Model and actress Deepika Padukone is a superstar in the world’s second most populous nation and the world’s biggest democracy and has been since her breakout role in the 2007 film “Om Shanti Om”. Since that time, the public has had an insatiable need for all things “Padukone”. However, the periodical Times of India crossed the line when it tweeted a photo gallery of her along with a caption exasperating in joy over her “cleavage show”. Needless to say, Padukone did not view the objectification of her body kindly. She upbraided the otherwise reputable news outlet confirming that she is a woman, has breasts, and therefore has cleavage. Afterwards, she demanded to know if they had a problem with her that part of her anatomy.
In response, the Times of India pulled the tweet but countered that they consider her beautiful and were looking to highlight that as a complement. The response was essentially the same as a perv who slaps a waitress on her bottom and tells her she ought to be thankful for the attention. If the tweets coming in from the public and other celebrities are any indication, the Times of India entertainment staff are going to be needing sensitivity and sexual harassment training. Padukone is being praised for standing up for herself. At the same time, India’s most widely read newspaper is taking it on the chin in the court of public opinion.
In general, women were pleased that the actress openly defended herself. Traditionally, many Indian woman have shied away from such incidents. Padukone may have given voice to a new generation of women willing to stand up and affirm that such comments have no place in modern society. One fan commented that being a woman in India is difficult, which she described as being a curse.
Badrinath Banerjee joined Get Bollywood News as managing editor in January of 2018 and is helping to lead the digital media startup’s next phase of expansion. A veteran business journalist with more than 10 years experience economics, Badrinath has published content for Huff Post and Medium.