Savita Bhabhi is a pornographic cartoon character, a housewife, published by Kirtu. Her promiscuous behaviour is justified by her being ignored by Ashok, her husband. The title bhabhi (sister-in-law) is a respectful term for North Indian housewives. The character was promoted through a comic strip medium by anonymous activists in India. It has since been converted into a subscription-based strip and is now running on SavitaBhabhi.com website.
The character proved controversial in India as soon as it was introduced in 2008, due to conservatism present in Indian society. Some critics felt it represented the face of India's new ultra-liberal section.
According to BuzzFeed India, Savita Bhabhi is popular due to:
- It is very sexy to see an Indian woman unapologetically going after pleasure within a society which constantly shames women for the pursuit of pleasure.
- She fits the stereotypes of an Indian bhabhi, but she also breaks those stereotypes by indulging in her lust.
- Though she is depicted as an upper class upper caste woman, she pursuits sexual relationships with multiple people irrespective of their caste, class or gender.
Production of pornography is broadly illegal in India. As a result, the original website was censored by the Indian government under its anti-pornography laws. This was met with criticism from the likes of Indian libertarian blogger and journalist Amit Varma. Eventually, mainstream media columnists joined in criticizing the ban as reflecting a "meddlesome, patriarchal mindset" of a "Net Nanny" government. This resulted in an online movement to save the character from being destroyed.
Initially the creators of the site chose to remain anonymous, going under the assumed collective name Indian Porn Empire. However, in 2009, the creator of the site Puneet Agarwal, a second generation Indian living in the UK revealed his identity in an attempt to fight against the ban. However a month later, due to family pressure he announced his decision to take down the comic strip.
- The producers of the upcoming comedy Bollywood film titled Sheetal Bhabhi have claimed that it draws inspiration from Savita Bhabhi.
- The filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma is reported to be making a cinema movie bringing Savita Bhabhi's character to celluloid.
- Savita Bhabhi, a Movie is released in May 2013.
- Savita Bhabhi, played by Sai Tamhankar is set to appear at Alok Rajwade’s movie Ashleel Udyog Mitra Mandal (2020).
The success of Savita Bhabhi has led to various spin-off series:
- Savita @ 18
- Savita in Goa
- XXX Apartments
- Priya Ray
- Miss Rita
- Guha, Anastasia (May 17, 2008). "The Beatitudes Of A Bountiful Bhabhi". Tehelka. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- Mulmi, Amish (June 6, 2009). "Savita Bhabhi is the new face of freedom". The New Indian Express. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- Chaturvedi, Vinita (October 16, 2013). "Savita Bhabhi movie released with English subtitles". Times of India. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- "Why Is India Obsessed With Savita Bhabhi? | BuzzFeed India". 29 May 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Govt Bans Popular Toon Porn Site Savitabhabhi.com; Mounting Concern Over Censorship". contentsutra.com.
- Overdorf, Jason (May 4, 2009). "Meet India's first porn star". GlobalPost. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- "Savita Bhabhi Fights Censorship". indiauncut.com. 2009-07-02.
- "Save Our Savita Bhabhi". by Venkatesan Vembu, Daily News & Analysis, July 3, 2009. 2009-07-03.
- Moore, Matthew (11 September 2008). "Indians hooked on pornographic web comic". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Savita Bhabhi's creator decides to end campaign". dnaindia.com. 2009-07-13.
- Nelson, Dean (6 March 2011). "India's cartoon porn star to become Bollywood film". The Telegraph UK. London. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Vats, Rohit (23 November 2012). "Savita Bhabhi: Cartoon porn to Ram Gopal Varma's film star? Bo". IBN Live. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "'Ashleel Udyog Mitra Mandal' teaser: Sai Tamhankar gives a sneak peek into her character in the film and it is sure to get you all excited". Times of India. February 14, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- "'Ashleel Udyog Mitra Mandal' - Times of India". The Times of India. February 14, 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- "Savita Bhabhi The Movie – Savita Bhabhi's big screen adventure". YouthTimes. May 6, 2013.