One man has got an arduous task for the next six weeks. He will have to bend over and scrutinise all the condom packets available in the market to see if they are “obscene” and pass the test of Indian sankari-ness. May be half of the young men in the country will take up this job willingly; after all, this concerns the collective psyche the Indian milieu. But they have already lost this opportunity to one of India’s top lawyers, Maninder Singh.
An additional solicitor-general, Singh has been ordered by the Supreme Court to spend the next one-and-half month, examining “sexy” condom adverts to determine whether they breach the country’s obscenity laws.
India’s top court is trying to settle a long-running row that began in 2008, when a businessman from Tamil Nadu filed a PIL, asking for a ban on obscene images on condoms packets. Singh, after he completes the arduous task of checking these racy pictures, will have to report to the Supreme Court bench “if such advertisements constitute a penal offence.”
An archaic Indian law, that very clearly reflects the colonial mindset of that era, prohibits the sale, distribution, possession and circulation of obscene objects.
C Ravikumar, the man who wants a good dose of Indianess even on a personal sexual health product like condom,had filed the PIL saying condoms should not be marketed as “inducers of sexual desire”. Ravikumar also added that lewd pictures made people hesitant to buy condoms from stores.
What gets my goat is the bit that racy pictures on condom packets make our libido soar high, but the same pictures will also induce a strange shyness on us. Whatever the man was trying to say, seems very, very convoluted. But that’s how the whole of India behaves at the mere mention of the word ‘sex’: with double standards.
I would refrain from commenting what experience made Ravikumar come up with such wild conjectures, but one thing is for sure that he detaches sex from desire. I wonder how much pretension we Indians will put up to portray that sex is nothing but a mere tool to expand our already booming population.
Going by the purified sanskari virtues that has been making India glow in the past couple of months, we might see pictures of fruits like bananas, kiwis, strawberries and the like on condom packets to hint at the sexual innuendo, and point out how healthy it is to eat these fruits regularly. Sigh…
I remember the cheap government condom Nirodh used to show a happy married couple holding their hands innocently on its cover. May be that should inspire the “immoral” condom-makers to take a cue, and show how in India, sex is permitted only after you have been conjoined legally, and socially. All else is pure lust, and sin.
I believe the best way to beat the obscenity issue is by replacing all semi-clad models on condom covers with cute pictures of smiling babies. That would take care of all the controversies, and above all, remind condom buyers that if they don’t use contraceptives, that will be result, something that they don’t want.
While we rant, Sanskari Aloknath is smiling that Indians are slowly following his path.