In the country that gave us the Karma Sutra, attitutes towards sex and sexuality in India are super strict. And the censors will be sharpening their scissors at the news a banned pornographic cartoon is to be turned into a Bollywood film, reports The Telegraph.
Savita Bhabhi is the animated star of the original online strip, a 29-year-old office worker who leads a secret life behind her husband’s back. While he’s away on business, Savita enjoys a tryst with her boss, pleasures a 21 year old ’house servant’ Manoj, as well as having fun with numerous tradesmen.
In the new film, entitled Sheetal Bhabhi, an actor based on Savita flirts with a series of her husband's friends. But the producers, wanting to court the same audience that made Savita Bhabhi popular but not the controversy that attended it, are quick to point out that she stops before sex.
’Her husband's friends try to woo her, she encourages them because she wants their money. It's a comedy, there's not much sex involved, a bit of exposure, but it's not pornographic,’ said Mahendra Dhariwal, the film's producer.
In some parts of India, women have been murdered in ’honour killings’ for having casual sex like Savita Bhabhi does. Sociologist Zubair Meenia suggests the popularity of the character comes from the country's urban middle classes suppressing the natural sexuality found in rural cultures.
She said: ’Explicit sexuality has long been a part of Indian culture. If we look at the rural system we had – all the folk songs, ceremonies in marriages, religious festivals, they all were loaded with explicit sexuality – in the lyrics or the dances, there was some form of sexual element in them. But because of urbanisation and the new found middle class morality which developed, this repression took place.’
Here’s hoping the film can dodge the censors in one piece.