Malayalam magazine, Grihalashmi, Gilu Joseph, A day after the cover picture of a Malayalam magazine showing a model breastfeeding sparked controversy, a case has been registered against the magazine and the model for being 'indecent'.
The case was registered by advocate Vinod Matthew against the publisher and the model in the CJM court of Kollam in Kerala. The charges have been filed under Section 3 and 4 of indecent representation of women (Prohibition) act 1986.
Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi's cover on March 1 issue stirred up a conversation about breastfeeding in public. As usual, social media was divided over the image and not afraid to opine.
The cover features 27-year-old model, poet, writer Gilu Joseph breastfeeding a child. The text below the image read: "Mothers tell Kerala, 'please don't stare, we need to breastfeed."
While a majority of the readers have lauded the choice of cover that is a step towards de-sexualising the act of breastfeeding, many called the move 'indecent'.
Joseph, in an interview with Indian Express Malayalam, called breastfeeding 'a mother's privilege.'
"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 asked.
The interview also revealed that Joseph's family did not approve of her decision to feature on the cover in this manner. But since she believes that only she has a right over her body, and that only she can decide what she must do with it, she did what was right for her.
Joseph said that motherhood is a beautiful feeling. It lets a woman celebrate and enjoy a wonderful bond with her offspring.
This attempt by Grihalakshmi and Joseph is shaking the patriarchal bedrock. This is why when one looks at the comments below the Facebook post of the magazine cover, many male readers are calling it a 'titillating image' and a 'cheap publicity stunt'.
This is not the first time the issue of public breastfeeding has been discussed on a Global platform. Last year Australian MP Larissa Waters addressed the Parliament while breastfeeding her 14-week-old baby girl.
Magazines like Time and Babytalk too have featured such cover pages drawing applause and critic in equal amounts.
The hearing of the case has been fixed for March 16.