Obscenity, Media, And The Effect On Future Generations

Posted on October 10, 2010 in Society

By Vinod Meena:

Obscenity is a kind of mind pollution and a social problem affecting the society at large. It can be defined as any picture, photograph, figure, article, write up, video, 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.

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.


Various legal provisions including sections, acts and codes have been discussed for highlighting Indian scenario against obscenity. The legal provisions against obscenity are as follows:

Indian Penal Code, 1980

Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, laid down three tests to understand the term obscenity which are as follows:-

A book, pamphlet, paper, writing etc., shall be deemed to be obscene if it is:

  1. lascivious; or
  2. appeals to the prurient interest;or
  3. if its effect or where it is more than one item, the effect of any one of the items, if taken as a whole, is such as to rend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all the relevant circumstances to read, see or hear it.

If all the above conditions are fulfilled then the matter would be considered as obscene and the same would be punishable under law.

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995

This act prohibits the transmission of advertisements on the cable network which are not in conformity with the Advertisement Code. The Advertisement Code is set out under Rule 7 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994. Contravention of these provisions attracts liabilities. The Advertisement Code states that no advertisement shall be permitted which derides any race, caste, colour, creed and nationality.

The Information Technology Act, 2000

This particular act has been brought about aims to facilitate the development of a secure regulatory environment for electronic commerce. Thus while, it is admittedly a statute leaning towards regulation of commercial activities, it has several provisions, which refer to penalties and offences. The legislators very clearly intend this to be the fundamental umbrella legislation to govern computer- related activity in India. There is a separate chapter for Offences  and for the purposes of this paper the most important provision is section 66 which is as follows: – whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished

The Cable Television Network Act, 1995

This act clearly mentions that 24 hours NO ADULT programme can be shown on television.

The Indecent Representation Of Women [Prohibition] Act, 1986

This act 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. The Act punishes the indecent representation of Women , which means “the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals.

We have acts, but the need of the hour is to make these laws more strict. There is a need for mass awareness about the issue amongst the common man, YOU can act by filing a Public Interest Litigation against obscenity (Click here to know how to file a PIL), voice yourself.

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