« Previous | Next»

20 Dec 2004

PS: This is Obscene!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 10:36pm

'Caught in the act' were two DPS school-kids (Ok, not kids anymore), the 'fielder' was a mobile phone, the 'ball' was circulated among friends, enemies and strangers, and the 'fourth umpire' is taken into custody! His fault? A 'wrong decision' - so says Section 67 of the Information Technology Act: transmission of obscene material through electronic media.

I'm not trying to justify either the DPS kids or the IIT student or Avnish Bajaj - my justifying it or not doesn't make any difference, to be honest :) - I'm just trying to understand if logic and rationality has any place in Law.

Baazee's 'user agreement' mentions that items bought or sold "shall not be obscene or contain pornography", but it also mentions that "You are solely responsible for Your Information, and we act as a passive conduit for your online distribution and publication of Your Information". If a user exploits a service, is it the fault of the service provider? Apparently, Law believes so. And, one should not question the Law - all the gibberish about fundamental rights and democracy notwithstanding - for it amounts to sacrilege! So, bye bye Avnish.

It had been perhaps asked a million times but I'm asking yet again - what 'precisely' is 'obscenity'? In this case, it was two school kids indulging in a sexual act. This clip was circulated as MMS. The boy is 17, the girl 16. So, is obscenity in this case being referred to the act? Or, to the act in relation with the age of the kids?

It's absurd to assume that a 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl are not grown up enough to decide what to do. So, they obviously 'knew' what they were doing. If not for the mistake of capturing it on the mobile, and circulating it, in turn, their (mis)adventure would have remained only as a memory in their minds, and a huge real estate - print and electronic and psychological - has been saved. Why is it that we make such a big issue of a 'mutually agreed upon intimate moment'? (One may also remember the hullabaloo about Shahid-Kareena's) It appears to me that most people do not understand obscenity or vulgarity clearly. In a sexually-repressed society, anything to do with sex is taken to be obscene! God save such societies with shallow morality.

If selling pornography electronically is illegal, is it legal if one sells non-electronically? If so, how does one explain such dubious distinction? If selling non-electronically is also illegal, does that mean the adult VCDs, DVDs, books, magazines, etc do not come under 'pornography'? If they are 'porn' then why not put the owners of music/book/video stores as well behind bars? If they have different logic for these, then - if the school-kids recorded it on a video disc and completed it with titling, et al, and sold it as a short-film, would it then have been fine? If that is not fine, then why not also nail all those 'obscene' filmmakers and music video makers? What is the distinction? What is it that makes this particular act obscene? Is it because they are school-kids and so 'should' be only studying and not doing anything else? Fine, a valid point that! Now, in that case, why not arrest the principal and teachers of the school for having 'not taught' the 'right' values to children? Why not arrest the parents for having 'brought them up' with such distorted morality?

What is the message that the Law and media are giving to the people? Do they want to say - make 'proper' use of electronic devices and medium - mobile phones, websites, etc? What is 'proper' usage? Logically, anything that does not intrude another person's space - physical, psychological, spiritual, whatever - is 'proper'. In this DPS MMS issue, there wasn't any intrusion whatsoever. And, come on, when the boy himself records it and flaunts it, why catch the IIT student for putting it on Baazee and making some money out of it? And, Baazee is an online store that facilitates buying and selling of products and information. I'd have understood the validity of the issue if the whole thing was a planned attempt - if the boy and girl were administered drugs or were forced to 'do it' by someone who recorded it for selling online and making money out of it.

And what the big shit about 'obscenity'!? Is it any more obscene than the way politicians exploit their power and position?; than the way media joins hands with those crooked brats and fools public?; than the way police treats a common man in trouble?; than the way we gossip about our best buddies and worst enemies?; than the way US framed Iraq and waged a war while the whole world watched mutely?; than the way people make it to top by crooked means?; than the way traffic police 'frames' a driver and empties his pockets?;... it's an endless list!

How easily people make 'absolute' distinctions between 'good and 'bad, 'right' and 'wrong'! It will always confound me!

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

Add comment