PHOTOS: Indian origin popstar goes topless to promote tourism; sparks outrage
Melbourne: An Indian-origin pop singer in Australia, who is Gold Coast city's Goodwill Ambassador to India has reportedly sparked outrage with her topless pictures.
According to reports, the topless pictures of Queensland-raised pop singer Aiysha Saagar has left a section of the Indian community uneasy.
The pop singer was Gold Coast's pick by its Mayor Tom Tate to promote tourism. She is also set to travel to India for endorsing the tourist city.
However, the Gold Coast's official website shows her posing topless on theSurfers Paradise beach with the Australian flag pained on her body.
Indian-origin singer's topless pictures have miffed a section of the Indian community here, with some speaking against such moves to sell tourism to a largely conservative India.
Event coordinator of Queensland-based Indian Associations Neeraj Narayan said that "more than 60% of India was still conservative and Saagar's partial nudity would reflect badly on Gold Coast's image".
Commenting on the issue, Gold Coast resident Shanti Gowans, who works as an artistic director of a Australia Bollywood Dance Company, said that if the city was planning to woo general Indians then it has to remember that Indians are family-minded people and travel in as a group.
"... and such tasteless pictures would not appeal to their family sensibilities... The girl is beautiful but she needs to be presented with more decorum and presence," Gowan was quoted as saying by a daily called 'Faceoff'.
Sydney-based community leader and cardiologist, Yadu Singh, however differed with the perception. He said such pictures would not have any significant positive or negative impact on the success of Gold Coast to attract tourists from India.
"Seeing or knowing about the pictures, Indians will have a chuckle. Nothing else," he said.
"Recent Bollywood movies and access to worldwide media in India have changed Indian society quite a bit. India today is not what it was a decade or two ago," Singh said.
Saagar has been reportedly living in India for the past eight years but also spends months on the Gold Coast.
Photos to promote artist in me: Sagar
She said the images were not meant to be posted on the website and were intended to be launched in India to promote her career "down the track".
"The whole point of these photos is to promote me as an artist," she said.
Meanwhile, Tate said he hoped Saagar would lift the Coast's profile in India so visitor numbers from the country would eventually match those from China.
"It's not just about bringing tourism here, it's about getting investors here too," he said.
(Photo courtesy: Goldcoast.com.au)
(With PTI inputs)