'Personal Choice': Students React As Bombay HC Weighs In On Short Skirts, Dancing Being 'Obscene'

'Personal Choice': Students React As Bombay HC Weighs In On Short Skirts, Dancing Being 'Obscene'

The court's verdict came after Maharashtra Police raided a resort in Nagpur's Tirkhura where 6 women were dancing for an audience, following which an FIR was lodged by the Police officials against those witnessing the event.

Sunder Singh GariyaUpdated: Monday, October 16, 2023, 11:04 PM IST
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Bombay HC Weighs In On Short Skirts, Dancing Being 'Obscene' | Representational Pic

With the Bombay High Court's recent statement on short skirts and 'dancing provocatively' not being obscene making headlines, students have come out as the key supporters of the observation. "We often witness this manner of dress in films which pass censorship or at beauty pageants held in broad public view, without causing annoyance to any audience", the Bombay High Court stated while noting that wearing short skirts, dancing provocatively or making gestures cannot be considered "obscene" acts that could offend the public.

According to a few students, who often choose to wear what they wish to, the problem is not with outfits but perception of people. "I support the decision. This comes from a very personal experience recently when I visited a red light area. It wasn't the sex workers who made me feel uncomfortable but the customers as a larger part of the crowd, made the place extremely filthy as if ready with lust to devour on any woman. So it's not the clothes one is wearing but the way we are looking at her", said Srestha, MA Journalism student of Savitiribai Phule Pune University."

"We can't just say certain acts are "provocative" because we can't control ourselves to indulge in a particular activity when exposed to those. It's a person's failure at an individual level, the act, outfits and gestures has nothing to do with it." she added.

"In my opinion, it's totally up to an individual what they wish to wear. I also agree with the High court decision because there are many who I know don't look at these dresses or gestures as a way of obscenity," asserted another college student Dhwani (name changed).

Padma Laya, a Phd student at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), in Mumbai says, "I am a passionate kathak dancer. I make dance videos which I shoot outdoors quite often. Being practicing kathak very extensively, this dance form originated in small villages, where groups of people roam around different places dancing in public places. They used to do a lot of storytelling using this dance form that to in open spaces in front of everyone which doesn't seem obscene in any way. It's is someone's personal choice and I don't think no should have an objection regarding this issue."

Vishakha from Savitribai Phule Pune University stated, "People enjoy watching item songs on screen but become offended when the same scenario occurs in real life. The same applies to dancing and gestures. Interestingly, the situation is different for half-naked men, though."

Talha Tanweer, a Social Work student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) opined, "I think this is an apt decision by the court, In recent times we cannot force our morality which is very subjective on any other person."

Others like Aman Semwal emphasized that India being a democratic country everybody has a right to do what they want. "Living in a democratic country, everyone has the right to do whatever they like while keeping in mind others don’t get hurt, so yes High Court has to be applauded," stated Aman, who is also a student at TISS.

The court's verdict came after Maharashtra Police raided a resort in Nagpur's Tirkhura where 6 women were dancing for an audience, following which an FIR was lodged by the Police officials against those witnessing the event. The FIR invoked section 296 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relating to acts of obscenity, and other relevant sections of Maharashtra Police Act and its prohibition law.

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