Ahead of Navratri, there has been a fiasco over an ad of Manforce in Gujarati featuring Sunny Leone that says, “This Navratri play but with love”, displayed over hoardings in Gujarat. But what should we be really looking at?
You are driving on the highway in your vehicle and suddenly you come across a Manforce ad where Sunny Leone is looking at you – and you look away as if you just stared at something sinful.
While it has been our hypocrisy that we call sex a taboo but enjoy doing it behind closed doors, the Manforce ad, if looked at that way, is preventing unplanned pregnancies (with commercial gains for them ofcourse) during Navratri. How?
According to an article in The Economic Times, surveys have shown that during Navratri, condom sales go up by 25-50%, specially in Surat and Ahmedabad and the sale of oral contraceptives go up even more. It is a known fact in Gujarat that during the nine days of Navratri, young couples often indulge in sex. It is extremely common to hear that a parent hired a private detective to spy on their children for 9 days of Navratri.
It is also a known fact that a lot of women secretly undergo abortions every year due to lack of knowledge about contraceptives – putting their health at risk. According to Lancet, a medical journal’s June 2016 report, against 0.7 million reported annual abortions, India logged sales of 11 million units of popular abortion medicines, mifepristone and misoprostol. Approximately 9-10 million women undergo abortion every year, according to various surveys. IPAS India reported in 2013 that unsafe abortions killed one woman for every two hours in India (approximately 4,000 deaths a year)!
Also it is common to find condom-vending machines and HIV awareness signs put up near popular Garba venues.
So will it be wise to spend our energy towards making it safer and spreading sex education or is it wise to protest against an advertisement that is in a way, saying the truth?
Food for thought.