During lockdown, the Insta-locker room controversy has once again revealed the crisis of the teenagers. There have been many similar instances where teenagers have been a part of crimes in our country relating to sexual activities including the Nirbhaya rape case.
The Bios Lockerroom is an Intagram chat group having boys aged between 15 – 25 years from Delhi and Noida. This Instagram chat group came into limelight when a screenshot of the chats from the group was leaked in the social media wherein teenagers were found talking about rape and sharing obscene pictures of girls. Later it was claimed that the screenshot was actually shared by a girl to test the character of one of the boys in the group. Two days after this Bios lockerroom controversy, another such chat group came to the fore wherein teenager girls were found objectifying men and making unsavoury remarks against them.
Reaction of Bollywood Celebrities on this matter:
Bollywood celebrities including Swara Bhaskar, Richa Chadda and Sonam Kapoor expressed their anger on this controversy through twitter and instagram. Swara Bhaskar said that boys are growing now-a-days with toxic minds about how to rape and gang rape. Sonam Kapoor on the other hand blamed parents of such boys for this. Richa Chadda’s comment however is found to be more apt as she has used the term “teenagers” instead of “boys” in her comment. She commented that now-a-days teenagers are being confused between sex education and porn and they are unable to figure out the difference between the two.
Legal angle in the case:
Let us now understand which penal provisions are attracted for such crimes as per our Indian Legal System.
- Section 354C of Indian Penal Code – Any person found watching or taking pictures of a woman engaging in private act without his or her consent may be imprisoned for upto 7 years and may also be penalised with a fine.
- Section 66E of Information Technology Act – Any person found sharing pictures of private body part(s) of any man or woman without his or her consent may be imprisoned for 3 years and may also be penalised with a fine of ₹ 2 lakhs.
- Section 67A of Information Technology Act – Any person found sharing pictures of sexual activity of any other person may be imprisoned for 5 years and may also be penalised with a fine of ₹10 lakhs.
- Section 67B of Information Technology Act – Any person found sharing pictures of private body part(s) of any teenager or found commenting on the same may be imprisoned for 5 years and may also be penalised with a fine of ₹ 10 lakhs.
- Section 354D of Indian Penal Code – Any person found stalking a teenager girl or woman or even found hacking her email or internet may be imprisoned for 3 years and may also be penalised with a fine.
- Section 14 and 15 of POSCO Act – Child pornography is an offence under section 14 of this Act. As per section 15 of this act, if any person stores any porn involving a teenager in his or her phone, computer or any such device and has an intention to share it, then the person may be imprisoned for 5 years.
Root cause behind this matter:
Let us come to the root cause behind such issues. Some are saying free use of internet is the reason behind involvement of teenagers in such acts. But it is not really about free usage of internet. Referring to teenage boys as toxic minds is also not correct.
The root cause is the lack of proper sex education in our country both at school level and at home. In our country sex is still a taboo. Elders try to hide sex matters from children which in turn make children more inquisitive and when they do not find anyone to discuss and explain the matter to them they resort to porn and such chatgroups.
Some have made this an issue of feminism but I believe rules should be same for all be it a boy or a girl. The matter is in court and we should leave the matter to them to decide upon it and give the judgement. Media should however be careful about not revealing the identity of the child in such cases just for increasing their TRPs as it is prohibited in Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
Restricting porn sites is not the solution as now-a-days even many of the web series are no less than porn. We all have to understand the importance of proper sex education and discuss this matter freely with our children. Children need to be given space to express their point of views. We as parents and teachers have to take the responsibility of ensuring that our children are not misled in matters relating to sex. This is the only way to protect the teenagers from such acts.
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