‘Amend laws to curb indecent representation of women’

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Bangalore, Aug 12;Former vice chancellor of Karnataka State Law University, J S Patil, on Monday called for an amendment to the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, to curb the menace of pornography that is quietly affecting the youth.

Speaking at a state-level seminar on ‘Increasing Sexual Assaults on Women – Role of Media’ organised by All India Mahila Samskruthika Sanghatane (AIMSS) here on Monday, Patil said, “The magnitude at which pornography has spread, grown and impacted today’s generation, it has become essential to block websites at the national level. There is also a need to ban possession and spread of porn by amending the Information Technology Act.”

Advocate Hemalatha Mahishi shared her experience as a Censor Board member and expressed her anxiety over obscenity and violence ruling today’s media.

Stating that sleaze and violence were being glorified, she called upon the society to consciously react to any indecent representation of women in any form.

Kishor Uday project

Touching upon the ‘Kishor Uday’ project initiated by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Dr A R Somashekhar, adolescent care specialist, M S Ramaiah Medical College, shared his interaction with adolescent children in schools.

He said he was taken aback when children, mainly from high schools, asked questions about safe sex rather than personal hygiene.

“I was amused by the way children are curious about sex and pornography and their openness about fascinations. It is quite obvious that with so much material available on the Internet and with the latest smart phones, it is pretty easy for high school students to access them,” he added.

Dr H G Jayalakshmi, general secretary, AIMSS, said globalisation, liberalisation, privatisation policies have only contributed to a rise in crimes against women.

“Women are used as commodities… Policy-makers are pushing people towards cultural and moral degradation for economic and political gains,” she added.

MLAs ‘caught’

In an interactive session, speakers highlighted the incident where three members were caught watching porn in the Karnataka Assembly.

They said the media bringing out the truth about elected representatives before the public was good, but showing related obscene videos alongside news was not responsible journalism.

AIMSS said it would lodge complaints with the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, urging the government to bring legal changes and take steps to curb obscenity in media and other programmes in the future.

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