The first desi pornographic site is in the news again. Less than a year after its launch, the government of India has decided to block savitabhabhi.com, a comic-strip hard-core pornography site. With millions of other pornographic sites easily accessible to netizens from India, is poor Savita bhabhi getting a raw deal? DNA asks Mumbaikars...
Why single out only Savita bhabhi?
I think it's high time we modified the strict rules pertaining to pornographic sites in India. But at the same time, just banning one website will not suffice. It would make sense if other similar websites, too, are put under the scanner. Instead, the government should come out with a comprehensive ban on all online porn content.
Western countries have stringent laws when it comes to pornographic sites. We should follow suit and adopt stringent laws, rather than continuing to ban every second thing in the name of 'Indian culture'.
Pornography does affect children because they get influenced and indulge in things that they are not supposed to at a tender age. They often tend to get false information and ideas, and at times they might get addicted to these sites.
The online toon porn site Savita Bhabhi has nothing to do with our culture; we Indians are very liberal and open-minded about our sexuality. It is the content of Savita Bhabhi that has come under the radar. And not only online sites but also other media of pornography should be banned, including DVDs and CDs.
So we should avoid making this issue Savita Bhabhi-centric, but instead realise the seriousness of the issue at large.
—Harish Shetty, Psychiatrist
Kamasutra too has explicit images
In India, the concept of cartoons and porn is relatively new. Till a few years ago, the only Indian comic books available were Chacha Chaudhari, Tinkle, etc. Therefore, the website depicting an Indian woman in a cartoon porn strip became an instant hit as it was able to fit perfectly well with Indian male fantasies.
The Kamasutra, which has been around for a long time now, has explicit illustrated images, too. It is a visual art form and so is Savita Bhabhi. If the government has banned the website, then they might as well ban the Kamasutra.
Comic strips are different from cartoons as they aren't active. Therefore, one cannot generalise all cartoon characters. Cartoons are basically caricatures of life and are a simplified art form. Hence, people might suggest that they have a greater influence on children than videos because they can relate to it. But I do not agree with this. Violent videogames are harmful for kids too, but no one is banning them.
The government should not forget that today everyone, including children, has easy access to the internet and is well-versed with gizmos like DVD players and iPhones. Therefore, access to porn sites and videos isn't difficult. Just banning one comic strip which some people find offensive is not the solution.
—Harun Robert, Animator
I favour amendment in the IT law
The government's decision to amend the IT Act is a good move. In the absence of such rules and regulations, these websites engage people to view such content, which further leads to indecency and immorality in the minds of the people. Now that there is a law, people can freely complain about any indecent websites or illegal content that they come across online. With such laws it should be easy to catch the culprit and punish the wrong-doers.
If some website owner is found to run any kind of pornographic material without permission, then he has to pay a fine of Rs5 lakh to Rs2 crore, and can be imprisoned for 18 months as well.
Unlike countries like the US and China, which do not have common servers for websites, India cannot block any kind of illegal websites because here we have a common server for all websites. In the US and other developed countries, they have specialised or separate servers for the pornographic things.
So, technically, in our country it is impossible to completely prevent pornography, whereas blocking any random sites here would affect genuine websites as well.
—Mukesh Goyal, Cyber Law Expert
Rohan Rao. Media professional
"If the government is banning Savita Bhabhi because it is a pornographic site, then they should also ban all the 'escort services' available online. These sites are more dangerous than the porn comic strip because it's open prostitution. I welcome the move as a lot of people, especially teens, have access to the internet today and such sites are harmful. However, saying that it's against our culture or morality isn't right because what about our old sculptures which portray various sexual positions?"
Manish Kumar. IT professional
"I don't know whether the IT ministry has taken the right decision by banning Savita Bhabhi. There are several other possibilities to view porn at the click of a mouse. If the government has amended the law to stop indecency and immorality on the web, it might not necessarily succeed. This is because it's not possible to keep a check on or block everyone's computer. The authorities present hardly take any measures for verification."
Puneet Cheema. Student
"For once, some Indian has attempted to come up with a desi porn website and it was a good attempt. The people who have designed the website are quite talented. The script is interesting with some story and is not the regular mindless porn. Also it is multi-lingual, so it breaks the barrier catering to people from different backgrounds and languages. It has fared decently till now and the website has nothing to do with Indian culture. It's just the name Savita Bhabhi that may sound familiar to people."