A Goa legislature recently demanded a ban on condom advertisements featuring actress Sunny Leone on buses, operated by state transport operation. TV actors talk about the problems that arise when lawmakers themselves raise objections to ads that promote safe sex.
Karan Oberoi: We are a country of 1.25 billion people. By looking the other way or being sheepish about our sexual practices or orientation, we are not achieving anything. The idea is to openly discuss and address the issues that plague us, safe sex being paramount amongst them. Also, there is a definitive need to plan our families, because if we don’t this would lead to a draining of resources of our country and our families would find it harder to survive. A lack of education is one of the primary reasons for this population explosion that we are facing. We have to create the right kind of education and encourage a dialogue about it. It is of an absolute essence! Further to that, there is also an overwhelming need to not see sex as something shameful. That is what has led to half the problems that plague us with nobody willing to discuss it.
Shakti Arora: I think they should definitely advertise it because it creates awareness, but maybe we can avoid using explicit pictures. Sanitary pads are also advertised but we don’t have any inhibitions regarding that. We never feel shy watching those ads because they aren't explicit, but condom ads are.
Ramman Handa: Sex has always been a taboo in our society and it's a proven fact that the things which have restrictions, attracts the youth the most. Putting a ban on sex education encourages rapes and over population in our country. It is very important to educate our country’s citizens about safe sex. This can be done through any means, be it by introducing sex education in schools or by advertising condoms. Putting a ban on condom ads won't be of any help to the society instead it will provoke our youth and encourage unsafe sex in our country.
Karan Wahi: Things like these come up because people, who are taking these decisions, are uneducated. I think before we talk about sex education, we need to educate these politicians. These are the same people, who will enjoy these ads behind closed doors. When did preaching safe sex become a bad influence on anyone?
Shardul Pandit: I find it funny. Are we okay with a population explosion and no jobs or resources for everyone? How can education about the use to contraceptives be offensive to us? We are okay with women getting stalked by political leaders but safe education is shameful? We are okay with women getting assaulted but trying to educate the society is shameful? We are okay with posters of disgusting movies splashed across but this is offensive? So men beating women on roads is not shameful? Men peeing on roads is not shameful? Like seriously are we the same enlightened society that gave the world Kamasutra?
Hrishikesh Pandey: I would say that earlier when people were not that aware, these advertisements were not justified. But now, things have changed. We have the internet. People have so much exposure. All of us are educated. So instead of banning these advertisements entirely, the vulgarity of them can be removed and some decent videos or ads can be made. People need to be aware of birth control as well as the diseases that can be spread by having unprotected sex.
Mrunal Jain: Banning a Sunny Leone ad on a bus, will not do any good. In a way, we are banning safe sex. This is essential for population control as well as personal health. Maybe, we can work on the graphics of such ads, but banning them is wrong.