The I&B Ministry has sent out a notice that Condom Ads should be allowed to play only in the time slot of 10 pm to 6 am and since it is Smriti Irani, this move has been trolled left right and center by almost everyone.
But it does make me wonder.
Condoms basically promote safe sex. But are the condom advertisements that we see inclined towards promotion of safe sex?
The last condom advertisements I saw crept up in the middle of Singham movie which I was watching with my kids.
It was a MANForce Condom ad where Sunny Leone and some guy cozied up in the bedroom, with the guy unhooking Sunny’s blouse and then both of them sinking on the bed with the ManForce Logo coming up to the forefront.
We have all seen Condom ads of variously flavored condoms coming up on the TV.
Gone are the days of the advertisements which promoted the use of NIRODH which were aimed at safe sex and family planning at the same time.
But, are the condom advertisements today aimed at the same? Or are they more towards titillating the audience with a semi-soft porn of types?
No, I have nothing against porn, soft or otherwise, and I have nothing against Sex either.
I feel that every person in India has the right to have sex and watch sex as much as he wants to, as long as they are having sex with consent and not watching sex through someone else’s window and being a peeping tom in general.
But that said, Television is a form of a Family Entertainment and 10:00 pm to 6:00 am is a recognized Adult Time across the globe.
And other than the pay per view channels, all other channels are for family viewing, the content of which is not controlled by the user.
So is it quite okay when a Condom Ad with a lingerie-clad woman demanding a chocolate flavored condom crops up in the middle of a Doremon show?
Are you really okay with explaining your six-year-old daughter about why a chocolate flavored condom is in demand more than let us say a strawberry flavored one?
Is it a good idea to restrict the condom ads to the “Adult Times” or would be it better to regulate the content of the ads itself, by making them more educational than titillating? Or they should be shown in any manner, in any form, on any channel, no holds barred?
While, I am not quite certain about whether Condom Ads should be regulated within some timings or whether the content of the Condom Ads should be more towards being educational rather than towards titillation, what I am quite sure about is that, personally, I do think that Adult content needs to be regulated in some way or the other. This is similar to how Adult movies come with an 18+ certification giving it a clear demarcation.
As much as I love the current Government and the goof ups it makes, I am not quite convinced that this particular notice which they have sent to the channels, is wrong.
Though, of course, I am open to hearing counter views which specify why this move is a bad move and what other alternatives they would suggest to this.
Disclaimer: Comments like “If we watch condom ads during 10:00 pm to 6:00 am when will we use them” do not many any sense to me since there is no restriction to having sex only in the middle of the night.
The article was first published by Darshan Mondkar on his Facebook timeline