Hindu Editorial Analysis 25th December 2017

Hindu Editorial Analysis 25th December 2017 - Dailygkaffairs

Flawed in the name of indecency :-

Context :-

  • On December 11, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to television channels banning all “advertisements of condoms which could be indecent/inappropriate for viewing by children” between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • The advisory was issued because it came to the notice that “some channels” were carrying “advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children.”
  • It was later reportedly clarified that the advisory only applied to “sexually explicit” advertisements meant to “titillate” the audience.

Why we need to applaud the government’s decision ?

  • Because  it grant a safe harbour to advertisements which it considers “indecent”, instead of banning them altogether.
  • By allowing “indecent” condom advertisements to be disseminated between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the government has empowered parents to decide what their children can and cannot watch, while ensuring that adults are not deprived of content which they are entitled to view.
  • The ban imposed by the Ministry is also applaudable because it has been inflicted on advertisements, or “commercial speech” which, in constitutional law, is often considered to be a form of “low value” speech.

Why banning indecent condoms advertisements is flawed ?

  • First, Ministry has advised channels to ban all condom advertisements which “could be indecent/inappropriate for viewing by children”. But how does one decide whether something “could” possibly be “indecent, inappropriate”, “sexually explicit” or “titillating”? This sentence has broader concept because when different people see the same condom advertisement, many may disagree over whether it is “indecent”. Some may find it funny or informative, while others may consider it obscene or distasteful. The word “inappropriate” used in the Ministry’s advisory is even more vague than the word “indecent”.
  • Second, Ministry has also made the fatal mistake of bracketing all “children” into the same conceptual category. What is suitable for viewing by a 17-year-old boy may not be appropriate for a three-year-old girl, and both may be considered “children”. It may have been a better idea for the government to have prohibited “indecent” condom advertisements during programmes that are likely to be viewed by young children such as cricket matches or cartoons.
  • Third, According to Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, it bars any advertisement that “endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices”. But if we consider Ministry view on banning condom advertisements, can it really be considered an “unhealthy practice” for a sexually active 17-year-old to have safe sex? Whether we like it or not, some teenagers below the age of adulthood may engage in sexual relations. Further, it is human nature which is responsible for our sexual impulse, not condom advertisements.

Government narrow focus :-

  • Television programmes shown even in the early hours of the morning can now be recorded on a digital video recorder and can be watched anytime in a day.
  • Pornography is freely available on the Internet.
  • HBO series like , “Game of Thrones” (which has nudity and extreme violence), from comparatively tame condom advertisements are freely available on internet.
  • Newspapers which carry graphic columns by “sex experts”, columns which offer advice to couples with sexual problems, are available for all to read.
  • The government believes that condom advertisements are “unhealthy” for children but the government must not forget that condoms can help prevent unplanned pregnancies and restrict the spread of sexually transmitted (sometimes life-threatening) diseases.
  • It is difficult to interpret words such as “indecent” and “titillating”, and in order to make their content suitable for viewing by children of all ages.
Conclusion :- Despite having good intentions to ban those condom advertisements Govt also need to have a wide focus on certain things like which explicitly promote condom advertisements and is in reach of children very easily & whether these condom advertisements have a good impact on children or not..

Technology alone is not the solution :-

What is the issue?

  • The government may not even have the tools to ‘solve’ the problem of air pollution in our cities
  • It may take years of worse conditions before things get better, unless some transformational alternatives are seriously considered

Serious condition in Delhi

  • Recently in Delhi, concentrations of particulates below 2.5 thousandths of a millimetre in size
  • The particulates settle deep in the lungs, were 22 times the WHO standard
  • In November 2016, they were 16 times the standard
  • Other cities are slightly better, but still worse than the standard

How to find ways to reduce emissions from the sources of pollution?
Emissions intensity can be divided into technological and non-technological elements

  • For example n cars, engine technology that uses less polluting fuels could improve efficiency
  • But it will take at least three decades for the current fleet to turn over sufficiently towards zero-emission vehicles, before their contribution to air pollution reduces significantly
  • However, this is not sufficient if the total number of cars increases or people drive a lot more
  • It is vital, therefore, to pay attention to non-technological aspects such as urban planning, to reduce driving, and to increase cycling, walking, and use of public transport
  • Should not be seen as loss of welfare: The need for travel may also have to go down by voluntary reductions in consumption
  • And it should not be viewed as loss of welfare but rather as opportunities to enhance leisure time, health, and recreation
  • This would be a reduction in activity, not just in emissions intensity

Essentials of reducing emissions intensity 

  • Using the best available technologies for various sources is absolutely essential
  • Other ways of reducing emissions intensity are also needed
  • Like urban areas need expanded walking, non-motorised cycling, waterways, and footpaths
  • Many cities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas have shown how this can be done
  • And several Indian mayors and bureaucrats are already familiar with these models

Other ways of doing this

  • There are also opportunities to reduce polluting activities in other sectors such as power generation and industrial production
  • This would mean reducing emissions intensity, but also avoiding certain activities or substituting them with others
  • Such approaches also offer co-benefits such as improved health, reduced carbon emissions and new forms of collaboration across social class

Policymakers are ignoring non-technological solutions

  • Policymakers now rely almost entirely on technology, technologists and technocratic views by economists for policy-making
  • And thus offering a limited view of the problem and its solutions
  • They also need to overcome the corruptive and overwhelming influence of motor vehicle manufacturers, power producers, developers, and other large stakeholders on decisions taken

No one is rich or poor infront of air pollution

  • Unlike water pollution, where the rich can buy or use filtered water, the rich cannot pay their way out of air pollution.
  • Filters and hermetically sealed living spaces offer only temporary reductions and the fantasy of clean air.
  • In fact, ozone, a dangerous air pollutant, can eat into filters, just as badly as it can destroy the lungs of even healthy youth.


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