Indian actress cleared over pre-marital sex comments
Thursday 29 April 2010
A celebrated actress from southern India was celebrating last night after the country’s supreme court cleared her of a series of criminal charges relating to an interview she gave in which she said it was all right for women to have pre-marital sex.
In a legal saga that dates back to 2005, the court dismissed 22 separate charges against Tamil actress Kushboo Khan-Sundar, who had spoken out while campaigning on behalf of Aids awareness. At the time she told several magazines that pre-marital sex was fine “provided safety measures are followed to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases”. She later went on to say: “No educated man would expect his wife to be a virgin.”
In her conservative home state of Tamil Nadu, the comments of the actress triggered a storm. In particular, two Tamil political parties launched campaigns against her and filed lawsuits that accused her of undermining public decency. One of the parties, the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI), claimed at the time: “Kushboo made the remarks on pre-marital sex to justify her own life’s experience. She had no right to talk of the chastity of Tamil women. It is not correct to advocate free sex. Marriages are based purely on trust. Both partners have to be faithful to each other if the marriage is to work. It is important to protect the institution of marriage.”
As with so much in India, the issue of morality and public morals is in something of a state of change. While in bigger cities, some mainly couples may choose to live together before marriage, the overwhelming number do not. Yet the Supreme Court, in quashing the accusations levelled at the 39-year-old actress who has starred in dozens of movies, found there was nothing fundamentally wrong with what she had suggested.
Earlier a three-member bench had ruled that adults living together had committed no offence and even cited the example of Lord Krishna and his lover, Radha, from Hindu mythology. “Living together is not an offence. It cannot be an offence,” said the bench.
Last night, the actress who only uses one name and who was born Muslim and converted to Hinduism after marrying her film-director husband, said she was relieved after hearing the verdict. She told the NDTV news channel: “When you look around, every celebrity is pinned down for no rhyme or reason and that is quite an harassment. I knew what I had spoken – it’s not an easy task for a woman to stand alone and say ‘I believe in what I have spoken’.”
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 World Cup 2014: 20 things we learned in Brazil
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 World Cup 2014: Robin van Persie gives his bronze medal to eccentric Netherlands fan moments after being handed it by Sepp Blatter
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Pamplona bull run: Man who contributed to a survival guide for the festival falls foul of the raging beasts
Israel-Gaza conflict: William Hague calls for ceasefire but says Israel 'has the right to defend itself'
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...