Circa 2007, the blindfolds are in place again for the ‘delinquent viewer’. For the powers that be, have summarily decided what is forbidden fruit for us, again! In the eye of the storm is AXN’s The Worlds Sexiest Commercial.
Pegged as “too obscene”, by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the channel has been slapped with a two-month ban till March. The ‘missionary ministry’ has anointed itself as the guardian of the country’s youth.
The ministry fears the lascivious fare dished out by some of our channels may lead them astray. So what’s the fuss about?
Sorry, viewers, get ready for life without your late night action, if the moral police so decides. But what they don’t realise is that there is life beyond television, if you really want to get your hand on bikini babes and the sort. TV is not the last stop for the mounting sexual tension of the youth.
When it comes to ‘action’, the youngsters are privy to a world of choices today. There is of course the regular drivel on the Internet, CDs, videos, magazines and what have you. Even pornography is easily accessible.”
Freedom to choose: Interestingly, all the ban has done is pique our curiosity in this random action channel, which would other wise have escaped our notice. Television director of TV serial Viraasat, which had some alleged steamy scenes, Ravi Chopra feels the ban is regressive. “If there is more freedom there will be less frustration.
People have the right to choose what they watch.”
Iron-fisted: However, some like ad man Prasoon Joshi differ. For Prasoon regulation is a must, as “television enters our homes, unlike porn films and magazines.”
The furore seems more over the iron-fisted imposition of diktats. Previously, the I&B ministry banned Shefali Zariwala’s thong-video for being “too raunchy” under the Cable Television Act 1995.
Psychiatrist Sameer Parikh feels “selfregulation” is the answer. His contention “It is all very subjective. What I find crass on TV others may find harmless.” Does it work? So will it be regulation or self-regulation? We throw the question to the TV-viewing population.
Shilpa Singh, 37-year-old mother of two feels, “Parents can’t abdicate responsibility. Blanket bans don’t work.” You are allowed to marry and vote at 18, yet what you watch on the tube requires a nod from the government! Rifq Sarao, 23, says, “It’s not up to the government to decide what we watch.” Remember, we are a democracy?