This article was written by Keerthana Gedela a student of Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University.
Pornography has it’s argumentative seat not only in India ,but also in other countries. As a native Indian, not only I, but everyone belonging to India, find the addiction to pornography either as a disgusting habit or a loathsome private activity bringing sexual euphoria. “Pornography” – originated from the Greek word pornographos , which was then used as an adjective for writing about prostitutes , then later on, was squeezed out from the word porne ( prostitute + graphein) to write. It was somewhat akin to the word pernanai i.e. to sell and poros i.e. to journey. The first usage of this word was recorded in 1858. Pornography is argued in today India in several sections of immorality. It’s correlated to the rise in crimes rates that include sexual harassment and rapes. It’s connected to the proliferation of child trafficking ( as this discussion would root deeper into child porn and it’s effects) and interrelated to the general mindset of favouritism towards porn among the people in India. It is currently criminalized under section 292 of the IPC(Indian penal code) in the definition of ‘obscenity’. The most streaming line of porn in India is child porn. After a fruitless attempt to ban access to porn websites from all devices in India in 2013, a new petition was filed again before the apex court in 2015, making a successful temporary ban on 857 websites of porn, which was deemed to be inefficient as new websites crop up everyday defeating the very purpose of banning the entire porn streaming channels in India.
Why is it important to ban pornography in India? Why especially in India? The established example of obscene sculptures of Khajuraho temples where the sexual imagery narrate our society in the ancient era as a land where such topics were discussed openly. India was also described as the land where Kama sutra was first written, then even after looking into such corroborative evidences in support of porn, why are the social activists and lawyers trying to ban it? A debate on pornography goes into detail and depth about the working and functioning of the country in obscene sensitive areas, while observing the reactions of the crowd in the changes or amendments of law on such issues. When it comes to porn, the reader should understand that the researcher not only limits to video screening ,but the erotic dusty books lying in the corner of the shelves. Is it immoral to watch porn? Does this habit breed ‘rape culture’? Is watching porn against culture? Then, what is culture? Is banning porn is infringement of an individual’s privacy?
It’s contended that the ban on pornography is not only a moral obligation, but also a legal. But how can we say that it’s an obligation when the ban apparently violates your constitutional right of freedom of privacy. It doesn’t matter what you watch until and unless its within the four walls of your rooms and wholly personal. But either ways, contentions are at heights of parity with each another that it’s presently difficult to reach to conclusion of absolute stand. What’s ironic is a cry for ban on pornography in a kama prioritised land like India. A temporary ban by the government that has ended vainly ,yet brought a major shock in the minds of many. Because, prohibiting porn in the land is something unusual. Though the ineffectual ban by the government was withdrawn within 24 hours since its operation , government still stood in its previous stance of banning porn , but this time with a better method and mechanism. So, beware addicts , dark days are yet to appear , its just a temporary relief that you have been given.
Another to be identified from the ban of pornography ,especially child pornography ,is only for a few crucial effects that occurs from prevailing porno viewers are paedophile , bisexuality , child trafficking , rise in rape crimes , habituation of immoral and restrictive sexual behaviour and unhygienic sexual practises that’ll affect not only mental hygiene but physical health. India isn’t prepared to face such problems right in this moment bearing it’s mind the existence of widespread poverty , illiteracy and unsuccessful measures in curbing underage pregnancy. Listing down all the aftermath of pornographic content can cause , therefore it’s right to control the spreading popularity of pornography with reasonable restrictions. But what’s missing ,is a proper definition for the word “ reasonable restrictions”. And in this dilemma ,government has utterly failed in laying a concrete foundation for building a proper limitations for pornographic content.