When a leading daily decided to “showcase” the cleavage of actress Deepika Padukone ,it had no idea of the furore about to unfold.Spurred by a spirited counter attack by the actress herself,celebrities & netizens tore into the reputation of the Times of India (TOI).

On 14 September 2014, TOI Entertainment tweeted a link to a web photo gallery with the caption: “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show.” The clips shows Deepika wearing a low cut dress designed by Anaita Shroff Adajania for the trailer launch of Chennai Express in 2013

Padukone responded by tweeting -“YES! I Am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”.

Within no time Deepika was hailed as a crusader.Her reaction was re tweeted more than 7,000 times & #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone started trending.

The newspaper has since tried to backtrack telling her the tweet was intended as a “compliment” !

Padukone came up with her Point of View,titled -My issue is objectification of a real person!In this the actress essentially arguing that the media & the society in general should differentiate between the “REEL” world, depicted by the characters she portrays & the “REAL” world wherein she is woman & deserves to be treated with respect & not objectified by showcasing parts of her body for the sake of head lines & leveraging the power of “influence to proliferate recessive thought”.

TOI came up with its defence wherein it accepted the actresses’ “reel versus real argument” but accused her of hypocrisy especially since she has been photographed “flaunting her body off screen” in “real” life.

Not accepting the faux pas & facing the heat from rivals (who have themselves indulged in similar “objectification”), TOI put forth a vacuous argument & justified its actions by disregarding the actresses’ reservations & confirming the notion that they totally ignored the fact that Deepika is a woman first & an actress later & she needs to be respected.

Media houses need to survive & sometimes they adopt reprehensible tactics (News of the World is a case in point) & justifying their scrupulousness by laying the blame on the society, that they present what is likely to be read or watched more!

Bollywood too is under the scanner for constantly raising the bar for indecency & vulgarity & relying on raunchy “item numbers”, in the name of artistic expression & that “the script demanded it”. Though Bollywood as an entity rallied around Deepika but it continues to perpetuate the very actions which are leading to the increasing objectification of women.

Shakespeare never needed a rape or an intimate scene or an “item number” to progress his script, yet he is known as the greatest playwright ever. Food for thought?

The women in Bollywood too need to stand up against being depicted as “Pinky hai paise walon ki”, or as ” Main to tanduri murgi hoon yaar,Gatkale saiyan alcohol se ” or inviting the hero with ” Aabroo ke silaayi khulegi, Sharm ka bhi lifafa phatega ,Kaddu katega to sab mein batega”.And please stop taking pride in being “item girls”..for an item is essentially an object!!!

Sadly, Deepika, you fumbled when Barkha Dutt asked if you would take the issue of objectification of women in films to its logical end? Your answer was the same banal “if the script demands”….

This is getting too serious!

I have realised that there are some who willingly get exposed & dont mind getting ripped of all dignity as well.And remain thick skinned enough to repeat their ridiculous acts.

Some of the “guests”  on Arnab Goswami’s News Hour are the chief culprits.

Peerzada from Pakistan, is a classic. Almost gullitioned each time that he appears on the show, yet in his exposure lies publicity & may be financial interests.After all “muft mein koi itni beizzati kyon karwayega”..okay i am not game for it !

Next – the spokespersons of political parties.

Rahul Gandhi tears an ordnance in public & gets kudos from his media team!!! Sakshi Maharaj rant about Love Jehad & their party spokesperson defends it by invoking everything under the sun & still doesn’t sound convincing! Stout defence can after all get them in the political fray itself!

Ajit Singh shamelessly tries to blackmail the government into letting him be a regularised “squatter” in a bungalow, by unleashing hordes of “distressed farmers” on New Delhi & its water supply. Exposed totally!! But appears next instant as the “lokpriya kisan neta”! And the closest that Ajit Singh has been to the word ” farmer” is when he orders the Farmhouse Pizza from Dominoes!

Kapil Sibal stated that there was zero loss to the exchequer in the 2G scam when the CAG pegged it at Rupees 1lakh 76 thousand crores!You see in a hurry to make brownie points ,Sibal saw 176 on one page & a pageful of zeroes on the other..and showcased his inteligence!!Then he wanted to be re-elected in 2014!!!

The nation & the crocodiles demand an answer for the secret of the thick skin on these stalwarts!!!!

Coming to the Amul ad/ topical on Deepika Padukone.It depicts a caricature of the actress wearing a similar gown as the one which generated the controversy.A bit of the cleavage too is shown to draw parallels.The Amul girl is the likely assistant while reporters are obscenely vying for odd angles to take sneak pics of the actress.


The Tag Line…Newspaperazzi…is an apt take on newspapers crossing the line & including tabloid & paperazzi content in the name of news.Thus the inglorious correlation of serious reporting with that of the paperazzi kind!

The Punch Line…Star Power…is inspired by the power of a star to stand for a cause & rally massive support.It also draws a parallel with the Amul butter being a star product with the power to pull customers!

Lastly, Deepika..Shah Rukh Khan..Hrithik take up cudgels against excessive violence, vulgarity & obscenity in films because most confuse the “reel for the real”!

And unlike all papers which reported the incident – I am not tagging this as the “Deepika Padukone cleavage row” .I don’t need publicity at the cost of a woman!


  1. Very well written as usual 😊 though I have a question why is nudity associated with dignity? There are nude beaches across Europe, so technically all those women are to be objectified!! If we see the western music videos, song lyrics and some movie scenes…some of them are highly explicit yet those women arnt objectified like this! If Ranbeer Kapoor can drop his towel in his debut movie and his backside is called ‘cute’ yet did not make it to the front page then why is a woman s cleavage such a big deal. We can make silent movies with burkha clad women yet things won’t change till the mindset does not change!!


    1. You are spot on with the “silent movies & the burkha clad women” corollary.The actresses are at the receiving end on account of the inherent machismo associated with the men flaunting there bodies .And this is simply because of the mindset.If whats inappropriate for one should be inappropriate for the other too.There cannot be two codes of conduct or “mis-conduct”.


  2. I agree…it’s all in the mind…the paperazzi rightly depicts the Indian mindset. Ranbir Kapoor dropping towel not making headlines…oops! the Indian girls don’t get it that why should the boys have all the fun?…or the girls shouldn’t?…well…the mindset??!!…mend your ways guys!


    1. The mindset needs to change for sure as it has led to a spike in the number & gravity of crimes against women.At the same time this cannot be disputed that movies and personalities shape mindsets & what is being dished out & perpetrated by the filma makers-actor/actresses-PR agencies as a work of art is mostly designed to rake in the millions…no issues with that..but its at the cost of social decency and ideals and ethics of propriety.


  3. A neat and logical articulation of your views on the Chennai Express woman. I think its becoming difficult for the bollywood celebrities themselves to draw a line between reel and real life. In their quest to remain in business in view of the tough competition and the percieved threat from the crop of newcomers, well established actors are setting up new standards in the world of entertainment both on and off screen as has been aptly brought out by you. Accepting this requires a change of mindset or a live and let live philosophy.


  4. A not so fleshy flash…A brilliant take on the subject..your expressions through songs are hilarious..women and men are not objects…but human beings in complete flesh and soul… as for bollywood….publicity stunts are time tested formulae….happy new year…


    1. The adroit side stepping of the more controversial issue by the actress in question is a pointer towards the signs of the times we live in.Times of India Entertainment atually tried to justify its actions at the expense of the actress.Well, that in itself is quite a statement on the society and our idea of entertainment.Then why blame the cine stars after all they are professionals out to make a living and they will ply the wares that sell the most!!


  5. This whole episode reeks of ‘much ado about nothing’… It’s amazing the kind of stuff that makes headlines these days… A definite indication of the stuff people want to spend brain cells on… Anyway, good show as always… 😊


    1. A sign of the times indeed !

      At the same time the “spontaneous” outpouring of support for the victim,Deepika Padukone,underscores yet again the power of the social media.Deepika did well to exploit it astutely and brought the publication to its knees.

      Hope she and her types use the same social media to reduce the objectification of the women in the film industry.


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