When Marilyn Monroe comes to Bengaluru


Ammu Joseph, veteran journalist based in Bangalore, highlights one of several contradictions in Bengaluru, on Facebook:

These photos were clicked and shared by a friend, who questioned the manager of the mall about this “public installation” outside, and was told that Marilyn is the fashion icon of New York City! So much for his knowledge of movie stars and fashion icons. But, even if she is/was, what has that got to do with a mall in Bengaluru? Not only the moral police, but the actual police and various other worthies in the city, have been waxing eloquent about “obscenity” in the context of the Kiss of Love protest. What do they have to say about this incongruous (not to mention tacky) figure and what it’s communicating to the guys photographing and being photographed with it?

Ammu clarifies that she doesn’t approve of moral policing of any kind. “The Marilyn installation at the mall is basically just tacky, tasteless kitsch which may, of course, may feed into some male fantasies (benign or otherwise). But the hypocrisy of those who think kissing in public (even as a form of protest) is obscene but aren’t bothered about this kind of thing is quite remarkable,” she comments.

It can be recalled that Bengaluru City Police had denied permission to the Kiss of Love protest, as they felt the protest involved an ‘act of obscenity’. What do you think about such installations and hoardings? Should the police have them removed?

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