Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress and comedian who is considered a feminist figure and household name in her country, is suing FHM India magazine for £1.27 million for its December cover photo of her, which she alleges was morphed and doctored to make her look nude. FHM India insists that it has a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot that would prove her allegations false, but has decided “not to make that video public because of the nature of the video.” The magazine images featuring Malik tattooed with the acronym “ISI” referring to Pakistan’s spy agency “Inter-Services Intelligence,” have been called a “shame for all Muslims” particularly in the context of the military rivalry between Pakistan and India.
Malik’s lawyer insists that she was wearing underwear during the entire shoot. The voluptuous Kardashian-esque Malik isn’t exactly a wallflower when it comes to controversy, having appeared on the Indian version of Big Brother and Big Boss and even provided evidence to the International Cricket Council against her ex-boyfriend and Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif in a match-fixing scandal. Malik has said that she “expected a bravery award” after helping the ICC in a male-dominated world where “they try to cut to size all bold women.”
Considering Malik’s strategic pose on the cover which hides her privates and the other topless photos in the magazine, featuring her lying on a camouflage military helmet and pulling a pin out of a grenade with her teeth, does it really matter whether she was wearing underwear in the cover? I’m sure that FHM India and Ms. Malik are both quite distraught by the publicity and number of hits in Internet cafes the lawsuit brings, but not quite as much as Malik’s former army soldier father, who has declared that he does not want her “to have any share in whatever meagre assets I have until she is cleared of the controversy and pledges not to visit India again.”
[Photo Courtesy of AP]