowda said.
Deputy Commissioner MT Reju too refuted the reports of the use of drugs and ‘obscene activities’.
“The district administration rented the space. I visited the venue twice and found nothing indecent. There was use of liquor and cigarettes as the organizers had got permission from the excise department,” he said.
However, some of the locals who were at the venue, alleged that foreigners were skimpily dressed, and they were sloshed and engaged in semi-nude frolic on the beach of St Mary's Island.
The video clippings too showed that the festival had gone extreme way with the foreigners openly enjoying sex acts amidst the public glare.
About 600 couples, mostly international tourists, attended the party.
Some foreign couples allegedly indulged in sex in public view and the police could not take action against them.
One of the couples has been caught in the act on camera, some MLAs from the district claimed.
The sacred island was filled with semi-nude western tourists and gypsies, thanks to the musical festival.
Spring Zouk is an international music & arts festival envisaged with the incorporation of Indian and Western art, music, cuisine and culture under one umbrella.
Drawing inspiration from the season of spring, which denotes the birth of new life, Spring Zouk is the celebration of spring in the serene and breathtaking locale of St. Marys Island.