Fake Kahaani to embrace motherhood! #Surrogacy

, TNN | Apr 26, 2012

AHMEDABAD: The artificial stomach Vidya Balan sported in the film ‘Kahaani‘ was the surprise element in the climax. In real life, the fake tummy is commonly used by women opting for surrogacy to have a child but want their families to believe they are the one’s carrying that bundle of joy!

Many women from traditional communities can’t tell their in-laws and extended families that they have employed a surrogate and instead walk around with strap-ons for nine months to simulate a pregnant stomach.

In an extreme case, a gynecologist couple chose to have an incision on the stomach of the wife with sutures so that it looked like a caesarean section. An artificial stomach would not have worked in their case as there were many doctors in the family who are more difficult to deceive.

Surrogacy expert from Anand Dr Naina Patel says an IIT-graduate couple from Chennai opted for an artificial stomach as the woman wanted to avoid the disapproval of her in-laws. “She did not have a uterus and her in-laws would never have accepted that the child was born through another’s woman’s womb,” says Patel.

Hema Inamdar, a soft toy maker, specializes in fake tummies. “A woman called from the UK saying she felt she was actually carrying a baby when she wore the tummy,” says Inamdar. One can get artificial stomachs in sets of three. The first set simulates three, five and seven months pregnancy. The other set simulates five, seven and nine months, with one set costing roughly Rs 1,000.

Fertility expert Dr Falguni Bavishi says NRI women too succumb to familial pressure. “A Gujarati woman in the US took artificial tummies with her after employing a surrogate, so that her in-laws would believe she was pregnant. She told them that she had to deliver the baby where the IVF treatment was done, got the baby from the surrogate and went back, her secret intact,” says Dr Bavishi.

Narendra Modi tops negative votes in global poll

Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Indi...

Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, speaks during the welcome lunch at the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2008 in New Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TNN | Apr 8, 2012

AHMEDABAD: Chinks in his e-armour have left Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi worried. Despite a large, loyal army of supporters in the cyber space, Modi, in a last minute upset, lost an internet poll conducted by a leading global magazine to choose 100 most influential people across the world.

Modi lost out to Anonymous, which is a group of hackers and Eric Martin, a champion of anti-piracy law.

But what shocked Modi’s supporters the most was the fact that chief minister got more negative votes (2,66,684) than positive (2,56,792) – in fact Modi topped the list in negative votes.

Till about 24 hours to go for the poll to close on Saturday, Modi had almost double the number of positive votes, over negatives. However, he seems to have got ambushed by those who want to reinforce his anti-Muslim image.

The net-savvy chief minister, who Congress leaders call an internet manipulator, was outsmarted by a gang of activists, who mobilized votes to prevent Modi from topping the list. The defeat comes at a time when the chief minister is trying hard to wash the stains of post-Godhra riots.

Modi supporters believe the results will wash away the impact created by a series of articles carried in the Western media.

The only consolation for Modi remains that he tops the list of six Indians, including his bete noire and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who were nominated for the 100-strong list. Other Indians were Sachin Tendulkar, Salman Khan, Vidya Balan and Anna Hazare.

The final results will be announced on April 17

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‘Freedom must bring responsibility’

IN 2008,the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) had organised an exhibition on MF Husain to protest the India Art Summit’s reluctance to display the legendary artist’s works. This attracted the ire of some right-wing groups who attacked SAHMAT. Ironically, they ended up destroying Delhi-based photographer Parthiv Shah’s photos of Husain rather than the controversial paintings. The 48-year-old lensman tells Janani Ganesanhow artistic freedom brings its own set of responsibilities for both the artist as well as the State.



What should the State’s role be when a work of art is publicly censored through violent means?
It is not just the State, it is also up to the artist or the organiser to execute something (they believe in). If you want to invite someone to an event, you can do it quietly as well. You can’t take it on and then expect everyone else to protect you. And people who want to protest can do so. But they don’t have any right to hurt me or my photograph. Or on the other hand, if you want to be defiant, then be prepared for the consequences.

When you say the artist should take responsibility for his/her acts, are you suggesting that Article 19(2) should be done away with?
I don’t know how many artists are familiar with the law. They usually don’t come together to form a guild or society like lawyers or architects. Recently, there was an artist who exhibited his paintings of Husain painting Vidya Balan nude and another of Arundhati Roy having sex with Mao. Now this is artistic freedom, but I don’t know what Roy has to say about this. How do you draw lines? When somebody gives you freedom, you are also responsible for it.

So there should be some level of censorship?
I wouldn’t call it censorship. Suddenly, there is a bomb blast and we wake up for a while and go back to sleep. This whole freedom of expression debate is similar to that. Did Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) file an FIR on the people who threatened to attack? If not, then as the JLF team, prominent individuals (present there) should have filed a case. Nobody wants to do anything about this. People reap their own advantages from controversies.

How would you, as an artist, define morality?
Morality changes with the society. There are no rules on morality. As long as you don’t hurt somebody else, it is okay. For that, the whole society has to evolve together. But in India, it is not going to happen now, given the vast differences.

Janani Ganesan is a Correspondent with Tehelka


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