India is a country with so many different cultures and traditions. Hence, it is a sure fact that India has embraced new ideas and customs with both hands. But, still, there are certain groups of people with a mindset that blocks the new ideas and customs completely. In India, anything that fulfills the deepest desires of people or offers pleasure is considered a taboo and against our culture.
Just few days back, SnapDeal was slammed with a court notice for selling sex toys and accessories. As per the law, anything that is considered obscene will come under the radar. But, the complaint registered was targeted towards the highly debated anti-homosexuality law (Article 377). According to the report by Quartz India, Suhaas Joshi, a Supreme Court lawyer has filed a complaint against SnapDeal.com and Chennai-based OhMySecret.com with an intent to test the limits of Article 377.
The anti-homosexuality law (Article 377) states that it is illegal if you are involved in any kind of unnatural sex or intercourse. According to Suhaas Joshi, the article no where restricts up to Gay sex or anal sex, but any kind of unnatural sex that even involves the use of sex toys or any other forms of sexual pleasure.
Being a Supreme Court lawyer, Mr. Suhaas Joshi would be well aware that according to Indian Penal Code under section 292 of the code, sex toys are already banned in India since colonial days. It is still unclear whether he did it to shame the homosexual community or he had some other intentions.
To get a better understanding on this, we must have a clear knowledge about the law.
What does the law say?
Since colonial days, sex toys were banned in India and the law still persists under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the ban or the law strictly prohibits the selling, hiring, exhibition, and circulation of sex toys or any other things such as books, pamphlets, posters or any other object that is considered to be obscene and may corrupt people.
Although it sounds a bit idiotic to me and I often wonder how can something that is used to enhance sexual pleasure corrupt people. Yeah, wrong or unsafe products can mislead people, but then, there are quality stuff too which are harmless. Ironically, the point to be noted here is that the law restricts only the sale, advertisement or display of sex toys not their usage. Here’s where the Article 377 comes into play which bans any sort of sexual intercourse that is termed to be unnatural biologically. So, now you can see the connection between the 2 different laws. Yet, there’s no clarity that if Article 377 restricts the usage of sex toys too or not.
However, the fact remains that SnapDeal.com or any other eCommerce website in India is not allowed to sell sex toys of any kind as per the law. The fun fact here is that sex toys are used in India since colonial days and considering the fact that we are land that introduced Kamasutra, I can’t digest the claims about against our culture or traditions.
Should the law be changed?
If you ask me, I don’t think there’s any need to continue with this law. People may debate about morals, ethics and culture but then I would simply ask, Can pleasuring yourself be considered immoral or unethical in India. If this continues then in the next few decades we may see a ban on masturbating and then there would be days assigned for having sex for couples. Laws must be made to sustain peace and harmony in the society while taking care that nobody faces any kind of injustice.
According to me, unless and until, it harms anybody, the laws must stay away from anything that we do in our bedroom or personal space. The mentality of our society must change and must address the welfare of the people of the society rather than focusing on tradition or values. Change is eminent to move forward and being a country that’s a hub of different cultures, India must embrace new ideas and trends to move along with the changing times.
Remember, we hail from a country which is the birthplace of the epic book “Kama Sutra”. Though I haven’t read it yet, as far as my knowledge goes, the book is all about pleasing your partner in the most intimate way as well as pleasing yourself trying different sex positions.
If our history has a whole thesis written and displayed in the form of architecture all over Khajuraho, how can we banish or restrict the sale of sex toys which are nothing but objects offering sexual pleasure.
We dream to live a pleasurable life, but when it comes to pleasuring oneself, the society or the law throws restrictions or bans in the name of cultural values and traditions.
So, what’s your take on the ban of Sex Toys in India? Let us know in the comments below!