The Boys issue, strikes again

The Holi(not holy) picture in Tamil Murasu and Hindusthan Times is creating few blogposts in the Indian Blogosphere. I’m annoyed not by the picture but such blog posts.

Given the state of affairs of the Indian Media, I’m positive the photographer or the journalist hasn’t taken the permission to publish this picture. Maybe I’m wrong. If only they have taken the permission of the guys on the photograph, what the heck guys, what’s wrong with posting those pictures? No one morphed few photographs to make this collage. It seems real, it’s happening. Agreed, it’s an invasion of privacy and that is a cause of concern but none of these blogposts seem to raise that as an issue. If that’s the concern, I take it. Rather if someone is passing moral judgements on what should and what should not appear on newspapers, are they not trying to do the same moral policing which happened in Chennai clubs, few months back.

Remember the issue with Shankar’s Boys when the whole Tamilnadu took a holy dip with a rush to save the boys’ virginity. This one seems like a similar issue involving excessive amounts of vigorous hypocrisy. Who’s having the last laugh now ?

40 thoughts on “The Boys issue, strikes again

  1. Guru, OT: Hope you had a good vacation. When I was going thru your Flickr stuff of the trip, I was surprised to find that you had clicked on Carpenters in the Hollywood Walk of Fame (and I guess you did read my post on Carpenters, mentioning that, a couple of weeks back). Any association with these two disparate events? πŸ™‚

  2. I second your opinions.

    This one doesn’t look like an invasion of privacy! They all seem to be nicely posing for the snap. It frankly doesn’t look like ’twas taken by a secret camera. There’s nothing wrong with the Journalist taking and nothing wrong with the picture. Whats the big deal? If the journalist had stolen the pic, that’s invasion of piracy though.

    About Boys, I think we should all learn not to judge the film based on morality issues. A movie is just to entertain. Boys was attacked more so because of its morality than the technical aspects.

    However, even if you take the technical aspects into account, the movie wasn’t all that good.
    Shankar should shed the sensationalistic potrayal of things in his movies. That is boring and cliched now.

  3. LG: On hindsight, if Dilip were to think on your lines, he would have just mentioned it and not linked to it. But ya, huge invasion of privacy, esspecially if the guy pictured there was not doing what he has been “accused” of doing.
    Now that I have a Bloglines account I have Boing Boing on there. A week or so ago, they had linked to a pic from a college basketball game showing something odd peeking out from the leg of someone’s shorts on the basketball court. It was later explained as an optical illusion caused by the small size of the printed photograph (and the texture of newsprint or something like that) as opposed to the large sized one submitted to the paper. What I am saying is that that kid should not be judged on the basis of a 2d photograph that sometimes gives us a fake feeling of distance. How many times have we seen people photographed holding the minaret of the Taj Mahal with their fingers????
    In this case, even a few mm distance separating his fingers from what he “seems” to be touching might absolve him. And look at most of us.. we are jumping in to villify the guy.

  4. Anti,

    Just FYI to clarify your point, I’m not glorifying or villifying the people in the picture.

    I’m just saying these blogposts are doing nothing but moral policing themselves.

  5. LG: I got that. But the very fact that people thought that the picture was not worthy of the front page itself means that we are judging the guy, right? That is my point.

  6. I see a picture from Holi in a paper. It disturbs me, not least because I know people for whom that picture will bring back unpleasant memories of Holi. Being disturbed, I write two lines about it. And I’m the moral police. Right.

  7. Newspapers are there to show the realities of Society..Why should they play in open space..they can do it inside four walls..rite?

    But this photos may darken the future those gals?

  8. Lazy, I have been thinking about Boys for the past one week since the Blank noise blogathon. The movie seemed to justify the boys’ street level sexual harassment with the idea boys will be boys. Viewed in that angle, the movie sucks big time.

    Karthikeyan, “But this photos may darken the future those gals”, are you serious?

  9. We don’t know whether the photographer took permission or not. Hence it would be inappropriate to comment whether it is invasion of privacy.

    Why should we refrain from commenting about such pictures or what should / should not be published in newspapers? The whole world comments about pictures published on Indiatimes.

  10. Kaps, My point is what’s wrong with the picture assuming that the people in the picture have been asked before it was published.

    this is the probably my biggest question i have on this issue ?

  11. Chenthil, I don’t think so. Boys is still a puritan movie. the same boys who do sexual harrasment are shown to have understood that to be mistakes in the end. so in that angel its infact the most purest movie.

  12. Dilip, Atleat those two lines never gave me the sense of understanding this comment of yours made.

    maybe i was dumb enough to not get the meaning you were trying to convey.

  13. And Dilip I also did read a post, just before this one, where you artistically compare the sand dunes to folds and curves and cervices of a woman’s body.

    Nothing wrong but just a mention. Just FYI ;-)[Thanks Prabhu]

  14. my take on the pic
    even before reading your post saw it in deccan herald bangalore edition i think and i found it disgusting because of the long fingers…
    maybe one needs to be a girl to feel the sense of violation esp when the violator turns out to be a “friend”

    – i think dilip was trying to say this and not moral policing, he was not against the revelry but about the abuse in the form of revelry and then going ahead and publishing it on front page just because its sensational

    but ofcourse if its neelu he might have a diff take on it and might prove that even otherwise its moral policing

    >>Rather if someone is passing moral judgements on what should and what should not appear on newspapers, are they not trying to do the same moral policing which happened in Chennai clubs, few months back.>>

    guru neenga oru rethink pannunga i think you have misunderstood the anger some of us are having wrt this pic.

    p.s- To me it definitely looks like a pic posed for.The girls trying to mirror filmi heroine’s reactions-i guess it was intended to be more like a fun pic.
    If you think the pic was put innocently without noticing those long fingers think again…
    we have enough journo bloggers maybe they will tell the truth!

    – your ardent reader

  15. those two lines never gave me the sense of understanding this comment of yours made.

    Here are the two lines in question: Something about this picture, on page 7 of today’s Hindustan Times, got my goat. That hand, those fingers.

    What’s the “sense of understanding” you missed there? (Note: I couldn’t care less about the issue of printing the picture, which seems to bother some people here).

    you artistically compare the sand dunes to folds and curves and cervices of a woman’s body.

    My mistake. [Thank you Prabhu]. I see sensuous curves in sand dunes, so I certainly must not be disturbed by this picture of Holi.

  16. No opinion on the larger perspective.

    X,
    /*To me it definitely looks like a pic posed for.The girls trying to mirror filmi heroine’s reactions-i guess it was intended to be more like a fun pic.*/
    But, isn’t that OK?
    I thought the only issue (that LG pointed out) was that whether it was informed or uninformed to the “posers”. Not whether the pic was honest to life in its depiction or things like that. Should that be even included here? I mean it doesn’t appeal to even the “moralest” of people!
    Also, I agree with Kaps that “The whole world comments about pictures published on Indiatimes.” :p

  17. Guru…

    ellam saru. Neenga Boysa vidave mattiangala???

    Howlong you are going to talk the Glorified(i mean it) picture of Shankar???. Howmany times you are going to compare the very Great (Now also i mean it !!) Movie named BOYS?

    To answer your doubt…THERE IS NO WRONG IN PUBLISHING THAT PICTURE and if required publisher may get permission of those guys.

    -Shiva

  18. I wrote this comment in Dilips blog and I am writing it again here.
    I do not see anything wrong with that pic. People in india need to chill out. There are lot more things to worry about than a holi pic. People please get out of your box and look outside.

    About Boys, I agree with LG, Shankar made justice to adolescent boys. yes, he did lose his creative thinking a bit in boys. But I think he completely lost it in Anniyan and I know he is going to lose it more in Sivaji. But, it will be a hit. thats how tamil industry always works.

  19. Am i missing something here? It looks like a picture about a group of people having fun celebrating holi. It also looks like thats what the photographer intended to capture. Why make an issue out of it?

  20. it never occured to me as a case of privacy invasion until i read your post and i second it..though i do not support what the pictures depict , i believe its no goddamn business of the press ppl to take such snaps… moral policing aah..thats too much..let people lead their own lives and not be lead by some some soul preaching propiety..

  21. how is this a case of privacy invasion? those people were out on the streets and celebrating holi and the photographer was capturing the moment which displays the spirit of the occasion.. nothing wrong there i suppose.. correct me if i am wrong..

  22. Dilip, your comment read this, ‘I know people for whom that picture will bring back unpleasant memories of Holi’

    and your post read this, ‘Something about this picture, on page 7 of today’s Hindustan Times, got my goat. That hand, those fingers’.

    Tell me how someone would decipher what your comment said from those two lines. and btw, none of the commenters on your post did decipher what you tried to say so I think most of them are as dumb as me. Please explain.

  23. Hey X, Thanks for being cool while commenting. most of them ‘get their goat’ while commenting. and btw, in your comment you say this ‘maybe one needs to be a girl to feel the sense of violation esp when the violator turns out to be a “friend” ‘.

    that by itself assumes that the girl’s permission wasn’t taken before publishing. you also assume its a violation.

    let me clear it again for you. for a second lets assume that EVERYONE in the picture permitted it to be published. Then, why do you assume it to be a violation. Why do we pass moral judgements when we are not involved in that situation. whats not right to you may be right to that girl and boy. That’s my whole point.

    And such things do happen. so someone has published them. even if we assume that its a one-off situation in the whole of ‘culturally rich’ india, since it has happened, there’s nothing wrong for it to be published.

    part 2. if the permission wasn’t taken, its breach of one’s privacy. if i was the one involved in such a situation[be the boy or the girl], i would feel annoyed. reason my dad or mom will stand with a thodapakattai to kick me out. thats a different issue.

    part 3. as said above, i ain’t upset by the picture at all. let’s not dream that india is such a place where no boy touches a girl and so on. that the reason for my reference to the ‘Boys’ movie.

  24. //those people were out on the streets and celebrating holi and the photographer was capturing the moment which displays the spirit of the occasion.. nothing wrong there i suppose.. correct me if i am wrong..
    //

    Mahesh, If i were in that picture that was published without my permission, i would be tad upset.

    i have no clue how the law works but i would assume this is a breach of privacy since it focusses on a small set of people playing holi. if the people in the pic were indistinct it would have been a no-breach.

  25. Okie.. now I am all confused. why are we arguing? I started out thinking on one angle, based on what I thought was the point behind Dilip’s post. Now with the stream of comments, I am beginning to think if I was the one only one along with Dilip who seemed to think in that angle…..What are we more bothered about? The fact that a guy “seemed” to be feeling up a gal or the fact that a photographer clicked it (am not sure he clicked it cos he thought the guy was “feeling” her up) or that the picture was actually published in the front pages because of the above mentioned reasons or some other reason that I fail to see. Seriously I am confused. I don’t know! Leave moral policing aside. This seems more like “policing” moral policing! Either way I think all of us are jumping into conclusions. I don’t see a breach of privacy angle here at all. Why is it a breach of privacy? Because of what “seems” to go on there? Hmm…

  26. LG: I have to take exception to that your last argument. I mean, let’s talk hypothetically that I have taken a day off from work citing “medical reasons”, but I am actually sight seeing in NYC. So I happen to peek into the ESPN studios. So there I am, cheering for some random team that very evening on Sportscenter. And lets say I get fired because I lied. Now I can’t sue ESPN for breach of privacy since I was in a public place in full view of the cameras. Ofcourse if I were to go to ESPN to ask them blur my face (u can see these things in news programs all the time) and they dont do that, I can then sue.
    At this point of time, we don’t know for sure if those ppl knew about the photographer. If you ask for my opinion, I think they knew. It looks like a “staged” Holi celebration (not a staged pic, but a staged celebration).
    So the breach of privacy will not come into the picture at all. That chennai party last year, yes.. not here!

  27. Anti, If it was a staged celebration, there is not breach of privacy. If not it is a breach.

    And we are arguing because people are saying they are disturbed and ‘got their goat because of a long hand and those fingers’. if these are made because of some moral ground, i have to say grow-up and shed the hypocrisy. i rest my case.

  28. ppl seem to be confused about these photos talking to each other on 2 angles.
    1. Privacy
    2. Supposed sexual harassment.

    LG, you’ve taken X’s comment and replied to it as if she is talking about #!. But actually she was talking about the photos from #2 perspective. You do touch on it when u say
    “let’s not dream that india is such a place where no boy touches a girl and so on”
    And this response alarms me. Just because it does happen doesn’t mean we have to institutionalize it and make it legal.

    My .02c. The photo is taken in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Gujaratis celebrate Holi with much fervor. I am not sure if the girls really do mind those “long fingers”… Heck he could be his boyfriend or the timing of the photo could be such that it shows him like that. remember photos definitely lie.

  29. Thalaiva: Hypocricy is something that comes into the picture when you and I do something that EVERYONE else does too with the FULL CONSENT of everyone involved and then when those “EVERYONE” villify you for following their footsteps. Complaining about pre-marital sex could be hypocritical, but this is sexual harassment. And I am so confused now that I have contradicted myself in two different comments. I dunno if ppl noticed it, but am really confused about the point of this argument. I think each of us is offended, rightly though, for different reasons!

  30. Anti, Will explain this in leisure but here’s my point again. I’m am not offended by the picture. it was the posts on these that i’m annoyed.

  31. In a way I agree (but hey I am confused so I might see something else the next minute and go ballistic in the opposite direction). Mebbe the point could have been made with out the photograph! Or mebbe not…

  32. well, lets try to figure out the situation here.. if the issue is the publication of photograph without consent, i feel that its not warranted in this situation as it seems to be a harmless picture.. if the issue is about the guy misbehaving with the gal, well, again, its hard to figure out what happened with just this image.. it could have been totally accidental.. i basically feel that once you are in public domain, all these privacy issues go for a toss.. if you dont wanna feel bad about something u did in public appearing in picture, then dont do it.. the photographer was probably clicking this picture just as he/she would have if they were taking pictures of some procession or anything else.. lets not look for a hidden agenda when there may not be one.. cheerio..

  33. hey lazy, just wanted to let you know that i have been a silent reader of your blogs till now and have really enjoyed reading your articles.. keep it going..

  34. I am probably very confused now, I do not have an issue with what the people in the photo are upto. Its their business and if they are happy with whats going on, I don’t think any of us have a right to question it. But saying that I do seem to have a problem with the picture, as everyone else has said its unlikely that the paper has concerned people’s permission to do so. Even if it does (which is extremely unlikely) dont they have anything better to print on the front pages? I don’t think I am a prude but I certainly don’t think that this picture deserves the front page of a national news paper. Ellarum araicha maavai naanum oru dhaba archaachu

  35. guru thanks for the reply, but

    >>And we are arguing because people are saying they are disturbed and ‘got their goat because of a long hand and those fingers’. if these are made because of some moral ground, i have to say grow-up and shed the >>

    am really surprised at your reply, if somebody molests me on the pretext of revelry am i taking a moral ground? (and thats my pt)

    i still think most of the commentors dont seem to get the gist of what DD and others wrote about the photo in their blog lets not add words like “dumb” etc to those who didnt get it. i see it more as miscommunciation or whatever

    oru last try
    “unpleasant memories of Holi”…
    andha photola left extremela irukkara payyan kai enga irukku?
    women hv faced such harassment in the name of holi being played
    when some unknown guys/known guys use the occassion as an opportunity to molest…
    thats the only issue in the photo as i see it

    the issue is NOT about (atleast in my mind)
    1) which page it was published or
    2) whether such “co-ed”(haha) pics of ppl playing holi with abandon shld be published or
    3)whether permission was taken to print etc…

    maybe am still reeling from the blank noise posts and then i see a pic like this and am left with a lot of bile rising to my mouth.

    thanks guru

    p.s- lets not even go down the line of thinking of whether the guy who touched is her bf or if she actually might be enjoying etc: pls

  36. I fully agree with what x has said and then I agree to what LG has been trying to say. We (Indians) have no moral high grounds to do a cultural policing or moral policing What the heck, in some parts of our country there isn’t even a normal policing. The festival of holi is no “holy” occasion and it shows the slutty side of Indians. Probably it is a week in the calendar of cultural police which is marked “Vacation”. Contrast that to what the fanatics did in Mumbai during valentines day!!! Well , all it seems to me is that the suppressed North Indian souls have simply displayed Valentines day spirit in holi. It is a well known fact that all kind of nuts in India cut loose on Holi day. To sum it all up, it is North Indian mar di grass and dont expect anything “holy” here.

  37. I do agree with you. There is an issue of privacy. As a journalist I constantly wrestle with this issue — of what is right and how much is right. One can have personal views on this. But if you think deeply into this you find that it is a tricky issue, with a lot of grey areas.

    My point is what happens in public domain can’t be private. When you do something, say, write or publish something in the public domain, one should expect the perils of it, as much as one would love to harvest the advantages of it.

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