Shiv Sena wants action against 'illegal' lingerie mannequins. But why?
Turning a blind eye to several problems crippling Mumbai, Shiv Sena has directed its attention towards a peculiar issue- "illegal" mannequins which display women's lingerie. Claiming that women get embarrassed due to this, Sena wants Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove "unauthorized mannequins". Sena has also proposed canceling licenses of shops which don't toe the line. This proposal, naturally, prompted several reactions. Here's more.
Mannequins shouldn't be hanging from trees or walls: Sena leader
Sheetal Mhatre, Sena corporator and BMC Law Committee chairperson, ordered the administration to take action against illegal mannequins within 15 days. "We have no issues with mannequins placed inside the shops legally. But if there is display on trees or on the walls or someone carries them out on the streets then that is illegal," Mhtare told India Today.
Women know where to find lingerie, said Mhatre
Mhatre said the manner in which mannequins are displayed embarrasses women. She underlined women "know where to find it". Further, Mhatre claimed this proposal didn't come out of the blue. "The proposal has come time and again in the past six years in front of the Law Committee. It seems the BMC has no power to act against those who display illegal mannequins," she added.
In 2013 too, this issue made national news
Sena's obsession with mannequins isn't new. In 2013, Sena corporator Ritu Tawde and her colleagues demanded that mannequins should be removed from all lingerie shops in Mumbai. Back then, they were informed that the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act doesn't have any such provision.
Interestingly, Yuva Sena rushed to support the idea
This idea got a thumbs up from Yuva Sena. The outfit's core committee member, Rahul Kanal, said, "As a youth we are a part of the progressive mind frame but yet we move around with our family, sisters and female friends." Kanal added lingerie mannequins should be displayed inside four walls and it's important to respect "something which is private."
Meanwhile, lawyer-activist called the proposal regressive and unacceptable
However, there were others who didn't like the idea. Lawyer and women activist Abha Singh said lingerie is displayed for commercial purposes, and not to "promote eroticism". "Therefore, this will not get covered under the Indecent Representation of Women's (Prohibition) Act. Hence, the demand of the Shiv Sena is regressive in nature and cannot be accepted," Singh explained.
Another person said BMC doesn't have such powers
"As a civic administration, the BMC doesn't have the necessary powers to take action under Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act. The BMC, however, can fine such shopkeepers. A direction from the state government would be sought on the same," another person in the know said.
Twitter users dismissed the idea, slammed Sena's 'priorities'
The proposal also failed to strike a chord with Twitter users, who asked Sena to focus on relevant problems. "Plz set priority..first do some thing for to improve drainage system and cover the potholes,(sic)" tweeted @Grovs07. Another user @tweetyproy wrote: Does BMC consider lingerie something dirty and to be hidden away? Misplaced priorities when the city is suffering from complete breakdown of infrastructure (sic).