Goa tourism industry wary of ‘Dum Maro Dum’ content (Lead)

February 18th, 2011 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhishek Bachchan Panaji, Feb 18 (IANS) Two months before its release, Rohan Sippy’s “Dum Maro Dum” has rattled Goa’s tourism industry as well as the state administration, as initial reports suggest that the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer delves a lot into the state’s sex and drugs racket.Both contentious issues have put Goa on the international map of infamy and with “Dum Maro Dum” only set to reinforce that negative image, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) is simply not happy.

“The censor board should have cut out the objectionable parts, if these portrays the state in a bad light,” Gaurish Dhond, president of the TTAG, told reporters here Friday.

Comprising of stakeholders of the travel and tourism industry in Goa, the TTAG for nearly three decades now has been the voice of the trade here.

“The film could have bad repercussion for tourism in Goa, if it throws up scenes of prostitution and drugs,” Dhond said.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said he read media reports about the negative portrayal of Goa in the film.

“I will check with police and find out what is the matter,” Kamat said.

Set in Goa, the film sees Abishek as a police officer and also stars Deepika Padukone and Bipasha Basu. The first look of the Fox Star-produced movie has all the nefarious ingredients, which has put the state under negative spotlight in the recent past.

In bold big-sized letters, ‘Drugs’, ‘Cocaine’, ‘Sex’ and ‘Ecstasy’ run through the racy promo, which also shows rave party scenes and sexy bikini-clad foreigners.

“British (teenager) Scarlet Keeling’s death case was hyped so much that people started feeling that our beaches are unsafe, which was not true at all in the first case. And now this,” Dhond said.

Known for its beaches, Goa annually attracts 2.4 million tourists, nearly half a million of whom hail from European countries.

Accusing the media and filmmakers of going overboard while portraying Goa as a sex destination, Dhond said the reputation of Goa is at stake.

“Goa has been built as a tourist destination over the years. You cannot allow some film to condemn it overnight. We have worked very hard for this brand. Why is Goa only being projected in a bad light? Drug abuse, rapes are being highlighted in a big way like this, which spoils the reputation of the state,” he said.

“Dum Maro Dum” is set for an April 22 release.

Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande said the police have not written to the producers of the film seeking a pre-release screening.

“We have not issued any letter to the producers of the film,” said Deshpande, a spokesperson of Goa Police.

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