‘Porn Ban In Kamasutraland’. What is Indian Man to do???

‘Indian Man In The Know’ told me some time ago that he enjoys reading Indian newspapers. ‘There are so many more interesting stories in Indian newspapers than in the Western ones,’ he argued.  So taking his advice, I have been reading newspapers religiously at school.  This is not that difficult since the school subscribes to three different English language newspapers, and apart from A and me, nobody else shows any interest in them.  And indeed, Indian life and politics offer a lot to muse about…

Taking keeping up with what goes on in India seriously, this week, on Monday, A and I learnt about the unfortunate predicament of modern Indian man.  Whereas his predecessors had to make do with thumbing through the many pages of the Kamasutra to get their kicks – or maybe sleazy magazines (??) – modern Indian man is internet savvy and can navigate the web in search of more lively samples.   At least this was until last Friday, when an overzealous government agency decided to turn off the tap… 

Lament of the 30-somethings...

Lament of the 30-something Indian man…

A petition by a single lawyer, who convinced the courts of the ills of online pornography and its links to sexual crimes, led the government to take drastic action and in the dark of Friday night – apparently, they never intended for Joe public to detect their hand in the matter –  they send out a blanket order to every Indian Service Provider to block all 857 porn websites…  And so the ISPs did.  In the absence of interesting web content, slowly but surely, internet use declined over the weekend to such an extent that the service providers themselves feared for their survival as the lack of traffic would inevitably lead to a drop in revenue (according to the head of a broadband service provider in Kerala, who wished to remain anonymous – as noted in The Hindu of 4th August 2015).  If ever there was clear evidence of the popularity of those sites with Indian Man… .

Only one day later, on Tuesday, there was a weakening of the resolve and the backtracking started.   Newspapers reported that the ban was only ever intended as temporary, until the powers had had time to carefully and thoroughly consider the issue …  Although the official line suggests that the change of heart was brought on by the storms of protest on social media, and the claims that the directive infringed on personal freedom and far outreached the responsibility of a government, and the fact that the ban was futile anyway as the loopholes available to crafty Indian man almost outnumbered the banned sites, could it have dawned on the officials that they themselves, and their friends in high places, would be deprived from access to their usual entertainment and might fall victim to any punishments of breaking the law sometime in the future?  Another prime example of Indian philosophy: act first, think later…

By Wednesday, the authorities caved in further to appease the deprived section of society, and offered more extensive clarification: the ban would only apply to those sites that promoted child pornography (quite rightly so!!)……  Indian man must have heaved a sigh of relief!!!!!

Yes, I think I will carry on reading Indian newspapers; they do indeed provide good entertainment!!

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