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Educate children about safe sex instead of banning condom ads

I remember, as a kid I have grown up watching condom advertisement on Doordarshan, and I am sure many of you as a child must have viewed condom ads but that has not made you pervert or changed your mindset. In this 21st century, where Google teaches sex to silly things, children really don’t need these advertisements to influence them. I am surprised when the government strictly asked TV channels not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms because they assume it is “indecent especially for children” and can create “unhealthy practices” among them. Most surprising!! How an ad for condom can be an unhealthy practice? Strange logic! It should in fact educate the public, and let it be teenagers, no issue, but it really educates them. Yes it should be an ad for medical necessity and not a provocative one. I don’t think the problem is with showing the ads. We had these condom ads even 30 years back on DD. The problem is with the content of the ads. I think there is a need to control content and pasteurisation of these ads to make them more sensible rather than provocative. Banning everything is not a solution.

It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly that are alleged to be indecent especially for children. It said such advertisements may be telecast between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to avoid exposure of such material to children. As per the government, the Indians especially minors, who watch TV after 10 p.m. or before 6 a.m. are indecent too. Now, the question is that, while PM of the country is promoting Digital India, how will they legally control these ads on various websites, especially print media? Is the Govt not willing to promote sexual safety among the people, especially minors? Attractive ads are meant to increase penetration of the ideas through the people in mass level. The BJP govt must stop all such indecent conservative methods when our PM is pushing for Digital India.

The missive comes after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) requested the ministry earlier this month to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing. In September, a condom advertisement featuring Sunny Leone drew protests from a Surat-based group. The ad, which was displayed on hoardings across the city and carried a message in Gujarati “play but with love” was shared on social media by people. City-based group Hindu Yuva Vahini staged a protest at one of the locations where the hoarding was displayed.

It just shows how much they have in them to hold such positions. Is this so important as that? Well, it is quite evident they cannot govern! We made a horrible blunder expecting them to deliver and it is a gruesome reminder everyday with all this dumb decisions.

Now there will be lakhs of new AIDS cases and unwanted pregnancies and dangerous abortions. This is another example of crazy culture policing. The govt should have gone all out to promote condoms, as they are the cheapest way to prevent HIV transmission and unwanted pregnancies. Factors destroying our culture are corruption and govt policies that favour the rich, creating disparity between the wealthy and the poor! On one side we intend to control our population and promote safe sex, the prevention of AIDS. Now we want to control that as well, where are we heading? To a society where everything is controlled? If the kids’ don’t learn about condoms, how will they use it when they are adults?

There are advertisements about contraceptive pills and even that are dangerous, which teaches girls to have sex but avoid pregnancy by taking these medicines. These medications are easily available at chemist shops. If we look at Indian television, 99 per cent of the ads, let it be from soaps, beauty products to health drinks, all are dangerous and misleading, but we cannot control them. There are various other programmes broadcasted in TV channels, which are detrimental to children. Is this their manifesto? What innovative mechanisms we can think of to control population that affects our economy? Are we using this for only vote-banks?

Though, it is going to​ make very little difference as kids get to watch condom ads on YouTube and other online channels. In fact indecent posts appear on Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram. Only eternal vigilance can save our children not ad bans on TV. The need of the hour is the content and mode of presentation to be altered in the message as “condom- the HIV prevention aid” and ”condom- the instrument for having a small family”. Banning anything is not going to help this nation or its people. The conservative government should stop wasting its time and people’s energy too.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on feedback@afternoonvoice.com)

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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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