India Uncut

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Buying sarees for Rakhi Sawant

All the loonies are popping out now that Rakhi Sawant is in the news. (If this is the first you're hearing about it, my post, "Rakhi Sawant, Mika and 'party kissing'", has details.) Some activists from an organisation called Vande Mataram Sangharsh Samiti have "staged a unique protest against Rakhi Sawant and Meghna Naidu by begging for sarees at shops to dress the two Bollywood item girls."

Forget the loonies, the way the media has treated Rakhi's compaint against Mika is deplorable. Rajdeep Sardesai was on a CNN IBN show yesterday, grilling Rakhi about whether all this was a publicity stunt. The poor girl, not too articulate, tried insisting that she would hardly want this kind of publicity, while the channel showed pictures of her pecking Mika on the cheek before the incident, as if to imply that she wasn't all that unwilling after all.

Then Rajdeep got Pratibha Naithani on, the Mumbai professor who is such a vocal advocate of television censorship. Naithani said something to the effect of Sawant being a hypocrite, and that since she defied the law by dressing skimpily at a stageshow in Kolhapur, she shouldn't appeal to the law here. Heh.

Sawant correctly remarked, though no one seemed to be taking her seriously, that the issue was one of consent, and that it was as wrong to force her to dress modestly if she preferred to wear skimpy clothes as it was to kiss her forcibly. Unfortunately, she appears to have become an object of ridicule for the media, and I don't think Rajdeep would have made jokes about "page 3 making it to page 1" if one of his journalists had been molested. (This wasn't about a page 3 party, after all, but about a case of molestation.)

A couple of hours after this, I saw this bizarre show on Aaj Tak where the news anchor was talking to Mika on one split screen, and to Rakhi and her mother on another. Mika asked the mom if he could come to Mumbai and meet her, and if she would guarantee her safety. The mother said she would. Rakhi was silent.

You can hardly blame the poor girl. The odds are stacked against her, and neither public opinion nor our overburdened, crawling legal system can help her. I predict the boy will apologize/'explain,' and polite statements will be made, and all will be back to normal. Or whatever normal means for Rakhi.
amit varma, 8:56 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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