JLF 2016: When Shobhaa De jumped to Sunny Leone’s defence

  • Abhishek Saha, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2016 21:11 IST
Jaipur, India, 21Jan. 2015: Karan Johar, Shobhaa De and Poonam Saxena during the session "An Unsuitable Boy" at Jaipur literary festival 2016, in Jaipur, India on Thursday, January 21, 2016. Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindiustan Times (Hindustan Times)

Writer Shobhaa De termed the recent interview of former porn star Sunny Leone on a prominent television channel as a “chauvinistic, misogynistic, sexist” attack on the actor, adding that the interviewer “tried to put her down in many different ways”.

Speaking at a session titled ‘Navigating Modernity’ at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2016, De spoke about the challenges before the Indian woman today and how Leone was a “signal of a change”.

Read: Celebs support actor after her TV interview

The Leone interview created a buzz on social media, with many criticising the interviewer for the kind of questions he chose to ask. “The person interviewing her (Leone) tried to put her down in many different ways and tried to make her apologetic about her being an adult film actress in the past,” De said. Leone, however, emerged unaffected.

“Men and women both supported Sunny Leone on social media and damned the person who interviewed her,” De said adding that the interviewer’s main aim seemed to be to “put Leone in her place” because of her “past, career choices and Indian origins” and he seemed to be asking: “How can an Indian woman be an adult movie star?”

“The fact that she (Leone) has come here and is standing on her own terms is a signal, at least for me, that changes are taking place,” De said.

Read: Will be happy to work with Sunny Leone, says Aamir Khan

She believes women today will not have to struggle through “idiotic, stupid, superficial, nonsensical” things that women of her generation had to.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta and prominent political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot were also part of the session. Their comments on caste politics, however, didn’t get as much of a reaction from the full house at the Google Mughal Tent, which cheered wildly for De’s comments on Leone.

For more JLF 2016 stories click here.

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