Lindsay Pereira: We don't need condoms in India

Dec 23, 2017, 06:16 IST | Lindsay Pereira

Contraceptive ads are harmful. Sex education is overrated. We must ban them and procreate only when the government asks us to

I'm not sure why so many patriotic Indians have been upset about the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's Advisory No. 40011/ 01/2014-BC-1. It's the one that labels condom commercials indecent or inappropriate for viewing by children and bans them from being aired between 10 pm and 6 am. It's ridiculous that we are upset about a laudable policy like this, when everyone knows we don't use as many condoms as we should.

How can we have time for sex when we have to worship cows, argue about religion and assault filmmakers who dare to make films about fictional characters? File pic
How can we have time for sex when we have to worship cows, argue about religion and assault filmmakers who dare to make films about fictional characters? File pic

Apparently, only 6 per cent of Indians using contraceptives prefer condoms, so I'm not sure why we don't ban these commercials completely. If more of us used condoms, we wouldn't become the world's most populous nation by the end of the next decade, would we? We have to be first at something, so this ridiculous argument about sex education being necessary is only being put forth by people who don't want one in every seventh human being to be Indian.

The politician currently in charge of the ministry that has issued this ban obviously knows best. She has been trained to decide what we can and can't watch based on years of study at her earlier job, where she played a knowledgeable actress in a popular soap opera on television. Her other acting roles also prepared her - in ways that years of studying something at an actual university simply cannot - to understand the world and everything in it, also making her the most qualified person to decide what millions of us can and cannot be exposed to.

Non-patriotic Indians among us will argue that soap operas do far more damage to India than condom commercials ever can, because they treat women like objects, focus on regressive social practices and, every now and again, even give us delightful episodes featuring child marriage. These people don't know what they are talking about. Commercials that encourage us to use contraceptives are obviously more harmful.

We should petition our honourable minister to ban anything even remotely sexual depicted anywhere, let alone just television. The world should understand and accept that sex is not part of our culture. How can we have time for sex when we have to worship cows, argue about religion and assault filmmakers who dare to make films about fictional characters? We have no interest in sex whatsoever, and it's time the government stepped in and began regulating just what we should be allowed to watch all day.

I propose only religious and political content, 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. Why should we be forced to watch people making romantic gestures, exchanging gifts or holding hands? What next? People kissing? We don't kiss. Everyone knows kissing is only what foreigners do, or non-resident Indians who have lost their path and given up their culture for the Godless West. Think of all the positive things we can learn if the only thing we are allowed to watch is our political leaders telling us about life and living. Most of them haven't been to a decent school and probably don't know what geography, history or economics mean, but why should that stop them from teaching us about their own versions of those subjects? Since when have we been a nation interested in facts, anyway?

Condom commercials should also be banned for another reason. They depict women as people who like pleasure. This is completely against our culture, where the only pleasure women get is by serving men. Everyone knows they are happy only when the men in their lives are happy. Look at our religious and historical documents for proof. Look at our tradition of Hindi cinema and history of what passes for advertising. This distortion that implies women also take pleasure in sex is extremely wrong and can only set a bad precedent for coming generations.

Girls today may grow up to become women who enjoy sex, which is something we should do everything in our power to prevent. Here's what people opposing the ban on condom commercials don't understand: This is our government's way of showing how much it cares about us. If a government doesn't decide what we can eat, who we can sleep with, what we can watch or what we can say on Facebook, who will? Just because our ministers aren't qualified to talk about anything that requires intelligence doesn't mean they should be questioned. At some point, people may start asking for freedom of speech, too, which is horrifying. I'm glad these commercials have been banned. You should be happy, too.

When he isn't ranting about all things Mumbai, Lindsay Pereira can be almost sweet. He tweets @lindsaypereira. Send your feedback to

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