Increase in indecent representation of women in advertisement
There is an alarming rise in the cases of indecent representation of women in the country
Parliament passed the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act in 1986. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir and is meant to ‘prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures’.
‘Indecent representation of women’ means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to or denigrating women or as is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality or morals.
Under this ActL( Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act in 1986)
No person shall publish or cause to be published or arrange or take part in the publication or exhibition of any advertisement which contains indecent representation of women in any form.
No person shall produce or cause to be produced, sell, let to hire, distribute, circulate or send by post any material which contains indecent representation of women in any form.
However, this Act does not apply to:
any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, photograph, representation or figure
the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, photography, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, art or learning, or other objects of general concern or
which is kept or used bonafide for religious purposes.
any representation sculptured, engraved, painted or otherwise represented on or in:
any ancient monument or
any temple or on any car used or the conveyance of idols or kept or used for any religious purpose
any film to which the provisions of Part II of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 are applicable. [iii]
Any Gazetted Officer authorized by the State Government may search any place in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed and seize any material which he has reason to believe contravenes any of the provisions of this Act. [iv]
The Act also provides for the punishment of offences under it with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to two years and with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and with an enhanced punishment in the event of a second or subsequent conviction.
Sections 292, 293 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) govern the general law of obscenity in India. In the 1965 case of Ranjit Udeshi, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the obscenity law on the grounds that it constitutes a reasonable restriction on the right to freedom of expression, which is incorporated in Article 19 (2)(d) of the Constitution. The case involved an appeal by a bookseller against the Bombay High Court's decision to convict him together with his partners for being in possession of an ‘obscene book for the purpose of sale', the book in question being Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence.
Now what a this site said(http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article8500.ece)
Dominating Kalyani or ‘Dadi Sa’ of television serial Balika Vadu or Ammaji of ‘Na Aana Is Desh Meri Lado’ portraying women in a negative role, or for that matter scantily clad women in clips advertising men’s products may require the government’s approval before being aired or published if the recommendation for a Central authority to regulate representation of women is approved by Parliament.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has made this suggestion in a fresh draft of the Prohibition of Indecent Representation of Women and Children Act, 2008, an amendment to the existing Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
The NCW has, however, stressed on “an obligation to create and maintain a self-regulatory mechanism.”
NCW chairperson Girija Vyas told journalists here on Monday that the recommendations had been sent to Centre.
“The existing Act does not have enough powers to deal with the electronic media, internet and mobile phones. It also lacked proper implementation and there were hardly any convictions, hence the need for a new law.” The proposed Central authority would be headed by the Member Secretary, NCW, with representatives from the Advertising Standards Council of India, Press Council of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member experienced in working on women’s issue to be nominated by the women’s panel.
The authority would receive complaints, appeals and grievances or take suo motu notice with powers to requisition tapes of any programmes or advertisements of publication .
It would recommend to the Centre, guidelines or norms or amendments to laws and be vested with the powers of a civil court. Dr. Vyas said. “It is equally important that women refuse to be portrayed as commodities and in a derogatory manner. Women should act as role models.”
Widening the scope of the Act, the definition of “advertisement” will now include any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, laser, light, sound, electronic or any other media.
So, I think the implementation of this law is poor .By advocating widening the scope of a law that has been criticised widely from within the women's movement, and not taking into account the existing legal framework, the NCW has shown that it has no interest in taking forward the debate on representation of women in the media in any meaningful manner.
Share your thoughts.