The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Rakesh Kumar Duan, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
On the 25th of February 2015, The Times of India published about Snapdeal being taken to court by a Delhi-based lawyer for selling sex toys and accessories.
According to the report, ” The Delhi-based lawyer said he moved against Snapdeal to check the limits of anti-homosexuality law Section 377. He has also filed a case against another e-commerce company Ohmysecret.com for ‘abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscenity’. This website was closed down last month after incurring heavy loss. Snapdeal has been selling sex toys for quite some time and this is the first instance where the company is facing legal consequences.”
I don’t get the point of dragging section 377 into it, which criminalizes any unnatural sex, which includes gay sex as well. But since marketing of sex toys in India is illegal, how does it matter if it’s ‘straight’ sex or ‘gay’ sex ?
But again, India Today in one of its articles states: “The law is fuzzy about the sale of sex toys. One can import and sell them as long as the packaging is not ‘obscene’. According to the law, a sex toy can be deemed obscene if it resembles a part of the human anatomy, but the ones that don’t can be sold without any legal problems. Indian hypocrisy at work again. E-tailers also offer discreet packaging and delivery. The courier boy does not know what’s inside, nor are there any tell-tale signs on the packet.”
Further what anyone is doing inside one’s bedroom, as long as it’s consensual and not harming anyone, should not be any third person’s business and the government should not try to impose any rule on such things. As human beings, at least everyone should have this much right to privacy and freedom.
On similar lines, firstpost.com published an article titled “Flipkart’s sexual-wellness section too hot for Telangana Government. To be banned in state?” on 15th January 2015 mentioning about Flipkart.com and some other websites being under the scanner of the Telangana Government for displaying ‘objectionable content’. According to the post, the govt was planning to ban such websites to check the rising crimes against women.
Apparently they were linking sexual assaults in the country to sex toys bought online. Trak.in seems to have an apt reply to this move by the Telangana Goverment.: ” You mean a rapist first orders sex toys online and then goes ahead committing the point once he collects his parcel at the doorstep? We wonder where the state is heading to with heads thinking in this direction.”
As always, India is a land of great hypocrites. Instead of blaming sex toys and porn websites for the increasing crimes against women and focusing on instant-fame-seeking lawyers making gibberish statements, India would be a more safer and happier place if the governments focused more on handling the more pressing issues like revving up the pending trials against sexual convicts, removing the archaic law of Section 377, etc.