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A thought for poor women

A thought for poor women

Last Saturday, Bollywood actor and former adult-film star Sunny Leone performed at a Bengaluru hotel. After the successful completion of the show, she thanked the Bangalore Police and the people for the cooperation. Leone was in the news last year when some pro-Kannada organisations vociferously protested against a proposed show featuring her on the eve of New Year in Bengaluru. The protestors argued that she performing in the city will leave a bad precedent will send a wrong message to the young generation who are susceptible to following any successful film personality without reason. The protestors threatened that they would commit mass suicide besides resorting to other means of protests if the proposed show was not cancelled. Fearing trouble, the Karnataka government did not give permission to organise the show. Leone, who has had a considerably long career as an adult-film actress in Canada, has a lot of adult content readily available on the Internet. After her debut in the Indian entertainment industry, she has said in some interviews that while she does not regret her past as an adult movie actor, she would have certainly liked the adult content involving her to be removed from the Internet but that is not possible — it is so voluminous and widespread. The right to be forgotten does not apply here as the content that she created has been sold worldwide and the people who bought it have the right to retain it. Then why did she choose to work in India knowing well that the conservative environment in the country would not accept her as an artiste? Her answer has been very simple how she needed work after her career in the adult movie business reached a point of saturation and the Indian film industry has plenty of scope for artists of different genres to try their luck. She has also given it a try and has been successful in securing enough work to keep going. A couple of years ago, her income from the Indian film industry was pegged at over Rs 100 crore. What is most striking about her is her simplicity and the readiness to accept facts and not find excuses. She keeps changing new assignments and tries to give her best at work, the reason why film-makers do not hesitate to take her for a role that they think she can do justice to.

Another Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra who is soon to get married to singer Nick Jonas has been making international headlines for extravagant plans to solemnise their union. Last time when Priyanka made such globally-noticeable headlines was when she met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Berlin hotel where both were put up in a 'lovely coincidence'. What gave the morning-hour meeting so much of importance was the floral knee-length dress — Anarkali — that she was wearing for the occasion. She was trolled on social media for exposing too much of her long legs in front of the Indian Prime Minister who comes from an orthodox political organisation. As Priyanka and Nick are spending big money to make the moment special and memorable, the Indian middle-class who watch her movies are of the view that she has got the money and she is flaunting it — there is nothing wrong about it. Priyanka's passion for work as reflected by her Bollywood success and her decision to shift base from Mumbai to New York in a bid to provide the much-needed extension to her career shows how versatile and committed she is as a working lady.

Common in the two Bollywood actors, Sunny Leone and Priyanka Chopra, is that they are women, they love their work, and they like to earn money so that they can spend it — a desire cherished by millions of other women in the country who do not have any work that can earn money for them. From picking garbage to working as domestic help or as cheap labour at factories, women have expressed their desire as well as the need to have a regular work so that they can have the satisfaction of having earned the money before spending it. From pavements to slums, the sight of poor women without any work that can support their life is so unsettling that even films do not depict them. Priyanka's million dollar marriage and Suny Leone's relentless pursuit to join the millionaire's club brings before the untold hardship and suffering that millions of women in India go through because they don't have gainful employment. It is in this context that Sunny Leone's career as a porn actor is worth emulating and the pro-Kannada outfits must not teach us ethics and morality when poor women inspired by Leone or Priyanka make a career choice.

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