Playboy it seems is now coming to India. My Telegraph says right on the first page - "Is India game for Playboy?". Not that its first page news. It says immediately below, turn to page 17 for the article.
Playboy executives have declared that the company is now looking to capture the Indian market with a moderated and toned-down version of the magazine. Obviously. They wont find many Indian actresses lining up to do a cover, or an 'uncover', for them anyway. Playboy idiots did the same thing in Indonesia too. The Indonesian edition was so toned down and moderated that people preferred local publications. Despite this, crowds of angry, hurt, embarrassed, concerned and 'bored-with-life-otherwise' agitators hurled stones at the Jakarta office of Playboy and shouted slogans and...you know, the way we do it. An Indian reception is not going to be much more welcoming. Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS, and all the other parties self-appointed to look over all our interests and decide what we want, are already planning and publicizing their modus operandi lest they find Playboy India to be offensive or against our traditions.
"If they honour the Indian tradition and keep within limits, and dont show nudes, what objections can we have?" said the Parishad's Vinod Bansal. Limits, eh? Now what limits would those be? Honour the Indian tradition. Hmmm....If by mistake Hugh Hefner does look back at Indian tradition with his jaundiced eyes, he wont take much time before noticing Kama Sutra. I think Playboy will have a very tough time in trying to match up to Indian traditions on sex and intimacy from then on. If Playboy does not toe the line etched out by VHP, "we can even get it shut down", warns Bansal.
There are more people who want to give their uninvited opinions of course. All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Farooqi is quoted saying that such things should be stopped in humble ways without agitation, by creating "an atmosphere against it". He was probably being asked about something for the first time, so he chose this opportunity to take all the other weights off his chest as well. He went on to say - "Not just Playboy, I am for a moral check on newspapers and television as well". He complains that some newspapers and magazines are not fit to be read by the family. But whatever happens or does not happen, Playboy is "against Indian culture.....As an Indian, and a Muslim, I am totally against it".
What is meant by "not fit to be read by the family"? You should also ban magazines like Femina and Good Housekeeping because they only cater to women. "100 different ways to attract men" was the leading article in an issue of one such magazine that I used for timepass at a barbershop. Definitely not for the whole family to read, especially if VHP cadre also have teenage daughters. Looking elsewhere, surely entire families dont sit down to read scientific journals? Throw them out. Business Today does not have a section for ten year olds who want to invest their pocket money. Out it goes. India Today does not have recipes for housewives. Bye bye.....
Some poeple would argue that Playboy is something else and not be compared with the above. And that is exactly my point. Playboy is something else, so treat like that. Maxim, Playboy etc cater to hormonally charged and/or sexually deprived males. Its for them to 'read', if anyone does actually ever read read Playboy. Its not meant for group reading sessions with the entire parivaar. Also, its not like the editors of these magazines are absolutely shameless. They also feel shame. They also feel guilt. They also feel that they have to answer to God sometime. Why else do they put articles in between the pictures?
You cannot dispute the fact that people exist who want nothing more than to see naked models every month even if they have to pay for it. If you have demand in a country the size of India, you're obviously going to have supply lining up. If VHP, RSS etc think that Indian traditions should be held sacrosanct, then why dont they encourage and organize festivals, aside from the Kumbha which is too infested with naked sadhus for any self respecting individual to ever attend? They wont do that. There is no constructive work at all done by them.
Anyway, they dont really matter. All this song and dance over Playboy and Maxim. What does it matter if they come to India or not? If politicians had just kept shut, these magazines would have come, tried to create a market and then gone off quietly without making any sort of profit. They are idiots if they think they can get Indians to pay for something they can get for free somewhere else. When there is an entire universe of pornography and full blown other things available for that magic word (FREE!) on the internet, you think anyone will notice Playboy ka family-friendly pack?