Yesterday, we celebrated 70 years of independence. The entire country was painted in the colours of the tiranga. There were processions, parades and parties. But are we really free and independent in our thoughts? Aren't we still tied up in the shackles of traditional ideas of how the world must function? Especially, in the case of Indian women?
Esha Gupta, Model and actress, recently posted pictures of herself—taken by photographer Arjun Mark—on Instagram. She looks like a goddess, to be honest. But to her dismay, she was brutally slut-shamed and body-shamed, both.
We Indians, for some reason, just cannot accept the fact that a woman can feel absolutely comfortable in her own skin, flaunt it like a queen, and post it online without a sign of shame. Indians hate to see a woman with guts and who likes to speak her mind out.
So once that images were posted, these are the kind of messages that she started receiving.
The comments were so horrible that she then decided to get rid of the comment section altogether.
In an interview with The Times Of India, Esha didn't hold herself back and let out everything she feels and thinks about this incident. She also made sure that she called out on all of those haters who like to sit behind a screen and exist for the sole purpose of pulling celebs down because that is an easy thing to do.
In our country, women are eternally blamed. They are accused when a girl child is born, they are even accused when they are raped. So, somewhere I knew that I will also have to face a lot of heat. After all, it's easy for some faceless and redundant people to pull a celebrity down at the first opportunity. I've done shoots like this one when I was a model. I've gone topless and naked, too. No one ever asked me about that.
Pointing out at the irony of the mentality of Indians, she said,
Men tend to have a problem if a woman goes bold. Their manhood is challenged. They are prudes; they must have even saved these pictures on their phone. And here we are in the country of Ajanta and Ellora, and Kamasutra, objecting to a woman's photo-shoot, which she has done on her own will.
Esha Gupta has received the title of Miss India International in 2007 and photoshoots have been an intergral part of her life. Talking about what her family feels about this entire incident,
I'm blessed with the nicest family. Initially, they were taken aback with the way this place functions and how everything from an engagement to a break-up becomes news. But today, they don't pay much attention.
What the trolls don't realise is that there is an actual person behind those celebrity Instagram accounts and whether one cares or not, it can leave a deeper impact on them than you think.
Meanwhile, we are sending love in Esha's way for what she has been going through, nobody should have to.
Read the full interview here.