What Do We Do with Obscenity in Times of India?
It is well known that Times of India has been in the
forefront of corruption of journalistic ethics in India with the introduction
of soft porn into the daily media.
Over the last few days we have been debating the article
which appeared in TOI on February 11th with the title “Govt Can’t Ban Porn
Website for Obscenity”. This article written under the byline of Mr Manoj
Mitta has created a big stir in the country as well as in the blogosphere.
This article was published with the specific intention of expressing the
support of TOI to the banned website savitabhabhi.com. The publication had to
bring to the notice of the public that the site is now accessible in an
alternate URL and this “Advertisement” was carried through this article. In
order to have maximum impact, the article was accorded the pride of place in
the top of the front page on the right hand side with a space of nearly
quarter page. More over the article appeared in perhaps all the editions in
the same prominent position.
savitabhabhi.com could not have bought such a front page
advertisement across all editions except for a cost of perhaps over 5 lakhs.
It is therefore essential for us to think why TOI accorded such a premium
position to the article. Was it a matter of national interest? or Was it of
financial interest to TOI? Obviously, the article had no national interest at
stake and hence it must have been a matter of great interest to TOI
It is in this connection that we need to take note that TOI
has been a purveyor of a new culture on soft porn in India preint media. I
spotted one online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-reading-times-of-india-the-pornographic-paper.html which
had been floated some time back on this issue. I also spotted a interesting
blog enttry at http://dilipbarad.blogspot.com/2008/04/obscenity-and-nudity-in-times-of-india.html also
highlighting the same.
The blogger Dilip Barad lamented
“…Now, it’s in main news item that TOI don’t miss a chance
to print obscene, indecent, and lewd pictures. It all began under a beautiful
name of ‘Save the Girl Child’ and see where has TOI gone. Is it necessary to
print naked female figures to save the girls and women? Every now and then TOI
bring sensual story in the name of ‘save the girl child’. Their representation
of the story which is illustrated with similar kind of picture is so
lascivious, voyeuristic and libidinous that at times it raises serious
suspicions in the mind of reader. What is the intention of TOI in ‘Save the
Girl Child’ campaign? Is it really to save girls and women or to give worst
schemes and designs to woo, seduce and molest more girls and women..”.
How can TOI get away with this sort of journalism? Is there
no Press Council which can take action? Or is Press Council powerless?. If
Press Council is powerless in respect of “soft porn in Print media”, then is
it also powerless when TOI uses its columns to make
false statements about
Information Technology Act amendments as they have made in the article of
February 11th which has been countered in my earlier two articles ,http://www.bloggernews.net/123795
and http://www.bloggernews.net/123809 .
Is it not coming under the “Ethical Norms” that Press Council is expected to
protect? Is there no public responsibility for the Press Council? Does it act
only when a formal complaint is made? Or is TOI group too powerful to be
touched by the Press Council of India?
I hope we, the public of India can get a reply from Press
Council of India in this regard.
PS: I spotted this webpage http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=52933 which
says that the Supreme Court had issued a notice to Press Council of India and
the Government if it is necessary to issue “Adult Tag” to news papers. I am
not aware of the further developments on this. I request readers who may have
information on this to share it with public.
This is an earlier Press Council ruling on obscenity in
case of TOI:http://presscouncil.nic.in/Decisions/decision05/38.htm
February 13, 2010
Govt Can Ban Porn
websites for obscenity
Times of India.. Is it Set to
Mislead the Public on Savita Bhabhi Issue?
Govt Cannot Ban Porn Websites for Obscenity... TOI
Boys who watch pornography indulge in casual sex .. a study TOI
Petition against TOI at petition.com
Adult content make kids sexually active
Urgent need to ban porn
websites: CJI Balakrishnan
War on Savitabhabhi.com needs to be continued
Govt Bans Popular Toon Porn Site Savitabhabhi.com; Mounting Concern Over
Times Promoting Obscenity August 3, 2001
Why Times of
India is Wrong..Oct 19,2007
Please do not try to manipulate public opinion with planted stories..Oct
Recipe for Killing Journalistic Ethics..Oct 21,2007
Parliamentary Committee Report on ITA 2006 ..analysed..
D.Venkatesh Pastay, Advocate...Nov
Secularists all set to play a fraud on the society, Oct 31,2006
Comments are Welcome at