No more bikini-clad lingerie mannequins. No more rapes now?
Mumbai, May 29: Now, after reasons like provocation, Choupseys, skimpy dresses, alcohol and late night parties blaming women for getting raped are done with, here is something new!
Looks like we have begun exploring the heights of how the "smallest reasons" could corrupt the minds of men. How a lifeless statue could "excite" men to indulge in "wrongful deeds".
Are we talking Khajuraho here? No!
Mumbai, a synonym of modern era and "Open-mindedness", one of the largest metro cities, home to India's increasingly raunchy Bollywood film industry, is to ban mannequins modeling lingerie from its shop windows to stop the city's men having "impure thoughts".
In order to prevent 'wrong acts by men', the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has provisionally cleared a proposal banning the display of bikini-clad mannequins outside lingerie shops in the city. Local corporators said mannequins dressed in lacey underwear, stockings and suspenders, had led to a "pollution of minds" among men in the city, which has India's second highest number of rapes after Delhi.
In the name of Indian "Sanskriti"
The proposal, sent for municipal commissioner nod, was mooted by BJP corporator from Ghatkopar Ritu Tawade and passed unanimously without discussion at a general body meeting. Tawade, a 39-year-old commerce graduate, said display of inadequately clothed mannequins was indecent and could provoke "wrong acts" by men.
"It's against India's rich and varied sanskriti," she demurred.
"Our demand to ban the displaying of mannequins wearing scantly dresses is based on the Provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, which says 'indecent representation of women means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals'," Tawade explained.
Opponents, however, said the mannequins were not as suggestive as erotic sculptures and carvings at celebrated temples like Khajuraho, which features scenes of group sex and bestiality.
The final say on the ban lies with the BMC chief though.
Ad film-maker Prahlad Kakkar said this kind of "moral policing" by Shiv Sena was not new. "The city has time and again seen such targeting of women. Why don't they tell shopkeepers how to sell lingerie. As per their logic, we should dress up women in burqas so that their bodies are not misused for advertising or selling products," he told media.
Veteran stage personality Mahabano Mody Kotwal, part of Vagina Monologues, said, "These corporators are trying to divert attention from their failure to supply water and provide better roads. If such display of mannequins leads to rise in rapes, one should ban all kinds of films, advertisements and item numbers. One should understand that men are aroused not because of such displays but because there is huge repression of such emotions in society. Even talking about sex is taboo, which arouses curiosity."
Women's rights lawyer Veena Gowda said linking violence against women to mannequins was again blaming a woman's body.
So now, if those lifeless mannequins outside lingerie shops ever dared to excite you with their stiff plastic legs, unnatural proportions at all the "right" places, and curly wigs with very less left to imagine, on the Mumbaiya streets, you can be assured that you will no more be subject to such stimulation.