Mumbai corporators, across party lines, have sought a ban on the display of lingerie clad mannequins outside shops on the grounds that the public display of ceramic dummies “titillate and excite men and may pose danger to women.”
The proposal is now awaiting the municipal commissioner’s approval. If cleared, it will empower civic officials to penalise or order lingerie shopkeepers to remove mannequins that are “objectionably dressed”.
The proposal was moved last month by BJP corporator Ritu Tawade. Last week it went through unanimously with the Shiv Sena coming out and telling the media that the bikini-clad mannequins lead to “men ogling at them.”
While moving the proposal, Tawade argued that Mumbai, as per the National Crime Records Bureau, has recorded the second highest number of rapes in the country. “And bikini-clad mannequins put on display only lead to men and boys indulge in dirty thinking and wrong acts,” she had told the media when she first mooted the idea.
Tawade further buttressed her idea by citing provisions of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986: “The Act clearly says that 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 said.
Finding the issue cascading into a mild controversy, Mayor Sunil Prabhu told the media that he had always appreciated and lauded women corporators who raise “sensitive issues boldly in the House.”