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Cheeni Kum does a Nishabd

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Monday, June 04, 2007
In at least two major articles on Sunday, the Cheeni Kum director Balakrishna (Balki) has been criticized for naming his 7-year old protagonist 'Sexy'. The rather unique, precocious and sassy friendship she shares with veteran Amitabh Bachchan has also come in for furious flak. He is in a relationship with actress Tabu in the film.

But Balki is unfazed. "Who are these people and what do they find so objectionable in a little girl being called Sexy? It's like any little girl dressing up in her mother's sari and lipstick posing before a mirror and trying to be 'sexy' without knowing what the word means. Why such a hue and cry over an innocent name?" Even the child actor Swini Khara's father has been quoted as saying that a better name than Sexy would have been given to their daughter.

Balki laughs, "He didn't seem to mind when we shot the film. I don't know why anyone should object when the censor board had no objections. Cheeni Kum has family audiences coming in droves. I don't know of any parent or child feeling uncomfortable with Swini's being named Sexy. Though some sociologist on one of the articles is quoted as saying it's dangerous I don't see anyone getting anxious because Mr Bachchan calls the kind Sexy. Dirty or clean, it's all in the viewers' minds. Really, I'm stuck speechless (or shall we say Nishabd?) after this unnecessary controversy."

After a pause he adds, "If we filmmakers are muzzled and muffled for a harmless name given to a child with no ulterior motives, then we might as well go back to the times when the hero was named Rama and the villain Ravan. And if the heroine had twins they had to be Luv and Kush."

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