Mumbai's bid to ban lingerie mannequins ridiculed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 2:22am


The city council in Mumbai came under fire for a proposal to ban lingerie-clad mannequins in shops and markets for fear they could encourage sex crimes.

Commentators and women's rights group have ridiculed the draft directive by the Indian city's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation at a time when the country is trying to curb crimes against women. The proposal, by BMC member Ritu Tawade, awaits final clearance from the civic body's chief.

"I believe that mannequins, especially [those displaying two-piece bikinis], have an impact on the incidence of crimes against women in the state. Such a display affects the mindset of men," Tawade told NDTV channel.

Mannequins sporting underwear or bikinis are a common sight at retail showrooms along city streets and shopping malls in the Indian commercial capital, which is home to the raunchy Bollywood film industry.

Women's rights activist Sharada Sathe rubbished the idea. "What nonsense. Mannequins are on display in so many countries. Thinking [of committing a crime] is in the head and not from an outside source," she said.

BMC officials did not immediately return telephone calls.

Tawade's proposal has sparked jokes and criticism on Twitter, where former journalist and politician Pritish Nandy wrote: "I have never been aroused by a mannequin. Maybe our BMC corporators are?"

An article on Indian news portal Firstpost said: "Except a handful of perverts who don't need the provocation of a plastic doll in lace to pounce on women, average Indian men don't break into sweat and run into lamp posts at the mere sight of lingerie."

India's parliament has passed a law imposing strong penalties for sex offences against women following the fatal gang-rape of a student on a Delhi bus in mid-December that sparked nationwide protests about the lack of safety for women in the country.