Every year, Yahoo! India releases its ‘Year in Review’ list, which reveals the people, events, and stories that captured the attention of Indians in the last 12 months. Sunny Leone had topped the list for five years in continuation. She is a celebrity now and has a good amount of followers. No other Indian actress had got so much popular for so long only on the basis of movies with sexual content.
It is a little bit awkward for a country, where Indian female actors get in controversies or get flak from media & public almost for anything. India is a country where a rescued women from prostitution cannot live publicly with her identity revealed or cannot find work in homes even as a house made. In such an environment, how can a former pornstar get so much publicity and stardom?
Social Acceptance, if Indian
Though a porn star and a sex worker are two completely different things. But in India, there are no porn stars. Such movies are termed as C grade movies and everything about them remain covered. There is no open industry for them. Most of the time women who work in such movies are prostitutes. A woman who had acted as a porn star cannot have a public life, Life of a celebrity is an impossible dream.
In movie Pinjar (2003), in a scene, the lead actress returns to her home after an escape from her kidnapper’s. When she reached home, his father didn’t accept her and asked her to go away from their life and suggest her for a suicide. The reason being, the society will not accept her because she had lost her purity. There is no proof now that her body is untouched. Though the plot of the movie is at the time of independence, around 1947. The existence of such practices beliefs is still widespread in Indian society.
Even a rape victim face difficulties in having a normal life and she remained a “Rape Victim” for the rest of her life.
It is because of these reasons that once a woman enters into prostitution either by force or by will, she cannot get out of it even if she gets a chance.
Thrashing of Indian female actresses
The rise of Sunny Leone in India has become possible only because of her foreign origin. She would have been forced to leave the country if she had been of Indian origin. There are other female actresses who have done on-screen sex scenes as done by Sunny Leone. But instead of getting popularity, they got hatred from the public. Recently Bidita Bag, the female actress of movie Babumoshai Bandookbaaz was in controversy for her intimate scenes in the movie.
An another example can be taken of Soha Ali Khan. She was thrashed on social media for defacing Indian culture because she had posted pics on social media showing her belly (She was pregnant). Such acts are quite common on social media. Every then and now, Indian celebrities get in controversies for their over revealing dresses. Reason being the same as defacing of Indian culture.
It seems like Indian public wants the only foreign actress in Bikini and sex scenes. Indian actress should wear only the saree and stay away from any sex scenes to protect Indian culture.
Male dominated Society
Sunny Leone had got success in India because of her foreign origin only. If she had been of Indian origin than she would have also got the thrashing and hatred from the public.
The success of Sunny Leone also surface the double standards of Indian society. Indian public wants movies with sexual content but doesn’t want to accept the actress who performs these scenes as stars. Such female actress will not be considered a good actress. Sunny Leone had perfectly filled this gap. Since she is a former porn star, she is good at sex scenes and also her foreign origin doesn’t create acceptance problem.
It also highlights the male dominance in Indian society and film industry. Male actors don’t face any criticism. The culture is being destroyed only by female actresses. If a female actress does an intimate scene with a younger male star, she should be ashamed of this. But, there are many top rated male stars who do intimate scenes with their female stars who are almost half of their age. They can do so without any resistance from the public.
The prostitution in India is growing at a faster rate, this shows that there is growing demand for it. But we neither want to legalize it nor want to control it. Years of conditioning had also resulted in the strange behavior of women. They themselves support male dominance in one way or other.
The society is changing and there has been an improvement in the condition of women, but there is still a far way to go.