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(3) And of course, as we are all quick to mention these days, Delhi is the unofficial ‘rape capital of the India (and more recently, the world)’, notwithstanding the reality that several areas within India itself (notably with little to internet penetration) have far higher statistics of rape, sexual assault and violence against women.
It is important to note that feminist thought around the issue of pornography greatly varies, and that certain urban women’s groups have been key in implementing many of India’s censorship laws.
Whether it will only be a passing experiment or lead to something darker, and whether it’s a risk we need to take, is a question law makers have to face.’ (4) However, what is the greater risk – that of people ‘wanting to try it out’ without consent, or enforcing greater internet censorship?
In early April 2013, lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani filed a Public Interest Litigation petition to the Supreme Court of India calling for a ban against the consumption of pornography.
He thus brings to the fore an argument that has been thoroughly but inconclusively rehearsed across the world: pornography leads to sexual violence.Submitted soon after the gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi sparked ripples across the world and finally woke Indian media up to the seriousness of sexual assault within the country, Vaswani’s timely petition captured both public imagination and media spotlight.Online Porn and Offline Violence An editor of leading Indian daily The Hindu, Vaishna Roy, draws attention to two facts in support of the pornography ban.First, two men who were recently arrested for raping a 5-year old girl in Delhi had been watching porn on their mobile phones preceding the rape; and second, that according to Google, New Delhi has recorded the highest number of searches for the word ‘porn’ across the globe.
An extract from the petition reads: ‘This petition is also filed for enforcement of the fundamental rights of 75% of the Indian population including women/girls/children (housewife, working and non-working women, students) as women and children of India’ (1) (my italics).Laying out his argument in no uncertain terms Vaswani goes on to say, ‘The severity and gravity of images is increasing…