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Grihalakshmi faces heat over picture of poet breastfeeding baby

SNS | New Delhi |

A case has been filed against popular Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi’s “indecent representation” of a woman on the cover page of its latest edition.

The cover shows poet and actress Gilu Joseph breastfeeding a baby.

According to reports, the case has been filed at the Kollam CJM court under sections 3 and 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986.

The petitioner, advocate Vinod Mathew Wilson, complained that the picture appeals “to prurient interests and tends to degrade the dignity of womanhood”.

The News Minute reports that Wilson is not the only one to have filed a complaint.

Advocate Jiyas Jamal from Aluva lodged a complaint with the State Child Rights Commission against the publisher, Joseph and also the parents of the baby.

According to the report, Jamal alleges that the action of the “unmarried” Joseph exploits the health and rights of the baby. He alleges that “using the child for commercial purposes is indeed a grave issue” and puts the “rights of newborn babies in danger”.

The cover generated both praise and criticism in equal measure. While many called the cover historic and helping tackle the taboo around breastfeeding in India, especially urban society, there were those who felt outraged because a real mother was not used for the photo.


The text below Joseph’s picture reads: “Mothers tell Kerala, ‘please don’t stare, we need to breastfeed'”.

According to reports, Joseph defended the cover saying that breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and no God will be “angry” if a mother feeds her child. She added that she agreed to the campaign without paying because she believes only she has a right over her body, and that only she can decide what she must do with it.