Yes, sporting a saree with the images of Ram, Krishna and Hanuman has landed Kushboo this time in trouble. A fundamentalist Hindu outfit has demanded an apology from her for 'insulting Hindu gods'.
Controversies are not new to the film star, though they are not always entirely of her own making. At a recent function in Hyderabad, the former glamour doll of Kollywood, was seen wearing a designer saree prominently displaying the three mythical figures.
Though it had not raised any ripples in Andhra Pradesh, back home the Hindu Makkal Katchi (Hindu People's party) has threatened to launch an agitation if she failed to tender an apology for hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
"The saree prominently displays images of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, dearer to the Hindus while its border had the images of Sri Hanuman, who was a bachelor. This is not the first time that she has shown wanton disrespect to Hindu beliefs. With her, it has been a habit hence we demand an apology," fumed Arjun Sampath, HMK president.
"In a society like ours, wedded to religion and steeped in tradition, showing scant regard to religious icons could not be tolerated or brushed aside as personal liberty,' was his response to a question. '
Earlier, Hindu oufits were up in arms against Kushboo for sitting cross legged, close to the statue of a Hindu deity kept on the dais at a film function. And prior to that, her outspoken remark on chastity enraged pro-Tamil parties and she was hounded out. Protests were orchestrated and cases were filed in various district courts against her. However, in the end she secured justice in the Supreme Court.
Strange that in a state where fans once erected a temple for her in Trichy and women still remain glued to her shows only to keep track of her dress code, her attire should evoke such a reaction.
However, Kushboo, is least concerned about the threat and retorts, "Who are these self-styled guardians of culture?"
Asked about the demand for an apology, she termed it as absurd. "I am not going to answer every Tom, Dick and Harry. Why should I? There is no need at all. Why are they worried about what a woman sports. Don't they have any other worthwhile work?" was her response. "There are so many issues that a party needs to address rather making a issue where none exists," she argues.
Well, her voice seems to be bold battle-hardened. In the past, she was a mere actor but now, a prominent DMK politico and the party's emerging mass face as well as its crowd puller. It also shows a determination that she could no more be kicked around by culture vultures.