Just a few days before Navratri, huge hoardings displayed across Surat, Gujarat in which the porn star turned actress Sunny Leone is seen advising people to "Play this Navratri, but with love [Aa Navratriye ramo, paraantu prem thi]".
Later the image of the ad was shared by many people on social media platform criticising Sunny Leone. In the image, Sunny looks like a seductress alongside a pair of dandiya sticks. The actress has a massive fan following across India and is the brand ambassador for Manforce, the country's biggest condom company.
According to the Times of India, a city-based group Hindu Yuva Vahini staged a protest at one of the ad’s locations. “The message in Gujarati on the hoarding reads ‘Aa Navratri a ramo, parantu premthi’ - this Navratri, play but with love. The insinuation on the banners from a condom brand insults the religious sentiments of Hindus,” Narendra Chaudhary, a businessman who serves as the group’s leader told TOI.
He also said, “This cannot be allowed, and our protests will get stronger if these hoardings are not removed now. Protests are necessary to deter others from trying something similar again in future.”
Another group called, the Confederation of All India Traders has shot off a letter to Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs demanding the ad to be banned. It is “putting all our cultural value system at stake” says the letter. And then it points an accusing finger at Sunny Leone herself. And the ample of lust.
Check out the letter here:
Here are five reasons why the ad angered Indian men
1) It’s the holy week (Navratri)
According to Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) general secretary Praveen Khandelwal, "Navratri is a pious festival which symbolises the strength of women and linking condoms with the festival is highly objectionable." Some said 'It's unethical.'
All year round we see reports about rape and sexual assault, and there is no outrage against incidents or talks on respecting women. But, it's Navratri time, so these nine days we will worship women and pray to goddess Durga.
2) Sunny Leone
As we see it, the problem seems to be shifting from the ad to the one featuring in the ad. So, it is not sex or condom, but ex-pornstar Sunny Leone openly telling us about it. Right? People have always been judgemental with their comments, and have constantly raked up her life as an adult actress.
3) Sex during festivals
So, is sex during festivals a problem? Needless to say, there is a rise in sexual intimacies during Navratri. According to BBC report, since the late 1990s, there have been records that during the garba dance parties when young unmarried men and women are allowed to stay out until late in the night, there is an increase in the number of abortions. A latest report also showed by the purchase of sex toys puts Gujarat as the top buyer in India only during Navratri.
Back in 2003, the Times of India was running stories about aggressive marketing of condoms near popular garba venues.
4) Our Gods are not embarrassed of sex
Probably they think the gods would be angry.
5) Indian men don't enjoy sex with condom
In our male-dominated society, women rarely have a say in the major decisions of their home or maybe even their bedrooms. Therefore, more than 46 percent of women stated that they could not use a condom because it was their husband/partners' decision. 'Indian' men do not like to wear condoms because it alters the sexual sensation, or so they believe.