Shikha Singh Controversy: Why Must Morality Be Dictated To Women?

shikha singh controversy, Shikha Singh topless photo

Shikha Singh controversy: The Kumkum Bhagya actor has drawn wide attention and criticism towards herself after posting a topless photo on Instagram.

With shock and disappointment, the self-appointed and self-important social media morality police have swooped into Singh’s comments to let her know loud and clear that they “did not expect this from her.” More here.

See her post and comments here: 

shikha singh controversy

Image: Shikha Singh / Instagram

This is not the first time this month that trolls have sparked fire where there was no smoke in this case on Singh’s Instagram. A week ago, the actor shared an empowering post on normalising breastfeeding with a photo of her baby daughter having a meal. “Be your own kind of mom,” she hashtagged the post.

But naturally, all of this was too much to take for those who want to check, control and correct women both online and off. It rattled them.

Has the internet emboldened the stronghold of patriarchy? With what entitlement are strangers voicing dissatisfaction with Singh for exercising agency over her body? “Yeah sahi nahi hai 😔” one user wrote under her topless photo.

Why does it make us uncomfortable when women choose to break out of the mould of the ‘ideal woman’ society has envisioned for them?

Shikha Singh Controversy Reveals Patriarchy Thrives Strong Online

A big section of social media users – a majority, I would argue – has not picked up on the cyber-habit of scrolling past something they don’t necessarily agree with. It’s an art, not an easy one, that people would do better by learning.

Would it not greatly cut the clutter, harassment and vigilantism that women are faced with everyday, with every random post they make, every word they utter, every photo they upload?

All women connected to the internet are inundated with nasty remarks and inboxes akin to garbage dumps of unsolicited photos from men. The harassment and moral commentary, however, is manifold when the woman is a public personality living openly. Fatima Sana Shaikh was slut-shamed for wearing a swimsuit during Ramzan; Rajini Chandy was brutally trolled for photoshoots in a dress in her 60s; Esha Gupta, Samantha Prabhu – all and more were trolled for showing skin. The list is endless.

There is a larger question, of course, of reforming the mindset society still holds towards women who choose, speak and assert. But that upheaval is a slow burn.

A more immediate concern is ensuring that women on the internet feel secure in their rights and skin. It would help a huge bit towards this end if people keep their “disappointments” and ideas of what is “sahi” for women to themselves. We don’t want to hear it.

Views expressed are the author’s own.