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In India, PETA plays safe

entertainment Updated: Jan 14, 2011 00:45 IST
Minakshi Saini
Minakshi Saini
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

From Aishwarya Rai to Rakhi Sawant — many Bollywood celebs have lent support to PETA’s awareness campaigns. PETA India marked its 11th anniversary on Jan 12. “Star power has helped PETA get the message out to billions of people that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment,” says PETA India Chief Funct-ionary Poorva Joshipura.

But the bold concept that they follow internationally for shock value has always been missing from Indian campaigns. She reasons, “We respect cultural sensitivities and make our campaigns as eye-catching, provocative and interesting as they can be.”

Bollywood actors who have been associated with PETA include Aishwarya Rai, John Abraham, Lara Dutta, R Madhavan, Rahul Bose, Shilpa Shetty, Raveena Tandon, Rakhi Sawant, Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka, Celina Jaitly, Sonam Kapoor and Gulshan Grover among others.

Gulshan Grover’s six-year long association with PETA is still going strong. “Working for PETA is my way of doing my bit towards society," said Grover. While Lara Dutta said, “Going vegetarian is not only a great way to trim your waist but shrink your carbon footprint too.”

On nudity being missing from Indian campaigns, ad guru Alyque Padamsee said, “I think people under the age of 25 years will love it but the oldies will object. I wish senior citizens would grow young in mind rather than become finicky."

No smooth ride internationally
Internationally, PETA posters attempt to shock people into reaction. Accordingly, their posters feature a lot of nudity and graphic imagery - which often rubs critics the wrong way. For instance, in July 2010, a PETA ad featuring Hollywood actor Pamela Anderson came under attack for being sexist (see pic)

Actors Lara Dutta, Shilpa Shetty and John Abraham are among the celebrity supporters of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. Unlike their international couterparts, PETA’s Bollywood posters have been modest.