KOCHI: “What may be obscene to some may be artistic to other. One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric, so to say,” observed a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court while dismissing a plea for a directive to register cases against a Malayalam women’s magazine for publishing a picture of a woman breastfeeding a baby on its cover.
Dismissing the plea, the court said: “It does not see, despite our best efforts, obscenity in the picture, nor do we (the court) find anything objectionable in the caption, for men. We looked at the picture with the same eyes we look at the paintings of artists like Raja Ravi Varma. As the beauty lies in the beholder’s eye, so does obscenity, perhaps.”
Even the sections relied on by the petitioner failed to convince that the publishers had committed any offence, much less a cardinal one, affecting society’s moral fabric, and offending its sensibilities, the court said.It observed given the picture’s particular posture and its background setting (mother feeding the baby), as depicted in the magazine, it is not obscene, nor even suggestive of it.