Is India firmly under American cultural influence?

A team from the Washington Redskins has landed in Bangalore to train India’s first cheerleading squad for the Indian Premier League. Twelve cheerleaders and two choreographers will spend 18 days touring the country for a “national audition of Indian women” to set up a squad of “indigenous pom-pom wielders” for the Royal Challengers.

Tunku Varadarajan, a former editor at the Wall Street Journal, writes in the New York Times that it is paradoxical in a delightful sort of way that Bangalore which leapt into global prominence on the back of outsourcing is itself outsourcing from America. But Tunku makes a more provocative point (while giving us a nice photo-op):

“With the Redskins cheerleaders on Indian soil, one can safely declare that the British cultural influence in India has been entirely replaced by an American one, cricket notwithstanding. India’s relationship with the United States — economic, strategic, diasporic and cultural — is now its primary external alliance, with a complex nuclear deal at one end of the spectrum and 12 cheerleaders and two choreographers at the other.”

Photograph: courtesy Washington Redskins

Read the full column: India’s game, US spice

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Are Twenty20 cheer girls obscene?