A Balancing Act
A couple of weeks ago, our government had suddenly decided to ban pornography after a lawyer filed a petition in a court. Soon after, the decision was reversed and porn was un-banned.
Supporters of the ban claimed that pornography was causing a rise in crimes against women, that it was against our culture and values, and that it was corrupting the minds of our youth. Supporters of pornography said that as long as nobody was forced or harmed during the filming of the pornographic movies, and no children were being depicted in them, pornography was okay, and banning it was an attack on the freedom of our people, because how can the government decide what a person legally does inside the confines of his house.
I believe that there are no black and white conclusions that can be drawn here.
I could say that our Indian culture never shied away from its sexuality, and that various carvings and statues can best be described as pornographic.
Except that this argument would be wrong. True, that India has been home to Khajuraho and more, and Kama Sutra was a treatise written and practiced in India, but that’s not what defines our entire existence. Pornography is but a small brick in our edifice, a yarn in our expansive cultural fabric. To say that only Khajuraho and Kama Sutra define our culture would be plain wrong.
Conversely, I could say that the moral champions are correct, and that pornography does a lot of visible and invisible harm.
Except that this argument would be wrong too. Crimes against women may have seen a rise over the years, but so has murder and extortion. It is convenient but silly to blame pornography for rape. If pornography causes rape, why have murder and extortion cases also increased? Is pornography causing these too?
The problem is, the moral champions are easy to mislead. They will happily blame what they see as a western influence, but won’t recognise that crime has socio-economic reasons and not cultural ones.
I know what you must be thinking now. You must be wondering where exactly does my ideology lie. Finally, do I support pornography or oppose it, or am I just confused while pretending to be smart.
Well, I believe that if a coin has two sides, both sides together give value to the coin. I cannot slice away one side and use only the other side to make payments. I need both the sides of the coin to make sure it gets accepted as payment.
The same applies to our views on every issue. There is always an other side that we willingly or unwillingly ignore.
All I am saying is, worry less about what I believe in, and worry more about whether you have taken both sides into consideration while arriving to your conclusions.
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