MP govt examining HLL condom controversy
Bhopal, June 21 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh government is examining a controversy that stemmed from a demand to ban sale of a Hindustan Latex Ltd (HLL) condom Crescendo, being marketed under the garb of a sex toy.
''We will be able to comment on the matter only after that scrutiny is completed,'' the state's Principal Secretary (Health) M M Upadhyay told UNI. HLL is under the Union Health Ministry.
While state Energy and Public Works Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya labelled the condom a sex toy in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, HLL Chairman-cum-Managing Director M Ayyappan denied that Crescendo was a sex toy.
''I am yet to receive any complaint from the Madhya Pradesh regime or anywhere else. The market response has been positive. If a complaint is received about the packaging or form the same will be examined,'' Mr Ayyappan told UNI over telephone from Thiruvananthapuram.
He pointed out that the state government was empowered to ban sale through the medium of the Controller (Food and Drug Administration).
On Tuesday, Mr Vijayvargiya wrote the letter taking exception over sale of Crescendo while a ban was in place on import of sex toys.
''An all-party meeting should be convened in this regard. I urge you to take steps for halting sale of sex toys in society's interest. Sale of such toys will lead to severe consequences. The Madhya Pradesh government has stressed on Yoga shiksha instead of the Centre's yon shiksha (sex education). It is natural that this state's social workers reacted sharply. There is a need to rise above partylines,'' he added.
Political circles were surprised over the letter. Both the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress said that the tradition was that only chief ministers wrote to the premier.
Congress leaders said that the issue was being blown out of proportion and it was not worth an all-party meeting.
Mr Vijayvargiya quoted statistics saying that sex toys had an international market in the range of Rs 40,000 crore and China manufactured 70 per cent of such toys. ''Sex toy manfacturers and suppliers have their eyes on the emerging Indian market,'' he said.