Telangana State Government is planning to ban Flipkart Sexual Wellness – Buy Sexual Wellness Products and www.imbesharam.com, www.thatspersonal.com and www.ohmysecrets.com.
Flipkart is being scrutinized too for having introduced a sexual wellness section in July last year. Other e-commerce sites like Snapdeal, Amazon and others also have similar sections and sell products like sex toys, kits, edible-lingerie, lubricants and condoms. They seem to not have caught the state government’s eye yet.
The government told Business Standard that they were considering the ban due to the rising crimes against women.
It has been observed that 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. The government, under its plan of action is looking at directing various Internet service providers to block the websites for violating the provisions of the IT Act 2000, as amended by amendment Act 2008.
The ISPs that are under the scanner include Airtel, Hathway, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Indicom and Vodafone. The government is finding all sex toys and intimacy products too hot to handle.
Imbesharam.com, which was started in July 2013 and endorsed by Sunny Leone has been celebrated for its lack of shame as the name suggests, and has been a huge store of adult lifestyle products in India. The store has its origins in Florida, as it was co-formed by two Indian Americans Salim Rajan and Raj Armani.
Ohmysecrets.com was also started in 2013 in Chennai. The proud owner Vinodh Reddy claims that the online store has 15,000 people shopping daily.
Thatspersonal.com is the newest in the circle, which was formed on January 2014. There are big techies who have invested in this website owned by Samir Saraiya. Investors and advisors for the website are Jaspreet Bindra (ex microsoft), DDW CEO Vikram Varma. Amrut Group of Companies chairman Abhay Bhalerao, former IAMAI Chairman Neville Taraporewalla and others.
The argument that porn websites lead to crime against women has been an age long debate. It is however strange to see governments think in the league acting half their age. The elected representatives of the state could certainly take better steps towards the raising crime rate, than banning the adult-themed websites. The government’s move, which if carried out, will have its repercussions in form of a major public outcry
Flipkart, which launched a sexual-health and wellness in July 2014 could be facing a possible ban in the state of Telangana as the state government has said it finds its offerings ‘objectionable.’
According to an Economic Times report, the Telangana government has set it sights on blocking sites like Iambesharam.com, Thatspersonal.com and Ohmysecrets.com (all of which sell adult-themed selling sex related products) and also Flipkart.
The state government has asked various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure that these sites are blocked under the IT Act of 2000.
One government official told ET that the decision was taken because the government wanted to block porn sites as they lead to crimes against women. While this is an oft-repeated argument, that porn websites lead to crime against women, it is strange that the government thinks that e-commerce portals should also be banned.
Also while Flipkart’s name has come up in the list, e-commerce sites like Snapdeal, Amazon and others which also have similar sections do not seem to have caught the state government’s eye yet. Snapdeal and Amazon also have sexual-wellness sections like Flipkart which sell the same products like sex toys, kits, edible-lingerie, lubricants and condoms among other items.
While Flipkart has not responded to the story, it remains to be seen if the state government’s request to block what it deems as ‘objectionable content’ online will actually be carried out. For now, it sounds like another over-enthusiastic move by a government to curb online freedom.
The report comes soon after the Indian government blocked 32 websites including Vimeo, Github, etc for alleged ‘anti-India’ content and jihadist propaganda. The 32 websites were later unblocked.
The order was issued to block all 32 websites following complaint of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad that ISIS was disseminating content through them. All websites later responded that they will work with government and removed the content.
Given the way Vimeo-Github ban saw considerable outrage all across social-media, it’s likely that the Telangana government’s move, if it is carried out, will witness a similar outcry