Case against Kerala journal Grihalakshmi for featuring breastfeeding model on cover

Mumbai: A Kerala based advocate has filed a case against Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi on Friday, a week after the publication featured actress and writer Gilu Joseph breastfeeding a child on the cover of its latest edition.

The criminal complaint has been filed in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kollam, by Advocate Vinod Mathew Wilson.

The cover image with the caption- "Mothers tell Kerala: Don’t stare, we want to breastfeed" has caused an uproar on social media last week.

It is being alleged that the picture is of a lewd nature and degrades women. The complaint thus alleges commission of offences punishable under Sections 3 and 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

This is in sharp contrast to the praises that have been pouring in on social media with some even terming it to be a moment of historical nature.

Speaking to Indian Express, Gilu Joseph said she has no regrets. The actor said she was not apprehensive about appearing on the cover, and that she considers breastfeeding a mother's privilege.

"I have only done things that I have believed is right for me. I must have failed, but I have no regrets," Joseph said.

"It is a problem to interpret this sexually. Isn’t it a beautiful thing, friends? Why do you think it is wrong? Which god will be angry if you feed your child?" she asks, questioning society's tendencies to shame women.

According to the report in Indian Express, the actor agreed to the campaign without paying heed to what people may think and even went against her family’s wishes to do what she though was right.

According to an article published in NDTV, Grihalakshmi's editor Moncy Joseph told BBC the idea for the magazine cover came after the photo of a woman breastfeeding her child, posted on Facebook by her husband, went viral.

"A month ago, a man shared a picture of his wife breastfeeding on Facebook to start a conversation about letting mothers feed in public spaces. But the result was that the woman was subjected to cyber-bullying from both men and women," BBC quotes Gilu Joseph as saying. "That is why we decided to dedicate our latest issue to breastfeeding mothers."

According to reports, the cover has received mix responses on social media with many criticising the imagery but a majority have lauded the magazine for the bold step towards women emancipation.

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