Love is no longer in the air?

What with the moral brigade in full resurgence in India, this news did not come as any surprise:

An advertisement for straight jeans, which says that not everything is as straight, has offended a Bangalore based group called Morelove.

The posters for the jeans depict young people – of the same sex – in close proximity, and this, the protestors say, will promote promiscuity and homosexuality.

Here’s a pic of the ad(s) in question:



It would be apt here to read what Dominic Dixon, Executive Director, Morelove has to say:

” The Lee brand is known for promoting their products using sex and sexuality. It is suggestive of promiscuity and lesbianism, which is basically insensitive to the Indian culture.”

Promotion of products using sex and sexuality is as old as the hills. Even the most unlikely & functional products these days use sex to sell. And that bit about ‘Insensitivity to Indian culture’? At a time when people are accessing the Internet more than ever before, a casual search on ‘Khajuraho’ is enough to show what Indian culture was many years ago, in poses that don’t hold a dime to what the above ‘suggestive’ ads are.

Further search on Morelove threw up this report. Apparently, they are an organisation founded by three evangelists, which has launched a campaign on chastity in the high-tech city, home to more than 350,000 young technology workers. A quick look at their website reveals quotations from the Bible!! The campaign is similar to those launched by US-based groups such as the Pure Love movement of the Roman Catholic Church.

Countering the stand of Dominic is Chakor Jain, Business Head, Lee who says:

”We believe that people can make their own choices and do whatever they want to do. I don’t think we are promoting anything here – we don’t condemn it, we don’t condone. We are a very, very fun loving brand and we are bringing out the fun loving aspect of things.”

And what does the general masses have to say?

Delhi University students, for one, are amused. “I think the whole issue is a little stupid,” remarks Anupam Aashish, president, Hindu College. According to him, people who do not wish to adjust with the evolving times do things like these.

On the other hand, the call for sexual purity had a profound effect on 16-year-old Savya Sherlin, who said that in any pre-marital relationship in India it was the girl who has to suffer the consequences. Says she – “I think it [abstinence] is very necessary for the youth of India. Sex is very common. Casually if you ask any friend, she will say she has slept with her boyfriend. They do not know what the consequences are,” the devout Christian said.

Sigh. In all this frenetic give and take, over to you for your point of view – straight or narrow!

8 Comments so far

  1. Nisho (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    Great write-up on this, Ravi.

    Even though the ad depicts homosexuality, I do not agree with the protesters who say it promotes it! I would like to ask Dominic Dixon on what exactly ‘Indian culture’ is??? Is ‘Khajuraho’ the paradigm of Indian Culture? I don’t see him saying anything about that. Double standards!

    …and by the way, I hate those 2 words, ‘Indian Culture’; everyone uses it but no one really cares to explain what it really is.

  2. Khalid (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    Well, Ravi, while I think the view that its ultimately a question of choices & personal responsiblity, there is a line for everything. At least, that is what I’ve been lead to beleive.

  3. Which Main? What Cross? (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

    I wouldn’t have noticed the ad if not for you. Thank you for making the advertising more impact-ful, Morelove

  4. darthc0der (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 6:36 pm

    Insensitivity of the indian culture, eh? Mr. Dominic let’s talk about the real agenda here. The Roman Catholic Church. The church condemns homosexuality PERIOD!

    I personally don’t have anything against any roman catholics so please do not take my comments in the wrong sense. i feel MoreLove is furthering the church’s anti-gay propaganda and it is unfortunate that such groups are coming out of bangalore – which once hosted the Hijda Habba. :(

  5. NParry (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

    India and our city is full of petty-minded pols and so-called “moral authorities” always busy finding a way to up-end over the rest of us with some high-falutin notions of morality and petty rules. Look at that Cheluvaraayaswamy (Transport Minister) and his crazy ideas about transport! We’re becoming a joke around the world, especially after the Gere-Shetty episode!

  6. Deepa Mohan (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    well…certainly your post has started a lot of comments and discussion…

  7. shek (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

    I’d stop buying Lee products.There are far better brands.For a similar reason I have stopped drinking Sprite because one of its ads says that nothing quenches thirst as well as Sprite does.There can be no compromise on water(that’s what I feel)!

    Read this to find out why Tommy Hilfiger products must be boycotted

    And it’s real.Not a rumour!

  8. someone (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm


    Did you even read what you linked to? Talk about disinformation!

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