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Suhasini reopens Khushboo controversy
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November 11, 2005 13:47 IST
Last Updated: November 11, 2005 16:20 IST

Women activists have threatened to file cases against National Award winning actress Suhasini for justifying the controversial remarks made by actress Khushboo over pre-marital sex.

''She was totally misunderstood. It is a disgrace for all of us,'' Suhasini said at the inauguration of the second International Film Festival in Chennai on Thursday.

Criticising the widespread protests by various organisations against Khushboo, the Suhasini said it was a shame on the Tamil community.

The media had failed to highlight the support in favour of Khushboo, she claimed, and justified her remarks stating that her colleague's remarks were aimed at creating awareness about AIDS.

Buoyed by the open support for her, Khushboo said, "I stand by what I said and I am not ashamed of what I spoke," triggering a fresh round of opposition.

Suhasini's defence of Khushboo drew flak from her own fraternity, with yesteryear actress Manorama criticising her for raking up a 'dead issue'.

"It should be condemned. Suhasini has unnecessarily raked up the issue," she said. Director Seeman was forthright, stating that Suhasini defending Khushboo for her 'irresponsible' remarks deserved condemnation.

"She (Suhasini) has brought shame to the Tamil people," he said.

Director V C Guganathan, criticising Suhasini, said she was trying to politicise the issue. "Who gave her the powers to tender an apology on behalf of Tamils? After having acted in all South Indian languages and being the wife of popular Tamil director Manirathnam, she should have avoided such irresponsible remarks," he added.

Another popular director, Keyaar, said, "Suhasini has set a wrong precedent. She should not have poked her nose into the issue at all."

Justifying the agitation launched by the Dalit Panthers of India against Khushboo, General Secretary Thol Thirumavalavan said her remarks went against Tamil culture and ethos. "Suhasini should have refrained from making such comments. We will not let this go unless she tenders an apology."

Meanwhile, BJP National General Secretary L Ganesan took a dig at Suhasini, while the Pattali Makkal Katchi, which supported the DPI agitation, threatened to launch an agitation demanding an apology from Suhasini.

Khushboo, in a magazine interview, commented that there was nothing wrong in women having pre-marital sex as long as they took protective measures.

Her remarks created a furore in the state with various organisations including political parties, protesting against her and demanding her ouster from the state.

They also filed court cases against her.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, also a former film star, said Khushboo should not have made the remarks.

As protests mounted, Khushboo rushed home, cutting short her Singapore visit and tendered an apology through a satellite channel.

The South Indian Film Artistes Association, citing Khushboo's apology sought to put an end to the impasse by urging artistes to exercise restraint while giving interviews.

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