|Wah, kya baat hai, Katju saab|
Our sage is chucking moral pebbles in the froth while imagining he is causing ripples in the liberal sea.
Chief Justice Markandeya Katju has decided to take up the cause of adult film star Sunny Leone.
Katju said he had not seen anything to suggest that Leone was indulging in pornography. Citing religious examples, he said, Lord Buddha stayed with the courtesan Amrapali and ate food served by her, and she later became his disciple. Similarly, Mary Magdalene was a fallen woman (according to the Gospel of Luke as interpreted by Pope Gregory) and Jesus allowed her to wash his feet and she later became his disciple.
|Indian morality does Sunny|
So, whose disciple should Sunny become? I have a problem with this patriarchal notion because Ms. Leone is a porn star, and she is not doing it alone. She is not here to cook and serve food and wash feet or whatever the contemporary equivalents are. She is going to act in the movies, and will bare skin like many of our respectable movie stars do – men and women. If Justice Katju wants to go Biblical on this one, then one may surmise that she occasionally uses the fig leaf. What do those who surf websites wear?
“My opinion is that Sunny Leone was earning her livelihood in USA in a manner acceptable in that country, though it is not acceptable in India... if she conducts herself in India in a manner which is socially acceptable in India and does not breach the social moral code, we should not treat her as a social outcast.”
I know about the Indian Penal Code (IPC). What is the Indian Moral Code (IMC)? Is it the same for women of certain tribes whose dress code is different from those of the more ‘civilised’ urban areas? Is it not precious that the elite among the latter in some ways mimick a natural state as clotheless designer hippies? Why does he not quote from the Kama Sutra and tell us what women can do? Why does he not point out the scupltures in Khajuraho? What has changed?
I appreciate his knowledge of Ghalib (and I endorse his stand on this), but he should probably check out Firaq Gorakhpuri’s orientation, which was so against one version of the IMC. Why go back in time. There is a thriving porn industry. Politicians and godmen are regularly caught with their pants down and they are not performing their morning ablutions. Some are exploiting their status; some are making films against the picturesque holy rivers to sell to a foreign clientele looking for the exotic Indian with missionary zeal.
Does the IMC have different standards for bar dancers and for the clients? Can we not say that our apsaras danced, so what is wrong? And we had somras, so let us drink? (Ghalib drank, too, just in case the good judge wants to get a bottoms up.)
How did Justice Katju get himself into this, erm, position?
A report had stated a while ago:
Sunny Leone, the porn star who entered Bigg Boss 5, had so far generated TRPs for the show. Now, she’s generating some controversy too. Her website, which features her porn videos, had a large, unmissable message on its home page that read ‘As seen on ‘Bigg Boss Season 5.’ This using of the Indian TV show to promote her videos didn’t go down well with the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), an independent body instituted by the Indian Broadcasters Foundation (IBF). The BCCC directed Colors, the channel, to stop this cross-promotion of Leone’s pornographic videos and sites by December 26.
He was asked to address this complaint, which is when he got into the mood.
With reference to this, we are complete hypocrites. Sunny Leone was invited to participate in the show because she is an adult film star and not because she fed stray dogs. (My earlier post Of Porn and Pawns) Everyone on the show promotes themselves. We have had wife-beaters, gangsters’ molls, MMS heroes, politicians. Many are going through a low phase and want to resurrect their career or reputation and this is the forum they use, whether in the House or outside. Why did Swami Agnivesh enter this season? Was he aching to be imprisoned,so that he could cook and clean? No. He went there after his fallout with Team Anna. He wanted to promote himself, clarify his stand. Therefore, Sunny Leone’s website had every right to use her participation in the show, as people do in any resume.
Bigg Boss is anyway not an ashram. Neither is Indian society. Justice Katju should take his head out of those books he is reading and check out reality sometimes. I can promise him it is socially acceptable to do so.