Even the producer of the film tried to shame Sanjjanaa for doing the shot which was deleted from the film.

Assault scene from Kannada film leaked media turn moral police over actor appearing nude
news Moral Policing Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 17:18

Kannada movie Dandupalya 2 which was released a week ago, has landed in a controversy after a clip from the film which was edited out of the final cut was leaked to the media.

The clip shows Sanjjanaa Galrani, one of the actors, in a nude scene which is staged at a police station. Her character is stripped and humiliated by a policeman as others watch the assault. 

On Tuesday night, the clip was circulated to various WhatsApp groups. However, this adult rated film does not have the clip in the movie itself.

Lapping up the “shocking” video, the Kannada media resorted to moral policing and condemning Sanjjanaa for “performing such a hot scene in a Kannada film” and questioned her “morality”.

While the scene can be criticised for verging on exploitative depiction of an assault, it is not meant to titillate.

“For the first time in Kannada cinema, a nude scene was shot. Sanjjanaa shed all her shame to go nude for a shot in Dandupalya 2. The controversial scene was, however, deleted by the censor board,” a Kannada news channel reported.

Sanjjanaa, who held a press conference on Wednesday, slammed the media reports and said that it is “up to her to decide if she should or should not perform such shots."

“What is wrong in doing a bold scene? Why does the media get to decide what kind of work I should do? I had agreed to do this scene but I was wearing a body suit. The clip itself is not there in the film, so why does it have to matter? Yesterday all Kannada channels resorted to publishing the clip without even knowing the actual story. You shamed me for no fault of mine,” Sanjjanaa said.

She said that the clip must have been leaked by one of the film crew. “We are figuring out who is behind the leak and will give a complete clarification once director Srinivasa Raju, who is in Hyderabad returns to Bengaluru. We will definitely file a police complaint against the person who leaked the video,” she added.

The producer of the film, K Manju opined that Dandupalya 2 is a “Kannada film and not a Hollywood one” and added that “Kannada films respect women and has no space for nude scenes”. This, however, is far from the truth. Kannada cinema has plenty of "item" numbers and objectifies women routinely. The male gaze is obvious in many Kannada films and heroines have very little to do in the script other than provide "glamour".

“This is a Kannada movie not a Hollywood one. We respect women in our culture and do not allow them to do nude scenes. Glamorous shots are allowed in Kannada films not nude ones, which is why it was not even included in the film,” K Manju said.

It's unclear who K Manju thinks should "allow" any actor to do nude scenes or permit these shots to be part of a film. Even the CBFC, as stakeholders from the film industry have been repeatedly saying, is only required to certify films and not dictate what cuts should be made. 

Previously, the media had reacted in a similar manner when nude scenes from actor Radhika Apte’s movie Parched were leaked online two weeks before the film's release. However, far from being defensive or apologetic Radhika had hit back at the moral police, pointing out that she was doing her job and was not ashamed of her body.

“I think our country is very ashamed of sexuality, physicality, or human body. Anything to do with human body or sexuality is a problem here,” Radhika had said.