India Fashion Shoot's Rape Theme Triggers Fury

Twitter erupts over images reminiscent of New Delhi attack

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2014 3:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Twitter users in India are voicing their horror at a new fashion photo shoot—which seems to be inspired by the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old on a bus in New Delhi. The images, set on a bus and viewable at the BBC and BuzzFeed, show several male models groping and restraining a woman. The images are "not based on Nirbhaya," as the victim is called, photographer Raj Shetye tells the website. They're "just a depiction of the situation of women in our country." He acknowledges trying to be provocative, however.

"The aim is to create art that will gather some reaction in society." That it has, with sentiments like these typical: "Disgusting! I hope all associated, die of shame!" tweets a Bollywood music director. "Rape is not inspiration for a fashion shoot," tweets actor Amrita Puri. "I don't know what the photographer was thinking." Amid the uproar, Shetye says he's taken the photos off his official site, the Times of India reports. As for the shoot not being based on Nirbhaya, the newspaper intones that "you'd have to be blind not to see it."

In this file photo, Indian students shout slogans during a vigil on the anniversary of the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi, India.
In this file photo, Indian students shout slogans during a vigil on the anniversary of the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi, India.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
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