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Remember Kamasutra: Most Indian Americans Find No Objection to Ranveer Singh’s Nude Photoshoot

Remember Kamasutra: Most Indian Americans Find No Objection to Ranveer Singh’s Nude Photoshoot

  • While many blamed the media for escalating the issue, some called out Indians for their hypocrisy and tendency to take exception to each and every issue.

Unless you are living under a rock, chances are you have seen or at least heard about the nude pictures of Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh that has generated controversy in India. After the “Gully Boy” actor shared photos of the photo shoot he did for Paper, a New York-based magazine, on social media, complaints were filed accusing him of insulting women’s modesty.

 An NGO in Mumbai filed a complaint against Singh for “hurting the sentiments of women,” following which the Mumbai Police filed an FIR against the actor, according to reports in Indian media. Singh has been charged under IPC Sections 292 (Sale, etc of obscene books, etc), 293, 509 and sections of the IT Act. 

Social media erupted with opinions from both sides of the spectrum. Many said the case “a waste of time and resources,” as well as a completely unnecessary overreaction to the photo shoot. While some said the photos were indecent, celebrities and fans have been rallying behind Singh, praising the shoot as “brave and unapologetic.” On Instagram, actor Priyanka Chopra, who has previously acted with Singh, and is said to be good friends with him, responded with a fire emoji. Youtube star Lilly Singh wrote, “Major WIN.

The photos invited several memes and trolls as well. 

Neha Mahajan.

As the versatile actor continues to make headlines, and dominate national news with discussions around his butt, Indian Americans weighed in on the issue. Many women American Kahani spoke with found no objections to the photos; they were all praise for Sing’s chiseled body and weren’t ashamed at some guilty pleasure. Others like choreographer Uma Kapoor of Princeton, New Jersey, praised it saying, “a phenomenal representation of hard work, courage, and love for life.” In her opinion, the photos “were tastefully done.”

Some like beautician Harmeet Dandona of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, and Neha Mahajan of Westfield, New Jersey, failed to see the controversy. “There is more nudity and foul language in most Netflix series, which is open to all ages,” observed Dandona. “What is so controversial about this shoot?” 

“India is the land of Kamasutra, where the naked human form was carved into temple walls centuries ago,” said actress Sangeeta Agrawal.

Mahajan, a marketing and sales manager, was particularly following the developments. “I’m honestly not following it at all,” she said. “It’s not a controversy but made into one. What he does is his choice; people can choose to not see him or his clothes or the lack of! This is such a waste of everyone’s time!”

Several blamed the media for escalating the issue. They also called out Indians for their hypocrisy and tendencies to comment and meddle on each and every issue. “I think the media in India is blowing the Ranveer Singh photoshoot way out of proportion,” said Jitin Hingorani, Principal & CEO of Jingo Media, a film, arts, entertainment & fashion PR firm with a presence in New York & Texas. “Ranveer is a good-looking man who has worked hard to get that kind of body…it’s a work of art, in my opinion. If he wants to show it off by doing a very tasteful and sophisticated photo shoot for a well-reputed magazine, that is entirely his prerogative. Women celebrities have been posing nude for art house magazines for decades. What’s so wrong if a man does it? More power to him.”

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Anju Kalra, a freelance photographer and amateur DJ based in Somerset, New Jersey believed it’s high time that Indians discard their hypocrisy and stop commenting on things that don’t concern them. “The pictures are not obscene, it’s his body and his right,” she said. “If nudity is allowed for religious purposes then it can be allowed for every purpose. The anatomy of the human body is the same, it doesn’t change according to the purpose it is displayed for,” she argues. Emphasizing that the “Indian perspective” has to change,” she wishes people mind their own business. “If you have to raise an issue, do it for something more important — try and end poverty, disease, abuse, or war.”

Actress Sangeeta Agrawal.

Several from the film fraternity here supported Singh using nudity as a form of expression. “India is the land of Kamasutra, where the naked human form was carved into temple walls centuries ago,” said actress Sangeeta Agrawal. “That was an artistic expression and so is this. Ranveer Singh has worked hard at building a beautiful body. His photos show no more skin than any body-building contestant would show. “Italy has Michaelangelo’s David. We have Ranveer.”

Los Angeles-based producer and writer Sunil Sadarangani also chimed in. “Singh’s recent nude photoshoot is his form of self-expression, after being constantly criticized and ridiculed for his flamboyant fashion sense,” he said. “He sure can dress and pamper himself exactly how he pleases. It’s no one’s business to encroach on anyone’s personal choices. So he decided to silence his critics in this way and his way which goes with the Ranveer brand.”

Abhay Dandekar.

Abhay Dandekar, producer and host of the podcast “Trust Me … I Know What I’m Doing,” shared his theory as to why Singh’s recent photo shoot has led to many judgments and reactions, “which while may be unfair and unwarranted, likely reflect the various thresholds of comfort when it comes to how each individual perceives their own mental mirror.” He feels it’s not surprising that “something as universally beheld and beautiful as the human body prompts a blossoming of so many insecurities.” He continues: “Singh’s expression is an unapologetic and important display of confidence, vulnerability, simplicity, empathy, and truth. In today’s environment of minimal attention, I believe this deserves a pause to appreciate and congratulate. For anyone who may disagree, they should likely just keep scrolling.”

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The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
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