The Indian government on Monday imposed restrictions on advertising condoms on television, saying ads would only be allowed late at night as they could be inappropriate viewing for children. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also added that condom advertisements will from thereafter be allowed only between 10 pm and 6 am to avoid exposing children to such material.
Citing the Cable Television Network Rules, the ministry said advertisements that endanger the safety of children or create in them any interest in unhealthy practices shall not be carried. The move, it said, was "to avoid exposure of such material to children and to ensure strict adherence to the provisions".
"Any failure will attract action," said the copy of the advisory.
Needless to say, Twitter was quick to react with many people pointing out the redundancy of such a move.
Earlier, Child psychologist Achal Bhagat told the BBC the decision was questionable."If the idea is that it sex is indecent, then why only restrict condom ads when other types of sexual content are freely available?" he said, citing how easy it was for children to access pornography on the internet.
Talking openly about sex and contraception is still largely taboo in India. Conservative social norms mean many men and women are still embarrassed to shop for condoms, whose usage remains low in rural areas of the country. In September, an Indian condom maker was forced to withdraw a new advertisement promoting the use of the prophylactic ahead of a major Hindu festival, local media reported.