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Govt. plays Net Nanny to Savita Bhabhi

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Quite likely that most of the readers of this blog would not have heard of Savita Bhabhi. For the uninitiated, it is an Indian website which chronicles the sexual adventures of a married Indian woman (Bhabhi is sister-in- law in Hindi) in cartoon form. The Govt. banned the site recently. More details and a healthy debate at ContentSutra. The mainstream media and blogs have taken up the cause of the banned website and have spoken against the ban. My two-bits on the issue:

  • The nature of the internet beast is such that it can’t be controlled by Governments. For every ban or gag on YouTube, Blogger and specific sites there will be 5 different ways of getting around them. For those in the know and seeking ways to violate such bans there are several Anonymizer Websites. So a ban on this specific website can be easily overcome.
  • Such websites exist because there is a market for them. A ban on SB is not going to bring down access to smut on the Net. Just as cigarettes, alcohol and other forms of addiction too have a market. While the Govt. is right in playing a regulatory role, it is up to the civil society to ensure that access to any corrupting stuff is controlled. The right education and transfer of good values from the parents to children is critical in ensuring that impressionable minds don’t have access to such stuff easily. Which takes me back to the nature of the Internet beast. A kid could be searching for information on Paris for a project and may land in iffy territory. Can the Govt. step in every time? It can’t.
  • I am not speaking up for sites like SB. But ban on the site is not going to address the larger issue. Those who rallied for a ban on this site are well within their rights. So are those fighting against the ban. A banned substance is usually made more enticing. Not surprisingly there are Save Savita websites and some chatter on micro blogging sites. A blanket ban will naturally evoke such a reaction.
  • The ban is a simplistic and knee-jerk reaction. Why single out just this site? How does one classify some of the stuff on FTV or music videos or even ads? Some of the ads for the deo sprays are plain embarrassing to watch with family. Will the Govt. step in every time? Should they? It is up to us, the people to set our own standards and boundaries. There will always be rough neighborhoods in every city. It is up to the society to educate children about the perils of such neighborhoods. If as an adult, someone visits such places it is on his own peril. But why let the Govt. tell us that?

Any thoughts on this whole episode?

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7 Comments

  1. Actually, FTV wasn’t left out either. They had to start a separate FTV India which was devoid of total nudity. At least that was the case. No idea what content they show now.

  2. You do underestimate the readers of this site. 🙂

  3. Pretty straight and sensible advice that straddles libertarianism and parentalism. For want of a better description. Good work.

  4. I never visited SB. (Correct!)

    But I had introduced my friends to SB after it was featured in a Sunday DNA edition and they never stopped buying me drinks.

    Now that it has been removed, I have to start buying my own drinks.

    • Simha, there is always hope! I believe the guy who started the website is planning to contest the ruling in court. Let’s discuss this over a drink when we meet next!

  5. Actually, FTV wasn’t left out either. They had to start a separate FTV India which was devoid of total nudity. At least that was the case. No idea what content they show now.

  6. its realy stupid guys. the way of Banning savithabahabi is stupid. infact ISP just blocked their DNS. should build a great firewall. tech guys like me can easily access it with proxy servers like ipcloaks.com , internetcloak.com anywhere in India.

    thanks to Most Indians who are not aware of Proxies.

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