Talking about Telugu pride, culture and literature at the Bharateeya Harikatha Vaibhavotsavam in Tirupati, legendary singer and actor S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, made objectionable remarks on actresses. He criticised them for wearing revealing, skimpy clothes to functions, without giving any thought to “appropriate dressing for an occasion”.Worse still, he said the actresses dress so hoping to draw the attention of filmmakers who may give them roles.
He was least apologetic, said he knows this will stir a controversy... but the actresses’ don’t know Telugu either, so they won’t understand!
Producer and actor Naga Babu (Chiranjeevi’s brother) slammed Balasubrahmanyam for his crass comments. Describing people who make such derogatory remarks on women as ‘Taliban goondas’, Naga Babu said, “We are a democratic country and no one has the right to dictate to women on what to wear and what not to. And this is not the first time that people in responsible positions are making such offensive comments against actresses.”
Anchor-turned-actress Rashmi Gautam agrees. She says a time when actresses are beating the taboo of sexism, the legendary singer’s remarks were disappointing. “It’s sad and unfortunate that someone of his stature made such statements. You cannot judge a women based on the kind of outfits she wears. There’s always more to her than what meets the eye. We are at liberty to choose what we want to wear,” Rashmi said.
Sadly, the A-list actresses refused to comment. Worse still, some support his views. Says actress Archana, “I support SPB garu. He criticised actresses who are showing too much skin. This is a bold, modern world and women are not shy. They wear what they like. He belongs to another generation.”
Veteran actress Jayasudha, who also is perhaps SPB’s age, supports the singer’s views. She said he spoke in a different context, there’s no need to read too much into it. “I too acted in many films with shorts and mini-skirts, and Jyothi Lakshmi did many special dance numbers, but we used to dress up in a completely traditional way when attending events,” says Jayasudha, clarifying that SPB meant one should dress according to the occasion. “All actresses wear only designer wear and are brand conscious even when they come out of airport! It’s a complete show business now,” says Jayasudha.
Actress Kasthuri Shankar, too, feels that there’s nothing wrong in what Balasubrahmanyam said. She feels people are needlessly reading too much between the lines and that there’s a very fine line between looking glamorous and vulgar.
“I saw his comments and I think what he said should be treated as his views. We actresses would love to look glamorous at events, but that doesn’t mean we intentionally come out in revealing outfits,” says Kasthuri....