When Deepika Padukone’s ‘Midriff’ Is More Important Than A Spate Of Crimes Against Children

Posted: January 24, 2018

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Our attention is entirely on the wrong things, such as whether Deepika Padukone playing Padmavati should show her midriff or not. In the meantime, many states have horrendous rates of crime against women and children.

I have grown up with my grandma, mom, and aunties wearing only sarees all through the day with their midriffs out in the open. Why did it never cross anyone’s minds, that showing off your midriff can be offensive, vulgar or worse, ‘inviting’? My friends would always wear ghagras and cholis where the midriff was peeking through. Why did no one around me ever feel that it is so ‘bad’?

All of a sudden, when I heard the news that Deepika Padukone’s midriff (in the ‘ghoomer’ song in Padmavati) was covered with ‘special effects’, because it was offensive according to a few, I was taken aback. I wondered why. Was it really that big an issue, which needed so much attention?

If go back a little bit, I can easily recall that in the last couple of days there have been some horrendous rapes and murders that shook the country. Really? I mean, did anyone bother? Did anyone shake? I even heard the CM of the state in question shrug it off with a sad remark, “such things happen” when on the other hand, it seems important to put all your attention towards banning the movie Padmavat. I cringed, and stood shaken in many ways.

Here are people who are bothered about the honour of a queen who lived seven hundred years back, leaving aside scores who are craving for a little dignity. Isn’t this hypocrisy at its best? And, on what grounds can you start pulling out swords for the dead and do absolutely nothing about those who are raped, mutilated, brutalised and pinned down at the drop of your hat?

What is it with the misplaced priorities of a few people, is what I completely fail to understand. I fail to understand what is this outrage all about that even after the SC verdict, a certain section of society is still busy vandalising stuff. I wonder if the same set of people feel similar outrage when women who are alive and around them are lynched, ogled at, raped, burnt or murdered? Why have I never heard of any Karni Sena protesting when a woman in Rajasthan is raped?

Talk about misplaced priorities and you have it glaring in front of you. You talk about a pseudo war in the name of preserving the dignity of a woman, and I tell you how insanely offensive the whole act is. The actress involved is threatened, she is verbally abused and now, there is even some covering of the midriff in the name of preserving the honour of one who is dead and gone, years back.

Having said that, I do understand that history has an important part in our culture and society. And, in many ways all of us are tied to our history and seldom will agree to anything offensive. But then, my question is simple. If it is all about saving the honour of a woman, why not put in the same practice to safeguard women even now? Why this hypocrisy, why this selective choice? Or is it saving only those who are dead and gone? No common woman is entitled to dignity and respect? Why are the rules different for the dead and the alive? Why is there no ruckus by the Karni Sena when young and innocents girls are raped and murdered for no fault of theirs? I wonder, and do just that all the way.

Whether the movie Padmavat releases or not, seriously doesn’t bother me. What definitely bothers me is how we are going ages back. Alas… I see no light at the end of the tunnel. And, that worries me, breaks my heart and again pushes me to think why the midriff of a dead queen becomes more important than a child who is raped!

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