The advancement of science and growth of modern technology and information has made things very easy to circulate and communicate to the entire world. We today easily get information of earthquakes or landslide happening in any part of the world with the help of satellite. To make this world a compact place and connecting everyone with fast and easy medium the media has placed a very crucial role. There were days when passing of news took day and days and now with just a click the entire news reaches the world in seconds. With the media becoming globalised the content of the news which is been circulated has become much vulnerable. When the audience of whole world at large is approached if becomes obvious that at times western country approached could hurt the sentiments of people of eastern country and vice versa. To avoid differences regulations must be formed to regulate which content would be suitable for display for a particular group of audience. Obscenity is one such ingredient which prohibits content from being screened or displayed.
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Obscenity can be in common terms be called mind pollution, a social problem which is been affecting our society at large. Obscenity can be defined as any photograph, figure, picture, write up, video or a public act which corrupts the minds and appeals to the prurient interests or which is not acceptable with social moral standards would be called obscene and vulgar.
Off late, the media has played a major role in promoting obscenity by way of semi-nude ads, video-graphy, news in the form of soft-porn and much more. They are certainly putting at stake the values of an entire generation just for a little more circulation, readership, viewership and a little more money.
Obscenity is affecting us, our children, the various facets of a society, here’s how:
Women and children are the worst hit by the growth and exposure to obscenity. There is a direct link between the violence being shown in media and the actual act of violence against women. The cases of molestation,sexual harassment and rape are on the rise contributing to this is the constant bombardment of sex, nudity and violence in the media.
Obscenity is also leading to the young generation’s growing interest in indulging in sexual activities, further causing problems such as premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and much more. Future threats of an open show of obscenity could be as harmful as the loss of ethics in the coming generations.
In a country where marriage is considered a pure bond and sex serves a valuable purpose of sharing love and purity, obscenity is getting this bond a new meaning of an animal act, for the purpose of fulfilling one’s sexual needs – the female body becoming a mere object.
FORUM AGAINST OBSCENITY
OBSCENITY : A FORM OF MIND POLLUTION Earth pollution is bad. Water and Noise pollution is worse. Air pollution is still worse. But the worst of all is Mind Pollution. It corrupts the most valuable trait of Human Species : It corrupts THINKING. One of the most common forms of Mind Pollution observed today is OBSCENITY
WHY MOVEMENT AGAINST OBSCENITY
· In last few years, a large Section of the Media and particularly the Leading ones have taken liberty to flout all Norms related to Obscenity. A systemic overdose of Nudity and Vulgarity is being forced into the brain of common Viewer through News Papers, Television, Films, Magazines, Hoardings, and Posters.
· Their purpose is to use a cheap short cut to catch attention and thus beat competition. They want to make quick money by selling their real matter mixed with so called HOT STUFF.
· The long term effect of this bombardment of sex and nudity is resulting in corrupting the Thought Process because thoughts are bound to come according to what you see, read and hear.
· The psychologists all over the world are cautioning that exposure to Media violence and sex, have damaging impact on the children and minors and youth.
· Common man and Parents of young children are worried, they feel helpless and frustrated. Their Right of bringing up their children in a Mind Pollution Free Atmosphere is snatched away.
· This Long lasting damage cannot be checked individually. It needs a Mass Movement.
· This restlessness has evolved into a large number of NGOs and individuals coming together in the form of this FORUM AGAINST OBSCENITY
HOW DO YOU DEFINE OBSCENITY
o Any picture, photograph, Figure, article, write up, etc. or a Public Act which depraves or corrupts the mind and which appeals to the prurient interests or which is against the acceptable social moral standards would be called obscene and vulgar.
o The condition in which you would feel ashamed to see your mother or wife or daughter, is obscene.
THE PRESENT SCENARIO
o Television Channels are full of adult contents.
o The films and Serials show detailed rapes and sex sequences.
o Music videos have half naked girls dancing, making suggestive gestures, almost performing pornography.
o Newspapers like Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror, Bombay Times etc are full of photographs of half or almost naked actresses and models. Kamasutra is printed. Sex Experts are guiding and solving difficulties being faced in Premarital Sex.
o The News Channels shamelessly show pornography and uncensored scenes of Adult films in the name of News.
o The posters of the films are made from those scenes, which are deleted by the censor board. The posters of films and hoardings of advertisements are so vulgar that it is difficult for women to walk with their heads up on the road.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS
o There is a direct link between the violence being shown in media and the actual act of violence against women. The cases of molestation, sexual harassment and rape are on the rise due to this constant bombardment of sex, nudity and violence in the media. In Mumbai there have been instances of 12 and 13 year old boys raping 9 year old girl, copying the act from television.
o Premarital Sex and Extramarital Sex is fast growing and is gaining Social Acceptance in the new Generation.
WHAT ARE THE FUTURE THREATS
o Marriage as an Institution is under threat. Like in West, the cases of Divorce are increasing. The Indian Culture of a Life Long Vow of faithful marital life is likely to get eroded. The Foundation of FAMILY is being dynamited.
o Sex, instead of a serving a valuable purpose of maintaining intimacy and bond of Love between husband and wife, may get reduced to a sheer Animal Act.
o Teenagers and minors are indulging in sexual activities due to constant hammering of adult content in the media.
o The body of a woman has become an object of entertainment and a mere commodity to draw people’s attention.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY
o Article 19 of the constitution does guarantee freedom of speech and expression. However it clearly states that this freedom is subject to reasonable restrictions. Among various grounds of restriction, social moral standards and decency are also included.
o Indian Penal Code 292 states that any obscene and vulgar act, video, audio, poster, printed material displayed in public are punishable offence.
o The Indecent Representation of Women [prohibition] Act 1986, states that depiction of the figure, body, or any part of a woman’s body, which is denigrating women or likely to corrupt Public Morality is a punishable offence.
o The Cable Television Network Act clearly mentions that 24 hours NO ADULT programme can be shown on television. [The criteria for the Adult content is the same as followed by the Censor Board]
ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING OBSCENITY
o The freedom of Expression is a Fundamental Right
Our answer- In a civilized society no freedom can be ABSOLUTE or UNLIMITED. The freedom of Expression as per Law is subject to reasonable restrictions, including the ground of social moral norms and standards. Had this been a ‘free for all’ right then our Laws would not declare indecent representation of women, obscenity and vulgarity in public as a punishable offence.
o Obscenity is a subjective issue. It is in the eyes of the Beholder.
Our answer- One of the signs of primitive man getting civilized was that he started wearing Leafs and Barks of Trees. It has been a long gradual process of human civilization. If today so called liberals are advocating nudity in the name of liberalization then they are taking us back to the primitive man and primitive civilization.
Keeping the society in mind, whatever generally is not acceptable in the society is called obscene, for example: wearing a bikini in the beach is normal but wearing it in a public place is objectionable and obscene. Having sex in closed rooms is normal, but doing it in public, even by legally married couple is objectionable.
o Sex Education is a good thing which is being imparted indirectly by these
Our answer – The vulgar and suggestive Displays instigate their unripe mind to indulge in sex. They get wrong notions about Sex Act. Education needs to be given scientifically in a class room.
o This amounts to Moral Policing
Our Answer: Can there be an Expiry Date to Morality !! Our Laws do make a mention of Morality as a basis.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS OF FORUM AGAINST OBSCENITY
o To create Mass Awareness on this subject
o To initiate Legal Action against Violators through specific Complaint and through Public Interest Litigation
o Social Boycott and Public protest against Violators through Articles, Morcha, Dharna etc
o To catalyze similar Movements in all parts of the Country
o To garner Support of Right minded and Like Minded Media
o To approach Associations / Federations of Media for making guidelines for their Members and for ensuring it
o To study the existing Laws and point out the need to change it, through Amendment / Addition. To take up the issue of Amendments with Govt.
WHAT CAN AN INDIVIDUAL DO
o It is time that We as concerned and responsible citizens raise our voice to stop this sex, violence and vulgarity in media including Television, Newspapers, Films and posters of films.
o It is time that we raise our voice against this shameless display of woman’s body and her commodification in the name of entertainment, against the shameless and blatant violations of Laws, making the society unsafe for our Future Generation.
o Please join hands in this fight against vulgarity and violence in media. Express your support by writing to us.
o Lodge Complaint against Cases of Obscenity wherever you see. Attach a photo of the Obscene matter with details of location, date etc. The Complaint has to be lodged with Deputy Commissioner of Police, Enforcement, Office of Commissioner of Police, Opp. Crawford Market, Mumbai 400 001
o Write to Hon. Minister, Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Chief minister, Hon. Home Minister, Director General of Police ( DGP ) and Commissioner of Police, asserting your Right to live and bring up your children in an atmosphere free of Obscenity and Violence.
o Write to Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ministry at Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi , and demand that no Adult content should be shown at any time on the television. Demand that all Private TV Channels be converted to Pay Channels so that you can see the channels of your choice only and prevent undesirable channels in your home.
o Mark copy of all above to us at address below
o Discuss this common Cause with your Family, Friends, and Society and create awareness and a sense of responsibility to do something. Convert this Movement into an all India Movement of Crores of well meaning Citizens.
o Organize and Join the Protest Rallies / Morchas wherever possible.
o Communicate with those indulging in Obscenity and make efforts to convince them to desist from Obscenity
o Boycott those Media and News Papers which promote Nudity.
o Contribute financially towards the campaigns by the Forum.