In an interesting turn of events, it seems like the country isn’t regressing faster than the speed of light. There are angels (read: intelligent and unbiased human beings) who believe no body part or natural act of motherhood is to be shamed. Case in point — Grihalakshmi, a Malayalam magazine, who featured a woman breastfeeding a baby on its cover. The caption alongside it read: “Moms tell Kerala — don’t stare, we want to breastfeed.”
While some called it a bold move, others called it a gimmick to attract eyeballs, but a man called Felix M.A. felt it was neither. According to Live Law, he proceeded to file a case on the magazine, claiming the cover violated provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Rules; Section 45 of the Juvenile Justice Act; the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, and Article 39(e) and (f) of the Constitution of India.
Picture courtesy: Grihalakshmi
But the Kerala High Court wasn’t having any of it. Not only did the bench (comprising of Chief Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu) reject the case, but they also stated that “shocking one’s morals” is an “elusive concept”, and that “one man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.”
They continued, “We do not see, despite our best efforts, obscenity in the picture, nor do we find anything objectionable in the caption, for men. We looked at the picture with the same eyes we look at the paintings of artists like Raja Ravi Varma. As the beauty lies in the beholder’s eye, so does obscenity, perhaps….”
“Even the sections relied on by Felix (the petitioner) fail to convince us that the respondent publishers have committed any offence, much less a cardinal one, affecting the Society’s moral fabric, and offending its sensibilities,” Live Law quoted the bench as saying.
We hope this move trashes the stigma attached to breastfeeding in public.
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