Muslim leaders call for boycott of Lipstick Under My Burkha, plan legal action
A group of Muslim leaders in Bhopal on Saturday passed a resolution advocating the boycott of Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, and asked the central government to ban the controversial movie for hurting the community’s religious sentiments.
The All India Muslim Tehwar Committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Ausaf Shahmeeri Khurram, also disclosed plans to take legal action against the movie.
The movie, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha, revolves around four women – a burkha-clad college student, a young beautician, a mother of three and a 55-year-old widow who rediscovers her sexuality.
Khurram told HT that nobody has the right to comment on a “sensitive issue” like the burkha, which is worn out of choice by Muslim women. “If somebody peeps into the burkha worn by our sisters and daughters, we won’t remain silent. Burkha is an Islamic tradition, and nobody has the right to talk about it in a negative way,” he said.
He said the “tradition of burkha” was not limited solely to Muslims. “Even Hindu women in various parts of the country – including Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – opt for parda dhari (using a veil to cover the face). In such circumstances, why should they focus only on us with regard to such a sensitive, personal matter?” Khurram argued.
The committee’s state unit chairman said the resolution passed in the majilis-e-shura urges the country’s 24-crore Muslim population to boycott the movie. “We also plan to take legal action against the filmmakers. We are talking to lawyers and collecting documents related to the movie,” he added.
Khurram sought to thank the Central Board of Film Certification for stalling the film’s release. “They have done the right thing. They should not allow public viewing of this film at any cost,” he said.
Lipstick Under My Burkha ran into trouble last month, when the Central Board of Film Certification refused to certify the film because it was “lady oriented, their fantasy above life”. It went on to add that the cinematic venture “contains sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and (is) a bit sensitive about one particular section of society”.
The movie, which was shot in Bhopal, has won the Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. It features Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthaku in leading roles.