Filming of Swetha Menon’s delivery draws criticism

TRIVANDRUM — The filming of award winning actress Swetha Menon’s pregnancy and delivery for a Malayalam film being directed by Blessy has come in for sharp criticism from various quarters in Kerala.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Thu 22 Nov 2012, 8:45 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 12:47 PM

The live action, the first in Indian film industry, came under public scrutiny after state assembly speaker G Karthikeyan termed the shooting of the delivery immoral. He said the capturing of the birth of the child was a violation of its privacy.

Karthikeyan came down heavily on both Swetha and Blessy for violating the right of the child while speaking at a seminar on ‘Ethics of News Reporting’ organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists at Kottayam on Tuesday. “Delivery is a private affair. Every child has a right to this privacy. Even a foetus is entitled to this right. That’s why abortion is discouraged in many countries. Even if the mother agreed to forgo this privacy, the director should not have done it,” the speaker said.

Karthikeyan said exhibiting the birth of a child in the public was commercialisation. He said that the appearance of Swetha with her new born child at the state awards presentation function last week was also part of this commercialisation.

Media analyst and former member of parliament Sebastian Paul concurred fully with Karthikeyan. He said Swetha could forgo her own privacy, but she had no right to deny this to the new born child.

He pointed out that the biggest case in the United States against violation of privacy was the intrusion of a man into a labour room, where a woman was admitted for delivery. It is an irony that this privacy is being marketed in India.

Blessy, who captured the pregnancy and delivery of Swetha in the camera for his new film Kalimannu, has defended the action. The director and his camera crew headed by Jibu Jacob had shot the delivery for over twenty minutes with the help of three cameras in the operation theatre of the Mumbai-based hospital, where Sweta gave birth to a baby girl on September 27. The director said there was nothing bad in the scene. Produced by Thomas Thiruvalla, Kalimannu features Biju Menon against Swetha.

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