An online petition asking The Times of India to stop publishing the graphic novel Agent Rana "with sexual content inappropriate for children" has been garnering support from many parents across the country.
Started by Antara Sen Dave, the petition on Change.org has received over 19,000 signatures at the time of writing this piece.
Agent Rana, as described by its makers, is "an action-packed, exciting, serialised graphic novel being presented by The Times of India".
Antara, who is a mother of two young boys, found the content of the novel disturbing, and not suitable for children.
Some of the sexual content, she writes, that appeared in the paper were, "I will give you the time of your life in bed tonight", "I will keep the bed warm for you", and "My hero.. You were masterful with them.. Now I will make it worth your while."
Her sons, who are 7 and 10 years old, regularly go through the newspaper. "I was horrified when I saw such explicit content in a newspaper," she writes.
While she is not against creativity, she feels such content should not be published in a newspaper that is easily accessible to children.
"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?" she asks.
Addressed to Vineet Jain (TOI Chairman and MD), Samir Jain (TOI Vice-Chairman) and Jaideep Bose (TOI Editorial Director), the petition further states, "Like my sons, many children read the newspaper every day. The news is already filled with real-life violence and other difficult issues. As a parent, I try and explain the news to them in an appropriate manner and raise awareness and sensitivity in them. But that becomes much harder to do when they are simultaneously exposed to over-the-top fictional and sexualised content."