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Online pornography is in the eye of a storm after the gruesome rape of a five-year-old girl in the national capital. The fact that one of the accused watched porn on his phone before committing the crime has made the relation between online porn and crime against women a serious issue.

Easy availability of Internet access in Indian homes has put the future of children and teenagers at high risk. Due to
non-availability of proper gateway to check porn sites, children are getting addicted to it. Worse scenario is that they are sucked into the readily available ‘graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive’ pornography, which has endangered the society and threatens public order.

It is psychologically making an impact on the thought process of the children who are the future of the country.
Porn sites are about extreme violence, degradation and subjugation of women and the violation of children and teenagers. It extols rape, defilement and mutilation.

Pornography is not freedom of speech but an abuse of freedom of speech. Children and teenagers view the contents of hardcore sites and believe that this is how they should behave once in a relationship. They learn that violence, humiliation and degradation are 'normal' and enjoyable.

Many experts have categorically said that India is a society in a phase of transition that is based on a high segregation of men and women. In this environment viewing pornography creates heightened sexual desire and aggression in young men who have no normal interaction with women and that can often lead to violent behavior.

It is a high time that the Government of India gave a serious thought on putting a check on the ongoing pornography business, which is affecting the society and particularly the children.

There is a need to have a filter at the national gateway to put a block on such sites and making them very difficult to leak into the system.

China did it. Why cannot India? In China more than 60,000 pornographic websites have been shut. According to National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publication – nearly 1.785 million websites have been checked since the launch of the campaign in December 2009 and some 2,197 cases of dissemination of online pornography have been dealt with.

More than a dozen countries including those in Middle East have blocked porn sites. Few countries like Saudi Arabia, which directs all international Internet traffic through a proxy farm cloaked in King Abdula Aziz City for Science and technology has a system through which citizens are encouraged to actively report porn sites for blocking.

While Singapore, Internet services are subject to regulation by Media Development Authority to blocked block objectionable material, including Playboy and Youporn.

Even in Pakistan the judiciary and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) took action against porn sites by blocking and banning access to them in the country. Similarly, Iran, Burma, Cuba, Tunisia, North Korea, Syria have stringent norms against such sites.

Indian Government should look into the Supreme Court’s instructions to respond to a petition that freely available, violent porn has fueled the country’s spate of rapes targeting women and girls.

Concerned citizens call on the Indian Government to close down free Internet porn sites or at least should put a check at the gateway and filter the contents and sites.

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