Student-Led ’emBODYindia’ Campaign Sparks International Discourse

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actress Deepika Padukone

The rift between the Bollywood star, actress Deepika Padukone, and the renown newspaper in India, The Times of India sparkled the discussion and the ’emBODYindia’ Campaign. The most popular newspaper published a headline “OMG: Deepika cleavage show.”

The actress furiously reacted to this headline citing it hurtful and discriminatory. The newspaper, however, apologized for the headline and not the article it published. The undergraduates of the US-India initiative at the Harvard University put the ’emBODYindia’ Campaign into action.

The campaign took effect almost immediately with millions of likes and comments. The worldwide inspired campaign penetrated through social media, articles, and commentaries. They all condemned the newspaper for such injustice against the actress and a mockery to the women.

The rate of gender-based violence in India has been on the higher scales with diary-related causes taking the lead. Between 1999-2003, 6000-7000 deaths were dowry-related while 43,000-50,000 cases of mental and physical torture linked to dowry.

The massive dowry enforced on the bride seems to sparkle the violence especially if the bride’s part of the bargain fails to take off timely. It is unfortunate that the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 has not taken effect to date. The law prevents the forceful demand of dowry, especially from the bride.

Due to these kinds of situations, the ’emBODYindia’ Campaign comes in a savior to sensitize the masses on the plight of the women. To express solidarity in this campaign, one takes a picture and adds text to convey the injustice they know of.

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