Keeping children safe from unhealthy practices like safe sex is admirable, but are condom ads the only problem?

Starting Monday, the pristine television channels of the country will be safe from the corrupting influence of advertising, and more specifically those ads that promote condoms, which might mislead our children into having safe sex. As per a directive issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, TV channels can't air advertisements selling and promoting condoms because these are "indecent especially for children" and can create "unhealthy practices" among them.

This is where a condom ad would have been playing. Wikimedia Commons

This is where a condom ad would have been playing. Wikimedia Commons

Fair enough. Our children don't need to know about safe sex. Or about sex at all. They are happy and content watching re-runs of the umpteen shows on TV right now that showcase what an adarsh Indian household should be like, scheming against mothers-in-law, killing off pesky relatives and coming back from the dead included.

What's even worse is that these ads would insert breaks between shows that are teaching our kids some truly fine Indian values and traditions.

But then, what's fair for the goose must be fair for the moose. Or something to that effect. If they're going to ban condom commercials on the grounds that they promote unhealthy practices, they must also ideally ban other things that have the same effect. After all, our television screens are replete with sexually-loaded content. And we aren't even talking about movies and item songs; there are other television commercials too which ideally should be banned. Here are some of them:

Underwear ads: To be fair, the words "ye toh bada toing hai" could mean a number of things. A young impressionable child may look at the Amul Macho ad and think it refers to a wide screen TV. He may then see one that says "ye andar ki baat hai", and think it talks about the technology at work inside his new mobile phone. But it's unlikely. He's going to think of sex. And a story that begins with an impressionable child thinking about sex can't possibly end well.

Energy capsules: One minute a man is jaded and tired. The next minute, he is prancing about and bouncing off the walls. One of them even shows the man and wife in their bedroom! Not only are these ads misleading our children into thinking old age can be reversed, they are also telling them that when a man and woman are in a bedroom together, they don't often spend their time playing Antakshari.

Deodorant: Deodorant ads are often far worse than the condom ads! In one ad, on her first night as a married woman, this girl is seduced by a neighbour who is wearing Zatak. That's an entire gamut of things which no child should be exposed to. From what happens on a wedding night to infidelity and the concept of women having sexual desires, these are all things that children need to be shielded from.

In fact, look at all FMCG ads. If it's not soap ads that show people swanning around covered in chocolate, it's chocolate ads that show people suddenly turning sexy after taking a bite. Then there's the ads for fizzy drinks that turn people into maniacs — jumping around on tables, gyrating their hips around everyone in sight.

And since we're on the topic of unhealthy practices, what about selfies and the mobile phone ads showcasing them? We'll never understand the craze about selfies and cameras and video playback features that these phones are blatantly advertising! Are our children supposed to study or are they to spend their days gallivanting about with a phone in hand? Ban everything that doesn't promote studies!

Oh and then there's the worst of the lot!

Ek chidiya, anek chidiya: Listening to this song from the 1970s is how an entire generation of Indian kids grew up. No more. How did one bird become several birds? The birds have clearly become lovebirds and are now engaging in intense reproductive activity. Watching this would make our children wonder if the stork visited these fine birds. Ban!

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2017 12:44:47 IST

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