The general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has passed a proposal, by a female member of Shiv Sena, the Hindu nationalist political organisation, to ban the display of lingerie mannequins in store windows.
Representatives believe the ban will reduce the number of sexual assaults on women in the city, which has the second highest number of rapes in the country.
Ritu Tawade, who proposed the ban, said: “Mannequins displaying two-piece clothes or other lingerie are corrupting the minds of people and are against the morals of the society. This affects the mindset of men towards women and they see her as a commodity.”
Sunil Prabhu, Mumbai’s mayor supported her, adding that he has "always supported women corporators in their initiatives and I agree with her that such scantily clad mannequins do invite unwanted attention of men and the resulting surge of sex crimes."
Opponents however, have stated that mannequins are not as sexually provocative as carvings and sculptures outside popular temples such as Khajuraho and that Mumbai doesn’t need "moral policing".
Mahabano Mody Kotwal, part of the Vagina Monologues cast, stated that, “men are aroused not because of such displays but because there is huge repression of such emotions in society. Even talking about sex is taboo, which arouses curiosity."
Tawade has already forced some lingerie stores in her region to stop displaying lingerie mannequins but the final decision lies with BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte.