No sex please we’re Indians: There can be no justification for a ban on pornography, as some are demanding

No sex please we’re Indians: There can be no justification for a ban on pornography,as some are demanding By Palash Krishna Mehrotra Published: 19:47 EDT, 4 May 2013 | Updated: 19:47 EDT, 4 May 2013 e-mail View comments Last month, the Supreme Court issued notices to the ministries of information technology, information and broadcasting and home affairs, as well as the Internet Service Providers Association of India, based on a petition seeking an anti-pornography law.

The PIL has been filed by an advocate called Vijay Punwani. He wants watching pornography on the Internet to be made a non-bailable offence. If we do so, we’ll join the ranks of great democracies of the world- China, Pakistan and Egypt – all of which have tried to block porn on the net. As of now there is law against viewing pornography. The move comes in the wake of the Delhi gang-rape, whose aftermath has been marked by typical Indian overreaction and fuzzy arguments about banning everything, from item numbers on TV to Internet pornography.

Advertisements have toned down; for example, Set Wet, a hairstyling gel, has changed its tagline from “Very Very Sexy’ to “Very Very Cheeky”. The trend seems to be to further repress an already repressed society. Meanwhile, the status of Indian women remains abysmal and pathetic, often within their families. Husbands continue to set their wives on fire for dowry, fathers and brothers kill their own daughters for marrying outside of caste and pind, and families continue to kill the girl child in the womb-rates of female foeticide continue to remain high.

For a supposedly spiritual people, as Indians are perceived in the West, we hardly look within for answers; we never introspect. Instead we look without, find a convenient whipping boy to blame for our ills-like pornography- and conveniently wash our hands of the subject. It has been reported that the two men arrested recently for the rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi were watching porn minutes before they stepped out and abducted her.

This fact is mentioned again and again by those in favour of banning pornography. It’s seldom mentioned that they were also drinking heavily before they committed the crime. It is possible to argue that watching porn is like smoking a cigarette. You get a mild headrush, and then it’s over. But alcohol changes your mental state. It gives you false confidence. It impairs your judgement. Would these men have raped the girl had they not been drinking?

Should we then not talk about banning alcohol as well? The second argument is that we are not ready for it. This is a favourite Indian argument. What works in Europe, doesn’t work here. The truth is that this is a country of a billion. For every person who is not ready for it, there are a million who are. Why penalise us? Three, it is presumed in these arguments that it is only men who watch or read pornography. Not true. There is plenty of porn on the Internet that is meant for women.

Indian women look at ‘perverse’ Japanese Hentai cartoons and read what’s called ‘fan fiction’.

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