Deepika cleavage controversy in Guardian

Deepika cleavage controversy in Guardian

Deepika Padukone Cleavage Controversy in Guardian. The endless war between Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone and India\'s leading English publication The Times of India over a cleavage photo posted on the latter\'s website has hit international headlines.

The endless war between Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone and India's leading English publication The Times of India over a cleavage photo posted on the latter's website has hit international headlines.

The Guardian published a piece with the headline: Deepika Padukone: Bollywood star in titillation row with Times of India

The strapline read: Actor says she feels violated and is standing up for women, but Times of India accuses her of hypocrisy

Read full story here...

Author credit: Jason Burke/The Guardian

Published: Tuesday 23 September

One of India’s best-known actors has been accused of hypocrisy after she criticised the country’s best-selling English-language newspaper for drawing attention to her cleavage.

The Times of India tweeted a link to a video clip showing the chest and neck of Deepika Padukone, 28, shot from a high angle apparently by a press cameraman, to the 75,000 followers of its entertainment account. The tweet read: “OMG! Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show”. The video, reported to be a year old, was also posted on the newspaper’s entertainment site.

Padukone responded by tweeting to her own 7.5m followers: “YES! I am a woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”

The newspaper and Padukone have since traded accusations on social media, on television and in print. “I felt violated as a woman,” the former model told Barkha Dutt, one of India’s few leading female journalists on television.

The dispute took another turn on Monday when the Times of India published a response to a statement posted by Padukone on her Facebook page at the weekend arguing that the media should distinguish between her “reel” – cinematic – and “real” personalities.

“Deepika, we accept your reel vs real argument, but what about all the times, and there have been many, when you have flaunted your body off screen – while dancing on stage, posing for magazine covers, or doing photo ops at movie promotional functions? What ‘role’ do you play there? So why the hypocrisy?” senior editor Priya Gupta said in the article. The newspaper also accused the actor of seeking to publicise her latest film.

Other Bollywood stars, male and female, have rushed to Padukone’s defence. “Well done taken a stand for all of us,” said Priyanka Chopra, another Bollywood A-lister, after Padukone first hit back at the newspaper.

Shah Rukh Khan, who has played male leads in several recent films starring Padukone, said he and others did not “have the guts to do what she has done”.

The row has focused attention on ethics in India’s chaotic and highly competitive media. “There are pictures like this every day, particularly of foreign women in the press. The younger generation is changing but there are still very many in the Indian middle class who have traditional views,” said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research in Delhi.

A series of high-profile incidents in India have raised deep concerns about violence against women in India. The representation of women in Bollywood films, particularly storylines featuring persistent lovers pursuing unwanted advances, has been cited as a contributory factor.

Senior politicians, police officials and others have frequently blamed rapes and other assaults on women’s dress and behaviour. Recently Narendra Modi, the newly elected prime minister, said the blame should lie with the young men responsible for violence and harassment, not their victims.

“I want to ask parents: when your daughter turns 10 or 12 years old, you ask ‘where are you going? When will you return?’ [But] do the parents dare to ask their sons ‘where are you going? Who are your friends?’ After all, the rapist is also someone’s son,” Modi said.

Padukone has said her stance is “not about being a celebrity”. She told the news channel NDTV: “I am standing up for all the women and all the girls … in India and around the world.”

PS: This article was published in the Guardian. We have reproduced the same for the benefit of our readers.

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