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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 16:37 GMT
Court moves to protect Khushboo
By TN Gopalan
BBC News, Madras

South Indian film actress, Khushboo, appearing in court in Madras
Khushboo had remarked on a survey on Indian sex habits
The high court in south India's Tamil Nadu state has moved to prevent violence in protests against film actress Khushboo.

The south Indian film star's comments on pre-marital sex landed her in controversy and sparked off demonstrations across the state.

She said that no educated male should expect his bride to be a virgin.

The court has asked the police to submit a report on what action they are taking to keep the protests peaceful.

Khushboo made the comments while responding to a survey on sexual habits of Indians.

'Unleashing abuse'

The high court has asked the state's director general of police to file a statement on the "appropriate action" police are taking against the demonstrators.

The court was reacting to a petition filed by a human rights activist who complained that the demonstrators had been "disrupting public order and unleashing abuse" at the actress.

Demonstrators protesting against Khushboo's remarks in Madras
Demonstrators have abused and thrown eggs at Khushboo

There have been demonstrations across Tamil Nadu since Khushboo made her comments and her effigies have been burnt in public.

Tamil culture

A large number of complaints have also been filed in several courts across the state.

The complaints claimed that Khushboo's "insensitive" remarks had "deeply wounded" the Tamil psyche and hence she should be "punished".

Recently, when she had appeared in a court in western Tamil Nadu, unruly demonstrators greeted her by throwing sandals, eggs and tomatoes at her car and shouting obscene slogans.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha, who herself is an actress-turned-politician, had also disapproved of Khushboo's remarks, saying they were "against the Tamil culture".

While most of the Tamil film industry chose to remain silent, fellow actress Suhasini, who is the wife of noted film director Mani Ratnam, asserted Khushboo's right to say what she wants.

Suhasini's outright support of Khushboo led to her being the target of fierce protests as well.


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