A now viral bridal photograph from Bengal, recently stoked controversy in social platform, creating a direct conflict between the progressive and the orthodox society. It even forced the photographer to seek help of the Bengal police.
The intent of the picture in question was, however, to raise voice against marital rape, said sources.
The picture depicts a girl standing topless wearing bridal accessories. Where the upper portion of her body is covered with Pan Pata (Betel Leaf) and the lower part is covered with a ‘Gach Kouto’ (a wooden crafted socket, which Bengali brides hold during their marriage ceremony).
This simple, but bold picture created a stir when people from orthodox society attacked it by saying, “It is spreading nudity through lenses. Art cannot be justified by nudity.”
They also observed that women in Indian society are worshipped as Devi (Goddess) or Maa (mother), how dare then he (the photographer) could do this kind of s….”
They (read orthodox society) came with scathing attack, and started a campaigning against the photographer in the social media. But a portion of liberal society opined, “Why we are seeing this as nudity. It is completely a message against post-marriage sexual harassment upon women.”
But it turned more complicated, according to reports, when the photographer, Pritam Mitra, received a death threat from one Rajsarkar Rinku, who thinks he is a great follower of the Hindu ideology.
After getting the threat, the photographer knocked on Kolkata Police IT cell and lodged a complaint.
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When contacted by India-Aware a visibly shaken Mitra informed that he is very much scared and distressed. He also said that for the past three nights he could not sleep properly. What he did was a mistake. And he is sorry for that. He said, “I even could not properly sketch the message that I wanted to give through my picture.”
However, the liberal society lauded the photograph and said that the practice (read post-marriage sexual harassment) is now dominating the marital establishment. To get relieve from this kind of atrocities, the photography is a real hammer on society, added a woman-activist.
According to a recent court verdict, Kerala High Court observed that beauty and obscenity lie in the beholder’s eyes.
This observation came after a popular Malayalam magazine ‘Grihalakshmi’ featuring a model Gilu Joseph breastfeeding a child on the cover of its March edition was challenged.
At the time, an advocate had moved the court and appealed against the cover photo; the appellant said, “The cover photo is obscene in form and spreading nudity in the society.” But Kerala High Court dismissed the appeal and said, “One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyrics.”
The same happened when deceased artist MF Husain drew a nude Saraswati (Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Art and Music). That the painting applauded as work of art, but some conservative mind criticised the paintings as insulting to the Hindu morale.
Furthermore, orthodox people even criticised when pictures of women breast feeding their child were printed in News dailies. An Australian senator feeding her child was also not spared when the image became viral. And there are many similar instances when such images were criticised.
Now the point is can anybody define obscenity. Does it not depend on the beholder’s eye? Society also cannot step into, and measure the index of vulgarity, said a social worker.
(The pictures carried in the above article are as representation for news only; and neither does India-Aware in any manner or fashion subscribe to or support nudity; nor do we have any intention to support nudity or hurt feelings of our readers or any individual, caste or community. We at India-Aware respect the sentiments of every individual, irrespective of caste, creed, or community)