Leading daily's comic series 'Agent Rana' causes furore; petition filed against it

Agent Rana, a comic strip regularly featured in the Times of India is raising many eyebrows because of its explicit content

We frown down upon adult content in U/A-rated films, because sanskaars. But what happens when an easily accessible newspaper that’s within reach of most underage kids in India decides to publish sexually explicit cartoon series? Outrage and an online petition, that’s what.

Agent Rana, the comic series in question seems to revolve around just one issue – sexual gratification. And while there isn’t anything wrong with that, how about we limit porn to publications that aren’t delivered to doorsteps in most parts of the country? The current culture of using foul language on popular radio shows, the normalisation of violence, sexual assault and such like on the countless TV serials is a worrisome trend. While there is much talk of regulating (a certain kind of) cinema to make it more adaptable to ‘our culture’, there seems to be little or no regulation when it comes to things that actually matter.

A petition has been filed against the series by Antara Sen Dave at change.org which says:  TOI: Stop publishing novel ‘Agent Rana’ with sexual content inappropriate for children.

Why do you ask? Well, first in-your-face sexual content would be one reason. These are some excerpts of dialogues from the series:

“I will give you the time of your life in bed tonight”.

“Be a gentleman and hold me, please…You will not regret it”.

“I will keep the bed warm for you”

“My hero.. You were masterful with them.. Now I will make it worth your while”

Twitter was quick to catch up:

The petition states the problem with the language of the content and the portrayal of a scantily-clad woman right in the face of young minds:

This is some of sexual content that my son has been exposed to after the Times of India published a graphic novel in its newspaper. My sons, aged 7 and 10 go through the newspaper everyday. Being young they are attracted to pictures and anything that has graphics in them. I was horrified when I saw such explicit content in a newspaper. Leading newspaper, The Times of India has been publishing adult graphic novel Agent Rana everyday. I am not against creativity or freedom of expression. I truly believe that artistic freedom is important. The creator has all the right to come up with a character who uses her sexuality or uses blunt language. But should adult content like this be published in a newspaper easily accessible to children?

Also Read: Sunny Leone’s condom ad creates furore in Gujarat, Twitter says she’ll ‘be punished soon’

In a country where Lipstick Under My Burkha is considered “too lady-oriented”, Agent Rana seems to have bypassed attention. Selective sanskaars, anyone?

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