bollywood Megastar Ranveer Singh was questioned Monday by police on charges of “obscenity” after posting naked photos of himself in a case that has highlighted India’s complicated relationship with nudity.Singh, 37 posted racy images taken for New York-based Paper magazine on social media in July, causing a media frenzy in India and resulting in multiple complaints. Mumbai police questioned Singh for more than two hours on Monday morning on charges of “corrupting the youth of society” and “embarrassing women,” police said, recording Singh’s official statement. .
“The investigation is ongoing,” senior police inspector Jaykumar Suryavanshi told AFP, without giving details of Singh’s statement. A photo of Singh, the star of the hits “Gully Boy” and “Simmba,” strung naked on a carpet has sparked a storm of discussion on India’s Rolling Television His News. “Of course, this is vulgar. You can see his butt…it’s a national problem!” exclaimed attorney Vedika Choubey at a panel show on station NDTV days after she filed a police complaint against Singh.
India has an ancient sexual book, the Kamasutra, and erotic scenes are common in ancient temples. So do the ash-covered saints who attend religious festivals today. But Singh, who is married to fellow superstar Deepika Padukone, is on a well-trodden track of complaints and prosecutions against celebrities violating vague colonial rules on “obscenity.” “As they say, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ So obscenity is very … in the crotch of the beholder,” said Supreme Court attorney Faisal Sherwani.
Personalities hit by complaints include Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan, who was naked except for a strategically placed cassette player in a poster promoting the 2014 film PK. Model-turned-actor Milind Soman was indicted in 1995 after exposing model Madhu in an ad for his supres and python shoes. The charges were dropped 14 years later.
Renowned artist MF Husain fled the country after he died in self-imposed exile in 2011 after a painting depicting a naked woman posing across the country’s map got into legal trouble. Earlier this year, a Kolkata professor said she was fired after posting a photo of her in a bikini on Instagram. The university is reportedly suing her for $12 million, and human rights lawyer and social activist Abha Singh said her law needs to be updated. “Young people (in India) are like, ‘What’s wrong? If you don’t want to see it, turn it up, close your eyes. Beautiful things are something you have to appreciate,'” she told AFP. – AFP