As part of the Campaign India eigth anniversary issue, we celebrated 'Newsmakers Who Headlined our Timeline', with the headlines, perspectives and learnings.
Here's the fourth of our eight, Sunny Leone.
From the horse’s mouth
“If I cared about what other people thought of me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
- The Indian Express, June 2014
CNN IBN – November 2011
The Mobile Indian – April 2012
Daily.Bhaskar.com – June 2015
Joseph George, group CEO, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group, in Campaign India, December 2014
“A delightful example of India and its contradictions. While on one hand we had couples getting roughed up for holding hands, books and paintings being burnt, our women kicked around at pubs and discos, Taslima banned from entering India we also had grandparents, grandkids, politicians and various fringe groups watching Sunny Leone on TV screens with sagely straight faces.
Acceptance of her into mainstream Bollywood was something not many would have thought of a decade ago. It brought to the fore our collective schizophrenia – openness, tolerance, ‘moral’ flexibility and our righteous comfort with double standards.
Nowhere else has our ability to coexist with absolute extremes been more evident as with our open and warm embrace of Sunny Leone into our lives.”
‘Baby Doll’ Karenjit Kaur Vohra (better known as Sunny Leone) has had quite a journey. The ‘super siren’ with a porn star tag made her ‘debut’ on the family small screen in India with an appearance in Bigg Boss in 2011, and that sparked her entry into Bollywood. Her regional cinema debut followed soon after. To become a household name in India coming from a background like hers, seems improbable even a decade ago. If not double standards, then it establishes that there is no single standard for acceptability. India is not one India: while that has been the case since time immemorial, it is evident that every view has a voice – and market – today.
(This article first appeared as part of a feature in the issue of Campaign India dated 4 September 2015)