Porn star causes a stir in India

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A Canadian porn star appearing in India's biggest reality TV show is causing a stir in the mostly conservative country where sex is taboo and open displays of affection are still frowned upon.

The busty Sunny Leone, best known for her roles in films as Not Charlie's Angels XXX and The Virginity Hit, made her entry this week in the Bigg Boss, India's version of the show Big Brother.

"Hi I am Sunny from California," Leone introduced herself to her fellow inmates at the plush Bigg Boss house in heavily-accented Hindi after showing off a few Bollywood-style dance moves.

Leone, a 30-year-old Canadian of Indian origin, said she decided to join the Bigg Boss programme not because of the money on offer but because she was addicted to the show.

"I'm really excited to be a part of it. I think I’d look great cooking... and doing the house chores in pencil heels and sexy clothes that I'm comfortable in," she told the Hindustan Times before joining the show.

In an article headlined "The XXX Factor" on Thursday, the Mail Today tabloid asked "Is porn slowly mainstreaming into our society through Sunny Leone on TV and PETA's adult site?"

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is to launch a porn website this year that will also show animal mistreatment.

The site peta.xxx will present visitors with "tantalizing images", followed by graphic ones of cruelty to animals.

"Who will check children from voting for Sunny Leone... and surfing the net to get tutored about her?" asked writer Sangeeth Sebastian. "These are pertinent points because sex is still taboo in India."

On microblogging site Twitter, reactions ranged from the lascivious to the outraged.

"It is shameful that TV shows are now bringing in porn stars to boost their viewer ratings," college student Payal Saxena wrote. "I will not watch this show anymore and will urge my other friends to do so."

Indian cinema and television shows refrain from showing anything that is deemed to be indecent, largely out of fear of running foul of strict obscenity laws and the powerful state censor.

The Bollywood film industry is famous for its "air kissing" -- kissing on the lips is still rare -- and sex is only ever hinted at by suggestive scenes.

Past guests on Bigg Boss include former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and the late British reality TV star Jade Goody.

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