By Features Editor Meghna Pant

This week’s funniest news item had to be a police first information report filed against Sunny Leone after a woman from Dombivli complained that the porn star-turned-Bollywood actress is “promoting obscenity and destroying Indian culture and society with her website” that has porn videos in it.

 

The complainant, Anjali Palan, who works with the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), was apparently unaware, unlike the rest of the nation, that Leone was a porn star. She visited Sunny’s website sunnyleone.com, which I’m certain has been around for several years, and was outraged to find pornographic content on a porn star’s website. What anomaly! A porn star should be singing sanskari satsangs on her porn site instead of taking off her clothes.

 

What really saddens me about this is that it is a woman bringing down another woman

 

What rock is this lady living under? Has she not read the screaming headlines from newspapers or news reports about Sunny Leone’s profession? Sunny Leone’s popularity exceeds even that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on global search engines like Google. She is one of India’s most popular names. She has acted in many Bollywood movies over the last three years, many of which have been huge hits? How can Anjali Palan be waking up to this now?

 

The woman has sought action not only against Leone, but against all those who uploaded her videos on the site. The charges are the IPC’s sections 292 (obscene and indecent advertisement and display), 292A (printing of grossly indecent or scurrilous matter) and 294 (performing obscene act in public place), the IT Act’s section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form), and the Indecent Representation of Women Act’s section 3 (prohibition of advertisements containing indecent representation of women) and 4 (prohibition of publication or sending by post indecent representation of women). The maximum punishment—imprisonment up to five years or fine up to Rs 10 lakh or both—is under the IT Act’s section 67. The HJS has demanded a ban on her website and said Sunny Leone should be deported from India and barred from entering the country.

 

Sunny Leone is, in her own way, debunking stereotypes and paving new ways of identity for Indian women

 

What really saddens me about this is that it is a woman bringing down another woman. Sunny Leone may not possess acting chops or the art movie heroine’s intellect, but she has to be commended for shedding her porn star image in a country as conservative as ours and making it as a bankable Bollywood heroine. Sunny Leone is, in her own way, debunking stereotypes and paving new ways of identity for Indian women. That deserves to be admired and not scorned.

 

Picture Credit: Deccan Chronicle