Thiruvananthapuram: Complaints have been filed with a Kollam court and the State Children’s Rights Commission of Kerala against a fortnightly magazine Malayalam for presenting a model of breastfeeding a baby on its cover.
Lawyer Nobel Mathew said he filed a lawsuit in the court of the Chief Magistrate Judge of Kollam (CJM) against the magazine and model-actress Gilu Joseph.
“The case was filed yesterday with the CJM Kollam for offense under sects 3 and 4 of the Law on indecent representation of women,” Mathew told PTI.
The case has been published for the hearing on March 16.
The model was presented in the latest edition of ‘Grihalakshmi’, a sister publication of the main media group ‘Mathrubhumi’.
When asked about his reaction to the case that was being presented on the matter, the Joint Managing Director of the Mathrubumi M group V Shreyams Kumar said that it was done through cheap advertising.
However, he said that the group has not received any notice so far from the court on the matter.
Meanwhile, a complaint has also been filed with the State Commission of Kerala for the Rights of the Child.
The president of the Commission, Shobha Koshy, said that it has been made under the charges of “false feeding” and denial and violation of the rights of the child.
“We will analyze the complaint,” he said when asked if any action had been taken in this regard.
The magazine, in its latest edition, featured Joseph, also a stewardess, breastfeeding the girl without covering her breasts as part of a campaign to end the stigma attached to her, which provoked a massive debate.
The women’s magazine also launched a “challenge” that urges women to send pictures of them breastfeeding children as part of their “breastfeed freely” campaign.
In addition to the model, the magazine also includes photos of Amritha, a 23-year-old Keralite housewife who suckles her daughter for a month and a half in a similar way.
In January, Amritha’s husband, Biju, on his Facebook page, shared a picture of her breastfeeding her son, urging them to end the stigma associated with open breastfeeding.
The magazine was inspired by the couple’s bold act to launch a unique campaign.
In the article, entitled ‘Do not stare, we want to breastfeed’, the magazine also cites several women from different walks of life, including professionals and housewives.
It also contains a detailed article by award-winning writer Indu Menon on the subject.
Joseph, 27, said she dedicated the images to all mothers who are “longing” to breastfeed their children freely and with pride.
“I will happily accept and celebrate all the possible criticisms that would come in the name of this campaign and the images,” she said.
The model said that although she was not married or had children, she did not hesitate to accept the task for the cover when she received a call from Grihalakshmi.
Joseph said she was pretty sure what she was doing was not wrong.
“Every mother should celebrate her motherhood When they called me for the session, I did not hesitate Do you think single women can not pose for breastfeeding outbreaks?” She asked.
Noting that he had all the respect for women who cover themselves while breastfeeding their children, he said they wanted to send a message that “if you are in a public place, do not worry about feeding your child.”
The cover and the campaign have triggered an intense debate on social networks.
While a large number of people, especially women, supported the magazine’s “bold” and “progressive” attempt, others criticized it for choosing a model for the cover instead of a common mother.
Writer and activist Rahul Easwar described the magazine’s attempt as a “commercial trick” in the name of breastfeeding.
“This is the commercialization of the human body,” he said.
Some trolls said it was obscene and vulgar.
Australian Senator Larissa Waters, of the leftist Green party, had breastfed her daughter during a vote in the federal Senate chamber in May last year, which was widely publicized by the international media.