In a country of 1.3 billion people, it is ideally suggested that the government should take measures to curb population to reduce the stress on the natural as well as other synthetic resources in the country. Sex education is a distant dream.
In a nation termed ‘conservative’ if not anything else, the only exposure to ‘sex education’, in the broadest interpretation of the term possible, is probably through value education and biology books. But it must be kept in mind that I am quite literally, expanding the scope of the words to undesirable limits.
I think every student can relate to this when I say that being made to sit next to a girl, for a boy and vice versa, was nothing less than a punishment and was more often than used as one as well. Gender segregation in schools isn’t uncommon even in the 21st Century digital India. Adding to that, speaking about sex is mostly an offence until you are married. I am not even going into the amount of trouble unmarried couples have to go to have sex, which is entirely natural.
And amidst all these crises and problems, and differences, the I&B Ministry has hit a home run, by banning all condom ads between 6 PM to 10 PM. And the rationale behind this: condom ads would create in children an “interest in unhealthy practices”. Unhealthy, indeed.
Why this change in mindset? I remember growing up with billboards all over the city encouraging people to have safe sex, spreading awareness about AIDS, and at least in West Bengal, ‘Bula Di’ was quite infamous for referring to ‘sex’ as ‘a game of ludo’, and any ten year old could figure that out. But I am pretty sure that did not corrupt my mind, or any of my friends’, to be very honest. Yes, it did intrigue us, and we asked questions, and I guess that was the whole point of it. There were ads on TV as well, which portrayed a man trying to get another man to say the word ‘condom’ and trying to break the whole stigma around it. Where have those ads disappeared?
And to top this all off, there is the added fear of people judging you when you ask for condoms at a pharmacy.
In a country where biology teachers explicitly warn the students to not laugh or smirk during the class where she teaches reproduction, or the word condom is spoken in the lowest tone possible, sex education is a necessity.
The future, however, does not look bright, given that the Ministry clearly has a problem with sex as pleasure. And apparently, sex in general. Pahlaj Nihalani wasn’t the last person to want to influence the young minds, in a sanskaari way, it seems.
Read the advisory here.