Why banning porn in India sucks?

I don’t remember the last year I accessed porn, not only because we have a common laptop and iPad at home or simply due to lack of private space, but I have just not had the time. That’s fine by me, but the same may not be true for those who have a lot of time and inclination to watch it, now that the government has blocked hundreds of porn websites.

[Here’s an exhaustive list of adult websites blocked by India. And boy! the research is stupendous]

During a question and answer session with a famous spiritual guru, a follower – who was most probably a yoga practitioner also – asked a question about sexual desire. What does one do about it? Does one have sex? Curb it? Do it? Ignore it?

The master, in his characteristic gentle and sweet style, said it is a natural desire, so why should it bother one so much? Except, he added, don’t watch porn; it makes you hornier, he seemed to suggest.

Of course I don’t follow his advice. But the fact is sex – like eating, sleeping, breathing or shitting – is a natural desire. Why must you curb anything that is natural? And to connect morality and decency with it is even more bizarre.

If you cut your desires, you will spill more blood. Banning access to porn will not “cure” people of their sexual desires. It will not, we all know, free our deeply patriarchal and misogynistic society of sexual crimes.

Anyone who has spent even a few minutes on Delhi’s roads or in the metro will know how men or boys look at women or girls, or just how some males look at other males. They’re already frustrated. They don’t spare their own, their mothers, sisters or daughters. They’re not scared of the law either. Maybe they are. Maybe they don’t care. Does that stop them from committing acts of sexual violence?

Recall the BBC documentary of the Delhi gang rape, which the government also banned, and those chilling statements supporting such offences, including by the lawyers.

Banning porn will not change the way how the mind of such people works.

And of course there will be those, driven insane by lust, who will find a way of still accessing these sites. And what would you do about those countless DVDs that are available in the market? Or brothels? Or spas offering special services?

And what about those frightening stares? Or that “accidental” brushing of hands in bus or metro? How would you ban that?

Then you must ban sleeveless shirts, hot pants or anything that has a deep neck. Ban everything. Cover people in black robes. And get rid of that phallus, for god’s sake, that the state cannot handle.

Jai Hind!

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Published by

Ankush Arora

Delhi boy; dreamer, nature lover, photographer. Development communications professional. Ex-Reuters, NDTV. This is a personal blog.

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