Sunny Leone, a former pornstar turned Bollywood actress, is now mired deep in controversy after a communist leader blamed her condom ads for the rising rape cases in India on Tuesday, according to The Express Tribune.
Communist Party of India secretary Atul Kumar Anjan made the controversial statement at a rally in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, saying that Sunny Leone’s ads should be banned by the National Democratic Alliance government for “developing sexuality and ruining sensibilities.” Anjan also blamed Sunny Leone for the proliferation of porn in the country.
Now there is an advertisement with her (Leone), have you seen it? She is lying down…and a man comes to her. (They show the advertisement) in the morning, at night…an advertisement for condoms, it is such a dirty and horrific advertisement that develops your sexuality and destroys your sensibility.
If such advertisements for condoms appear in the country’s TV channels and newspapers, then incidents of rape will increase. It needs to be stopped.
Women’s groups derided Anjan’s comments against Leone’s ads as ignorant, giving spark to the outrage that spread among India’s social media users.
India has recently seen a growing awareness of sexual violence against women among its citizens, giving rise to numerous groups that continue to call out politicians and influential people for every uncouth statement that perpetuates and promotes “rape culture.”
Famous woman activist Kavita Krishnan posted on Facebook to defend Sunny Leone and to criticize Atul Ajan for his statements at the rally.
Comrade – rape is caused by men’s sense of entitlement and lack of concern for women’s autonomy and consent. Not by pornography, naked women or any other ‘provocation.’
In a statement to ANI, Anjan clarified that he is not against condoms and that he only took issue with the language used in Sunny Leone’s ads.
Ads should be sober, Sunny Leone’s ads are vulgar. I am not anti-condoms, but the language used in the ad is not right. Supporters of porn & Sunny Leone are raising objections, I apologise but I don’t stand for such ads.
The 34-year-old Leone, whose real name is Karenjit Kaur Vohra, is of Indo-Canadian descent. Leone is best known for her appearances in adult films.
In 2013, Sunny Leone left the porn industry to focus on her career as a Bollywood actress. That same year, Leone was dragged into a debate when the porn industry took the blame for the rape and brutal death of a five-year-old in New Delhi, as previously reported by NDTV.
“It’s complete nonsense to blame rape on adult material out there. Education starts at home. It’s mums and dads sitting with their children and teaching them what is right and wrong,” Sunny Leone said.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]