Taking to Facebook, the director of the show, Anthony, lashed out at 'leftist feminists' for stopping the airing of the episode.

Vijay TV drops Neeya Naana episode on Kerala vs Tamil women after police complaintScreenshot: YouTube
Flix Media Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 16:00

Vijay TV decided to not air Neeya Naana’s planned episode for Sunday, on the topic ‘Who is more beautiful?: Kerala women or Tamil women.’ The decision was taken following a police complaint against the show, according to director of Neeya Naana, Anthony. Though Antony claimed that a police complaint had forced them to drop the show, it is unclear if the call was taken earlier owing to protests. The channel had deleted the Twitter poll and Facebook promos on Saturday evening itself.

Other than the objections on social media, a group called Manidhi approached the police. Another group based out of Kanchipuram called Makkal Mandram asked for action against the makers of the show under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.

Taking to Facebook, the director of the show, Anthony, lashed out at 'leftist feminists' for stopping the airing of the episode. Anthony wrote, "In the show, Kerala women and Tamil women spoke personally and publicly about the beauty of their clothes, beauty of their jewellery, beauty of their leadership. Their voices have been muzzled this time by leftist feminists. They have got a stay through the police that we shouldn't speak about women's beauty at all. Why are they creating noise without even having the patience to listen to these college girls? Demanding a ban before a show is even released - what is the difference between religious fundamentalists, casteist fundamentalists and these leftist fundamentalists?" 

The promos of this episode of the popular talk show were aired over the past week, and created quite a stir. Many people called out the blatant objectification of women and girls in the promo, and even started a ‘NoToNeeyaNaana’ hashtag.

A popular status shared by many people campaigning against the episode on Facebook read:

“This Sunday Vijay TV is airing its famous Neeya Naana talk show on the topic- "who is more beautiful- Tamil or Kerala women?" As a person armed with conscience, intellect and integrity, I find this grossly inappropriate and demeaning us, the women on yardsticks of beauty. STOP objectifying women.”

On Sunday afternoon, Neeya Naana aired a different episode of the show, on the topic of real estate.

The Chennai Chapter of the Network of Women in Media in India (NWMI) is one of the groups that had approached Vijay TV regarding a poll on Twitter related to the show, and demanded a ticker to be run during the episode, clarifying that many people were opposed to the content of the show.

"When we have a problem with anything that propagates misogyny, it is important to oppose loudly. And when you oppose, you will get an answer. The joint efforts of women journalists, women’s groups and people on social media has prompted Vijay TV to stop airing this episode," Induja Ragunathan, a member of NWMI told TNM.

“The show, which was promoted as a debate as to who was more beautiful, Tamil girls or Malayalee girls, was ill-conceived and offensive. But a leader is also one who knows when to back off, and ensure course correction," Ramya Kannan, another member of NWMI told TNM.

Earlier, speaking to Vikatan, the assistant director of Neeya Naana, Dileepan said, “The topics of discussion for Neeya Naana come from the public. If people are discussing a certain film, there must be something in that film for them to talk about. Whatever public debates and discussions people have, we turn it into a topic on Neeya Naana, which is how we made NEET, women's liberation, etc. as topics. Beauty and its many aspects are important for life, and makes life complete. But we cannot describe beauty in simple easy terms. There are rules and regulations, conditions that govern it too. This show too was about that, was about an appreciation of beauty.”

Read: 'Who is beautiful, Kerala or Tamil women?': 'Neeya Naana' topic has us scratching our heads

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