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Posted Online on Sunday 27, February 2005 00:45 IST

MG readers in Mumbai are requested to take part

Human chain in Mumbai against Obscenity in Media

I take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Pratiba Naitthani, am a lecturer of Political Science at St. Xaviers College, Mumbai. I have filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court of Mumbai against Obscene, Violent and Vulgar Adult programmes shown on Television, Obscene Posters put up in the city and the vulgar photographs printed in the Newspapers.

As you must be aware that there is a direct link between the violence, nudity and sex shown in the media and crime against women, minors and children. There have been instances where small girls were raped by boys who themselves are below the age of 16 years. These boys admitted that they learnt it from television; it encouraged them to commit such a heinous crime. Teenagers have killed their own family members taking tips from the television. All over the world, psychologists say that television has a negative impact on minors. Research shows that crime, violence and sex shown on television directly influences human mind.

Countries like U.S.A. have started imposing fines on those television channels and radio broadcasters who show and air indecent, vulgar and violent programmes. However in our country although the law says that no Adult programme can be shown on television at any time of the day and night, the channels are blatantly violating the law and the government is not taking any action. There are laws to prohibit obscenity in public and to prohibit indecent representation of women, but they are not being implemented effectively.

Although my fight against this violence and vulgarity is going on in the court, I feel that a mass movement is also necessary in the same context. Majority of the people in our society want to stop all this, but they are somehow not expressing it with vigour and force. Although it is difficult for me to co-ordinate with all the likeminded people and unite them, I am trying my best to assemble as many people as possible.

8th March is Women’s Day, I think the day gives us an opportunity to convey our views to the Central Government in particular and to the society in general. Hence I propose to create a Human Chain, at Marine Drive on 8th March at 3.30 p.m. We will meet there with messages written on placards, posters, banners for the public, channels, media and for the Govt of India. We will wait there till 5 p.m. and then disperse.

Dr. Sanjay Aparanti, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Enforcement, Social Service Branch, has also accepted this proposal and has promised all the possible help to make this event successful. Virti Vrund, the women’s wing of Vardhman Sanskar Dham, an organisation of Jains have also joined in the movement and will be joining the Human Chain as well.

The idea is to protest against the indecent portrayal of women in the mass media, to convey a message that the women will not tolerate it any more, to create an awareness among the masses about the negative impact of media violence and vulgarity on our society in general and the children in particular, to awaken the people about their role and responsibilities towards the women and children, to make the society safe for women by protesting against the filth that is shown in the name of entertainment in the media, to tell people that they should raise their voices against the vulgarity and obscenity in public which is one of the main causes of increasing crimes against women.

Through this letter, I wish to initiate a dialogue with your organisation and hope that you agree with this cause. This is a request to you to join the Human Chain and help us clean the society of the filth and garbage, which is setting inside the minds of people. Hope you will extend a helping hand and will be present in a large number to make this event successful.

Looking forward to your positive reply and co-operation.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely

Pratiba Naitthani


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