Indian Actress Poses Nude In Playboy: Hypocrisy From The Land of Kama Sutra

ANALYSIS

 @Gooch700 on July 25 2012 12:18 PM

Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra will become the first Indian woman to pose nude in Playboy magazine.

Chopra, whose naked body will grace the November 2012 issue of Hugh Hefner’s iconic publication, has come under attack from both Indian women’s rights activists, as well as social conservatives who condemn pornography as a western ill.

India is not only battling an epidemic of sex crimes against women, but also finding it increasingly difficult to comfortably integrate western moral standards with Indian traditions in an increasingly globalized world.

At a time when innocent women across the nation from Gujarat to Guwahati have been subjected to sexual abuse and humiliation, one wonders if Sherlyn Chopra's pictures wound a woman's integrity, wrote a female blogger named Gayatri Sankar.

Isn't it an irony that on the one side as common women strive hard to safeguard their modesty, the Sherlyn Chopras encourage voyeurism?

Chopra reportedly asked Playboy in writing if she could appear in the magazine and they responded in the affirmative immediately.

It is not an easy task to be nude in front of the camera and look good at the same time, she told BBC.

I have become the first Indian to pose naked for Playboy and nobody can take away that achievement from me.”

She added that she could not miss the opportunity of posing nude for the world's most established adult magazine.”

My sister is proud of my achievement. I haven't told anything to my mother, but I think I will visit her and tell her that she has to accept me the way I am, Chopra, 28, added.

India has an extremely conservative attitude towards pornography and nudity – indeed, kissing is banned from Bollywood films, while couples who show affection in public are largely scorned and sometimes even spat upon and attacked.

Pornography is also illegal, although it is available on the internet and other venues (Playboy is itself banned in the country).

Chopra’s appearance in the flesh in a foreign smut magazine has not elicited the kind of derision it would if she were a major star – rather, she is a D-list actress who has appeared on Indian reality TV shows, hardly a Bollywood queen. Indeed, she has been shamelessly promoting nude photos of herself on her Twitter account for at least the past two years.

Nonetheless, the criticism she has received underscores a basic hypocrisy of Indian society – sex is hidden in a culture awash in sensuality and linked closely with spirituality.

Ancient Hindu temples featured explicit depictions of deities and people having sex, particularly the carvings and statues in Khajuraho. In Hindu temples in southern India, young girls were frequently recruited to serve as prostitutes for devotees.

India is also the land of the Kama Sutra, the massive ancient Sanskrit text on sexual pleasure and one of the most explicit and detailed documents on human sexuality ever produced.

If Kama Sutra were released now, the authorities in India would no doubt ban it.

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