Mumbai civic agency’s decision on obscene mannequins Friday

Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) If the civic decision-makers have their way, mannequins — an integral part of window dressing in garment and lingerie shops — could soon become history in Mumbai.

Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte is likely to announce the civic agency’s policy on the issue Friday following recent demands by politicians to ban bikini-clad and other offensively attired mannequins, common all over Mumbai and other parts of the country.

The issue was first raised by Bharatiya Janata Party corporator from Ghatkopar Ritu Tawade, 39, who felt such mannequins were not only offensive, but “against Indian culture and sensibilities”.

Tawade felt that such lingerie-clad and skimpily dressed mannequins displayed outside shops titillate and excite men and young boys and they could pose a danger to women.

She brought up a proposal in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai house and it was passed unanimously last month before sending it for the civic chief’s nod.

While the trading community groaned at the developments, there have been mixed reactions from most Mumbaikars, many have even questioned the need to divert from bigger and urgent issues than wasting time on trivia like mannequins.

To justify her proposal, Tawade also invoked the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibiton) Act, 1986.

“The act clearly says that the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals,” she told reporters.

Endorsing her stand, Shiv Sena corporators said that the bikini-clad and improperly attired mannequins propped outside shops resulted in “men oggling at them” and getting ideas in their minds.

Tawade said that as per the National Crime Records Bureau, Mumbai had recorded the second highest incidence of rapes in the country and such mannequins only led men and young boys indulge in “dirty thinking and wrong acts”.

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu diplomatically said that he “always appreciated and lauded women corporators boldly raising sensitive issues in the house”.

Much to the dismay of the trading community reeling under high inflation and low demands, Tawade has already directed all garment and lingerie shops displaying offensive mannequins to withdraw them from public view.

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