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#YKADebate REPORT: Should Internet Porn Be Banned In India? Here”s What You Had To Say!

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By Lata Jha:

540692_10151632859827053_1368521458_nSome do it unabashedly. For others, it’s a personal choice they’d rather not discuss. Either way, erotica is an inescapable part of all our lives, histories and societies, in some form or another. Does it bring out the animal in us? Does it increase a female’s chances of being assaulted by males who watch it? And even if we don’t endorse its active proliferation, do we support a complete ban? Youth Ki Awaaz’s recently concluded debate on whether Internet porn should be banned in India couldn’t have been missed for all the reasons one can think of.

Porn, according to some, is severely defiling our cultural mores and beliefs. They spoke of the fact that the basic purpose of these websites and portals should be to educate the youth, but they end up impacting impressionable minds in all the wrong ways. Besides, the long, old culture of erotica in the country has only led to the commodification of women, apart from encouraging immoral practices like broken families and multiple sex partners. They attributed this phase to a ‘confused transitional culture’ influenced unduly by the West. Some even went to the extent of quoting instances of sexual offenders who have admitted to watching porn or having been sexually abused by someone influenced by porn early in life. Images and video certainly have an impact on the psyche.

Those opposing the ban had just as fierce arguments. They believe that rapes happen not because erotica has been a part of our culture, but because of perverted attitudes and mindsets. In a society where we’re yet to eradicate evils like child marriage and sati savitri, where having a female friend is the same thing as sleeping with her, and the daughter-in-law is the family’s chew toy, you can hardly attribute assaults on women to something people watch on the net. The solution, they feel is to provide sex education and counselling for people who need it, and work towards changing attitudes along with ensuring faster trials for rapists and police reforms. Banning porn will only add to the social stigma and the taboo associated with openly discussing sex. Also, it’s not like women do not watch porn, so they should be out on the streets raping people too. And rapes happened way before online porn even came into existence. Most importantly, in a democracy like ours, one has the right to watch, read and listen to any and everything one wishes and has access to.

pornban

Is banning truly the solution, or even one of the solutions? Is that how we’re looking at long term challenges of achieving gender sensitivity and equality? With incidents of assaults on women showing no signs of abating, we really to introspect a little more before we point fingers.

Check out the debate — as it happened. Click here!

You must be to comment.
  1. Sadho (@SadhoRam)

    The debate was great.

  2. Raju Singh

    What do we want, a soul-mate or sex-mate? Obviously we want a soul-mate. But there are many people who are addicted to sex by seeing lots of porn. They always say they want sex-mate. Sex can give you lots of pleasure. But remember it can never give you real happiness. For real happiness, we need soul-mate, not sex-mate. Real happiness comes from giving more and expecting less. Real happiness comes when we do not possess hatred in our heart for anyone.Real happiness comes when our mind is free from worries. Real happiness comes when we live our life simple.But all this sayings is worthless to sex addicted person untill there end will come near and they will have to leave this world. The more they see porn, the more they kill there soul. So, try to be a noble soul and do not try to be a soul that is slaved by this mortal body.

    1. adya00

      How exactly is the soul different from the body?

  3. Ishan Janbandhu

    No, there is no need to ban the porn sites. Bodily changes takes place only after a specific age. Truth can never be kept hidden after that age. Every Restriction brings curiosity. Let the natural flow of development of technology and learning be maintained,they automatically manage each other. No human imposed restriction can solve this issue.

  4. workforoneSwapnil

    This is Kind of thing as like we say ‘Garibi htao garibo ko nahi’ So it is not the final solution and no one can ensure that after banning porn. no nasty activity would be done.
    So We need to change the mentality of our society and first of all our own. Porn is a part of life some people take it as an entertainment and some take it as a need.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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