India’s Supreme Court is deliberating banning Internet pornography. The trigger has been the brutal sexual and physical assault on a 5-year old girl in Delhi by two perverts, allegedly after drinking alcohol and watching porn.

Interestingly there is no call to ban sale of alcohol, which is a much greater social evil due to direct linkages with domestic violence, attacks on women, road accidents, brawls and more.

Will perverts, psychopaths, abnormal creatures stop raping and killing girls once access to porn is snapped, if that is technically possible?

The connection, in my view, is simplistic. For the mentally deranged, violent triggers can be anything – billboards, short skirts, TV ads, jeans, movies. Do we stop living due to the perverts in our midst?

Assault on fairer sex is a deeper social problem linked to education, upbringing, unchecked consumerism, objectification of women, patriarchal mindsets and scant respect of laws.

It is not going to disappear in a hurry and needs to be tackled the right way at multiple levels. If there has to be a shutdown, then ban sale of alcohol and cigarettes, castrate policemen who don’t register a rape case or hang politicians who loot tax payers’ money. What about violence in movies?

The impact of porn on the human mind has been blown out of proportion. Perfectly normal people can watch porn with no side effects, while completely abnormal people can have no access to porn and be a nuisance to society. At the same time, perfectly normal people could get drunk, crash their cars and cost lives. Perfectly normal people can smoke and die of lung cancer.

An absolute ban on online porn does not sound all right, as consensual sex is not unnatural human behavior to begin with. Curbing individual spirit and natural feelings does not work in India, elsewhere or any sphere of life.

We saw it with the erstwhile license permit raj that created India’s black and hawala economy. Will it work if Chris Gayle is asked to score a century off singles or Virendra Sehwag is told to cut out the lofted square cut.

Banning porn will simply drive the industry underground, as it used to be earlier, to seedy parlors and illegal DVD’s that nobody can control. The desperate online search for Sunny Leone will translate into brisk sale of offline hard copies.

A healthy interest in sex is not bad. Watching porn for entertainment is not bad, even if it involves two or more people steroid or silicon induced to turn private portions to resemble enlarged genetically modified vegetable or poultry.

Porn can be therapeutic, especially during a lonely spell in the day or night, if one can ignore the steroid bit and focus on the silicon bit, assuming that it is men who are the largest consumer of porn as multiple studies prove.

The bigger question is about regulation of porn. That is required, like censorship in movies. Access of porn by children needs to be strictly monitored by parents and schools. There are aspects about child porn, bestiality and subjugation that cannot be tolerated and must be weeded out, the perpetrators caught and severely punished. The Taliban have got everything wrong except summary treatment of those accused of sexual crimes on women and children.

It is necessary to form a group of independently appointed evolved people to decide what is right, wrong, permitted or should be banned online, like the Censor Board for movies. Obsolete characters that link misbehavior with women to consuming noodles and suggestive looks need to be strictly kept out of such a panel.

Ideally they should be doomed to a life of abstinence from here on, with no access to even porn. Decisions on publicly consumed content also cannot be left to the whims of over stretched, desensitized, easily corruptible beat constables, as demonstrated by the case of the arrest of two girls in Mumbai for innocuous comments on Facebook.

Statues to deter rape can always be strengthened further. While there are those who seek hanging and public flogging, I suggest that parents be culpable for such crimes committed by those under 25. They need to be responsible for the demons that have created. Make the parents also accountable for related crimes linked to alcohol abuse and driving crashes due to over speeding.

Delhi’s police commissioner said he would resign a thousand times if rapes don’t happen by his quitting. I say he should be made to resign a million times for having personnel under him who tried to shoo away the poor 5-year olds parents when they went to report the crime. Only when the chief is directly responsible for the behavior of his staff, will the working of our security forces improve.

This should apply to other departments and private sector. There should be a culture of accountability, not hiding behind Z plus security, bodyguards and red beacon cars.

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