When Mahesh Bhatt Commented On Protima Bedi Running N*ked On Juhu Beach To Promote A Magazine; Read On
When Mahesh Bhatt Commented On Protima Bedi Running N*ked On Juhu Beach To Promote A Magazine, “Her Freedom Of Expression Was Looking Like A Publicity Stunt” ( Photo Credit – IMDb; YouTube )

Model and social activist Protima Bedi is remembered for her contributions to the field of dance and her pioneering efforts in promoting artistic expression and feminism in Indian society. She is also known for being in an open marriage with Kabir Bedi.

Protima had a reputation for being bold, open-minded, and for being way ahead of her time. She once stirred a controversy when she was pictured streaking on Juhu beach, Mumbai, way back in 1974. Many made a remark about her n*de streak, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was one of them.

Protima Bedi performed a daring approach to promote then newly launched magazine, Cine Blitz. The Blitz newspaper’s proprietor, Russi Karanjia, needed to create a lot of buzz in order to attract readers. Protima was an obvious choice for the cover as a result.

“The idea was to create a splash. We were coming in quite late into a market which had a lot of competition, so how were we going to attract the buyer and reader?” Rita Mehta, daughter of the legendary Russi Karanjia, had told Mid-Day. “That actress was to be Protima Bedi because she was such an open-thinking lady, certainly way ahead of her time,” said Rita, adding, “I asked her, would you do it? And she said, yes, why not? I did not expect an answer like, ‘Why not?'”

The shot was taken in the early morning when the streets were vacant at the chosen spot in Mumbai, which was close to the Flora Fountain. It’s intriguing that the n*ked scene was twice recorded because Protima reportedly asked for a retake since she wasn’t happy with how she was captured on camera. The second session, which ultimately produced the cover, was held at Juhu Beach. “It worked like magic, and that issue, which was a thick one, was a sell-out,” said Rita.

The magazine was obviously well-liked by the general populace, but its cover generated a lot of controversy. Protima, who was typically honest and upfront, was forced to apologise over the controversy around her streak.

As reported by IBTimes, Mahesh Bhatt, who was a close friend of Protima’s husband, Kabir Bedi, explained her baffling behaviour by saying: “The streaking was meant to be a liberated, progressive statement endorsing the view that one is free to express oneself how one wants. But when Protima saw that her freedom of expression was looking like a publicity stunt for a magazine, she probably backtracked and gave the version that the picture was taken when she was part of a n*dist camp in Goa, and later the image was superimposed on a backdrop of a beach in Bombay.”

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