Mujra – Sex trade of sensual dance ?

The banned exotic dance Mujra is being organised in secret locations in the city attended by the rich and mighty while flesh trade is thriving in the guise of tawaif and girls are being sent abroad to entertain guests.

Though it is legally banned, the mujra, one of the Indian subcontinent’s most beautiful and ancient dance forms, is being performed secretly among the high class society in posh localities in the city. The exotic dance was banned as it became less artistic and more seductive especially in stage shows.

There are about seven mujra organisers having sensuous girls with them. Even the bar dancers are now learning mujra dancing as the income is high and they get good customers. The organisers charge anything between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh from the customers depending on the manner of the party.

Years ago Mahabub-ki-Mehendi (beloved’s bleach) was famous for tawaif (women who perform mujra) and kota (place where mujra is performed). During the tenure of the sixth Nizam, Mehboob Ali Pasha, Mahabub-ki-Mehendi was famous for singing and dancing and high class people used to send their sons to kota to learning tehazeeb (manners). The tawaif used to teach them how to talk to and behave with the elders that was considered as most important in those days.
Those days mujra performers were totally different from the modern mujra dancers. They never used to expose their body parts before the audience as the modern mujra dancers do now. “There was no vulgarity in kota mujra at that time. Nawabs and big shots chewing special pan-ka-beeda with ugaldan (silver vessel to spit) on their sides were found sitting on cotton bedding covered with white bed-sheets at the kotas. They also used to get a bunch of mogra flowers for the tawaif and tie a string of flowers on their wrists. They used to inhale the smell of flowers while watching them dancing. I noticed this all when I used to watch mujra during my days,’’ Abdul Hasan, said.

When Mahabub-ki –Mehendi area that was popular for only mujra turned into a prostitute den and was declared as red light area, the government decided to ban mujra and Mahabub-ki-Mehendi was sealed.
These tawaif who were accustomed to luxurious living turned prostitutes and shifted to other areas in the city and started full-fledged flesh trade. Interestingly, some of them even now perform mujra in private functions in posh localities.

“We organise mujra in private parties where politicians, police officials and other businessman are invited. We charge Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 for a show,’’ Sakku Bai, who organises private mujras said. We also send our girls to Mumbai and Bangalore to known customers in private parties, Sakku Bai said. It is better if modern mujra or the strip dance is being performed in some of the restaurants in posh localities, she said.

The girls usually come from poor backgrounds in India and are lured by promises of performing in genuine Bollywood entertainment shows abroad. Such shows are popular in towns with large Asian populations. In early days they used to perform it openly and after the ban mujra got restricted only to the VIPs.

Surprisingly, in the past 10 years under the cover of Bollywood entertainment, hundreds of young girls from India most of them from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pakistan have been trafficked to the UK to cater to the sex industry in cities that have large Asian populations. The girls are made to work in what are known as “mujra clubs” where they enact corrupted versions of popular Bollywood numbers in private settings. These, however, are mere showcases for prostitution, servicing large numbers of Asian customers.

“I attended a mujra in a club in America two years back. I really enjoyed it. The Indian girls were beautiful. I left after having dinner. I did not know what happened after that,’’ K Rahul, a businessman said. “In fact, I was invited to private mujra party at a house in a posh locality recently,” Rahul said.

To organise a mujra first of all one should have contacts with old Nawabs and professional mujra organisers. Give the organisers full payment at the time of booking. The organisers come only through known sources. They never respond to strangers.

Recently, Farha Begum, a mujra orginiser collected Rs 70,000 from a well-known businessman and sent five mujra performers to his farm house in Medchal.

“The audience are very decent. They are not like the customers in bars who come close to us and misbehave. I performed more than 100 private mujra parties. I have performed before many politicians, foreigners and very high-class businessmen.’’ Lavanya, a bar dancer who turned into mujra dancer said. “The mujra dance has no vulgarity and is entirely different from any other dance. A mujra dress itself costs upto Rs 50,000 and we wear original jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh while performing the show. It took me one year to learn mujra dancing from Zubaida Begum,” she said. “Five of my friends who were bar dancers opted for mujra and are now performing in star hotels in West Asia and London,” Lavanya said.

The Indian mujra dance is popular worldwide. Most of the businessmen who want to get their contracts signed or celebrate their business successes use them for private mujra party purpose in their farm houses.
The mujra dancers are trained to collect tips. While dancing, they get close to the invitees who are seated on a white cushioned mattress on the floor. They serve them pan and liquor while dancing.

After they audience give tips to the dancers, the dancers give a farshi salam to them. That is the old tradition followed from the time of Nizam. “To respect the king, one used to bend herself and give salam several times while moving backward without showing the back. Showing back to the king was considered very bad manners in those days. A well trained mujra dancer can serve liquor, collect tips and give farshi salam while performing the dance,’’ Nawab Mohammed Naser said.

“Chewing pan, with a bunch of flowers tied up on wrists and watching a mujra performer dance is completely different. This kind of enjoyment and entertainment is never experienced even in the Pole Dance in Thailand,” Naser said.

The mujras are organised very secretly and only in private parties at lavish houses in posh localities or in farm houses but the city police seem to have hardly any information about it.

During the recent years many mujra dancers have migrated to West Asia and western countries. While some of them are still performing shows in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Banglore and Delhi, the remaining ones who earned a lot of money, have settled and are leading normal lives. “The professional mujra dancers are very beautiful. I have been with them and took them to Dubai several times,’’ a former rowdy-sheeter said.

“So far we have raided many bars and farm houses and arrested several dancers including Russian dancers who were performing obscene dances. But we have not got any information about the mujra parties because they are restricted to a very few people not open to the public. If we get any information about it, we will take action against them,’’ a senior police official said.

The professional mujra dancers are very beautiful. I have been with them and took them to Dubai several times

We organise mujra in private parties where politicians, police officials and other businessman are invited. We charge Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 for a show

By Syed Omar Farooq in deccanpost.in

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