A few days back, Kamala Nehru College’s theatre society ‘Lakshya’ were put at a disadvantage by the judges of a competition for using ‘bra’ and ‘panty’ in dialogues. This ridiculous incident took place at the Sahitya Kala Parishad’s theatre fest Mahavidyalay Natya Utsav. The team was initially disqualified and later told they would only lose marks for such ‘inappropriate language’. Yes, because in India women’s lingerie is apparently inappropriate.
Teacher and convenor of ‘Lakshya’, Monami Basu put up a Facebook post expressing how she was unpleasantly surprised at such an action.
The post grabbed Delhi cabinet minister Kapil Mishra’s attention and Basu later shared his response to her grievance as well.
In support of ‘Lakshya’ and against the extremely ridiculous reaction by Sahitya Kala Parishad students from Pinjra Tod, made their protest known when inside the Shri Ram Centre they came together for ‘An Ode to Bra, Panty and the Sahitya Kala Academy’. They hung their bras over the boundary walls in a symbolic gesture. The disqualification has now been rolled back, but this one decision takes the discussion back to how we as a society are still fairly regressive.
Ramjas College’s theatre society has also come out in support saying they do not even audition for Sahitya Kala Parishad’s fest because their rules are ‘absurd’. Who would not agree to the fact that citing ‘bra’ and ‘panty’ as ‘inappropriate language’ is nothing short of absurd. What’s interesting is the fact that plays use cuss words demeaning women all the time in theatre performances and somehow never get into trouble for language.
It is no rocket science that bras and panties are women’s undergarments and if it’s okay to mention boxers one cannot make sense of how these are cuss words. Neither are women’s organs such as vagina and breasts inappropriate language. It’s high time we accept that, else hanging bras and panties over everyone’s boundary walls would be our only option.