Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What is so obscene or vulgar in this PK poster?

Recently poster of Raju Hirani and Amir Khan's upcoming movie PK was released. I am sharing the poster below for readers to see it so that they understand about what I am taking in this post.

Now I don't understand what is there is this poster to term as obscene or vulgar or against Indian culture? How this poster is any different than many undergarment ads which we all see posted on big hoardings or displayed in many magazines or even played on TV? I am sure people who are attacking this poster or objecting to it in name of obscenity, vulgarity or attack on their culture are doing just for the sake of getting some media coverage or are really confused. I also wonder if there could have been similar reaction if this would not have been Amir's movie? If they really think that this poster harms their culture in any way, then why no one objected to many advertisements which are going on for decades. They all (specially political parties) know that as Amir is a big star and any news related with his movie is bound to catch a media attention, so they want to encash on this opportunity and grab media headlines. Actually male or female nudity is not new to any culture, there are nude statues in Khajuraho and also in many other parts of the world. Many people visit to all these places, so I am sure as Indians we are not strangers to these type of images. In the era of internet and smart phones where one can browse any website on their mobile phones what are these people trying to achieve by objecting to these type of posters? This poster is purely for promotion of a movie, it is a product which they want to sell and this is an advertisement for that, it is as simple as that. There is also a question of artistic freedom in this, as a artists these movie makers are allowed to display their art within allowed legal framework. If they are not breaking any law then I wonder why these people are objecting to it, and if they want to object they should take the matter to the court. Sadly it will be the waste of court's valuable time as there are already many important matter pending for years in Indian courts but that will be more logical route rather than protesting on the road.

There another issue of objectification of male body involved in this and this is somewhat concerning issue, already objectification of women is very common in main stream media and advertising world. So this question needs some attention but no one seem to be asking this, everyone is focused on obscenity or vulgarity or how this is against Indian culture. Except the point of objectification of male body nothing else sounds reasonable to me. Any culture which survived for thousands of years is not that weak that it can be dented or even scratched by some movie poster. In today's world of internet kids have easy access to much dangerous stuff than this poster, we need to worry about those things not about this trivial poster. If you travel to any village during very hot summer you can find many men roaming in just half pant or lungi just covering some part below their waist and this poster doesn't show anything more than that so how is this obscene? I guess we should be talking more about objectification of human body for commercial purpose than anything else, this would at least serve some purpose.

I was also surprised to see that some leaders from political parties also joined this movement against this poster. I guess they did this to get some publicity and attention to their political party or to get some prominence in their party by catching some media headlines. I am sure there are many more very important issues in India which need urgent attention of these political parties and their leaders and this is definitely not one of them.  This poster is just for the promotion of movie, many people are just going to laugh at it or ignore it. People who don't like this poster or have some objection to it are free not to watch the movie. I don't think there is need to create any controversy over this. We have many other serious issues which need our attention and time so let's focus on that.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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