Kerala HC On Grihalakshmi’s Breastfeeding Cover: Beauty Lies In Beholder’s Eye, So Does Obscenity
- IWB Post
- June 22, 2018
After the Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi put the photograph of model-actor Gilu Joseph breastfeeding a child on the cover of its February issue this year, causing quite an uproar, a man named Felix MA had filed a writ petition against it. But the Kerala High Court has recently refused to term the cover as obscene, stating that ‘what may be obscene to some may be artistic to other; one man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.’
The bench of former chief justice Antony Dominic and Dama Seshadri Naidu dismissed the petition and said, “We do not see, despite our best efforts, obscenity in the picture, nor do we find anything objectionable in the caption, for men. We looked at the picture with the same eyes we look at the paintings of artists like Raja Ravi Varma. As the beauty lie in the beholder’s eye, so does obscenity perhaps.”
“May we observe, Indian psyche has been so mature for ages that it could see the sensuous even in the sacred. The paintings in Ajanta and the temple architecture are cases in point,” the bench added.
They concluded with the decision that the picture on the cover “is not prurient or obscene, nor even suggestive of it.”
The magazine had tried to normalize breastfeeding in public with its open breastfeeding campaign. Even the model, Joseph, had been shamed for doing the photo shoot, but she bravely faced it all. “I have only done things that I have believed is right for me. I must have failed, but I have no regrets. Women should breastfeed freely, without any sense of fear or inhibition and that is my message in the article too, but people began criticising even without reading what I had to say,” she had said.
H/T: The Indian Express