India Uncut

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Protecting the kids

My favourite avuncular blogger, Peter Griffin, points to Mid Day carrying excerpts from the Bad Sex Awards and asks:
A newspaper lands up in our homes, has puzzles for the brats, etcetera. Are you comfortable with the kiddos finishing the Jumble and then turning to a page of rather descriptive text, even if a few perfectly normal body-part type words are *******ed out?
Go leave comments here if you have a take on that.

Meanwhile, here's my answer: I have no problem with what Mid Day did at all. I think the responsibility for the content their kids are allowed to consume lies with parents, and if they feel that Mid Day has gone too far, they can cancel their subscription of the paper. Mid Day should be free to carry the content they want, as long as it does not impinge on anyone's rights; their consumers are free to reject that content if they do not like it.

Ah, you might argue, but parents cannot monitor their kids all the time, and 'society' should be responsible for ensuring that such content does not reach kids at all. Well, consider what would happen if that is taken to its logical conclusion: kids have access to television so the moral police will ban anything they consider objectionable on TV; ditto other mainstream media; and heck, we'll have censorship on the internet as well. The kids -- and today's kids are smarter than my generation was, and no doubt know only too well what "otorhinolaryngological caverns" are -- will find a way around it anyway, but in the meantime, we'll have power-hungry bureaucrats and political demagogues controlling our freedom of expression. You ok with that?
amit varma, 11:55 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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