Saturday, 31 August 2013

Should we legalize prostitution in India?.........................93513

Should we legalize prostitution in India?

If one were to visit the beautiful temples of Khajuraho located in Madhya Pradesh, one cannot help but marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of Indians during the medieval times. The Khajuraho architecture depicts sex as an integral part of life. The Kamasutra is a world renowned gift by India, on the art of making love. I can take the liberty to claim that the world has learned a lot from our ancestors who have left behind a priced legacy.

So much sexuality connected with India, yet, why are we today so stuck up and have imposed taboo on matters of sex and sexual practices? Instead of moving forward, are we not retreating backwards? Our ancestors would have pitied us today. Why do we avoid topic related to sexuality and why is it considered to be an act confined within closed bedroom doors only? Keeping in mind, the recent rape matters, shouldn’t we ask ourselves if we as a society are going wrong too in some way or the other? Before you jump on me and label me, please allow me to explain myself further.

Sex is a part of life. Without it, you and I wouldn’t be here. It’s a natural means for reproduction and multiplication of any given species. It is a natural instinct and the desire to feel sexual urge is an indication that your body is working normally. There is nothing to be ashamed about admitting our own sexuality. I will not venture into the medical benefits of regular sexual indulgence, as that will deviate my topic. All that I request is that you read the rest with an open mind.

There are certain reforms that should be brought in modern India. Prostitution should be legalized. Yes, you read it right. Prostitution is India’s oldest profession; if we go back in the medieval times, these women were as highly paid and respected as a physician or a minister! Courtesans in ancient India were trained and talented women, whose job was to entertain men of high ranks. These women priced themselves highly and took pride in their job. No one looked upon them and prostitution was not in the same sense, as it is today.

So, why did Independent India ban prostitution? There used to be a practice, where in young girls, called as Devadasi, would be ‘married’ to a deity or a temple and would have to serve the temple for the rest of their lives. These girls were prevented from getting married again. The temple caretakers sometimes forced the Devadasi into pleasing men. To abolish this practice, the Indian government put a blanket ban on any form of promiscuous activities. However, the flesh trade is oldest in India and the ban has done nothing to curb the practice but has lead to many other problems.

A woman who is comfortable in selling her flesh should be allowed to do so. In the name of morals, who are we to judge anyone’s morality? It’s not just women from lower socio-economic class but also well to do women who are into this practice. When a woman and a man are in mutual agreement for a said activity, I don’t see why the society should challenge that and condemn it. The woman is selling her service and the man pays for the services, it’s as simple as that. When a person visits a massage parlor or a beauty parlor, they pay for the services offered to them. Prostitution is a more intimate form of service provided. So long as a woman is not forced into this activity, why should the society decide what is moral and immoral?

I am sure that many of you will have a different perspective on prostitution. That’s fine and I respect everyone’s perspective. However, you see, the woman who is into this business also has her own perspective which is right from her opinion, so should we not respect that? We are so engulfed in our own opinion on what is right and what is wrong, that we start branding others and label them wrong according to our judgment. Some may argue that if prostitution were legalized then more men will flock to these women. Do you think, that prostitution despite being illegal deters a man from pursuing sexual services? I seriously don’t think so! People who want something always find ways to get what they want. We cannot impose restrictions on anyone.

You may now ask me, ‘Why should India legalize prostitution? Let it be illegal. Who cares and how does making it legal help in anyway?’ To answer that, let me put my reasoning below:

1. HIV and sexually transmitted diseases can be better controlled. If prostitution were legalized, then the commercial sex workers could be identified easily and educated accordingly. Most of these women are uneducated young girls, who are completely unaware of the risks.
2. The sex workers would have access to health care; many are afraid to seek medical attention due to the risk of being caught.
3. Sex trafficking will be controlled.
4. Child sex could be stopped and underage girls who are forced into sex trafficking could be rescued.
5. All illegal activities accompanied with sex trafficking can also be controlled
6. Sex workers can be entitled to have a license or work permit and can be entitled to benefits.
7. Sex trade is a huge business dealing with a lot of money but all unaccounted and in cash. This can be minimized and the government can tax them. Hence, it can be one of the revenue generators.
8. Sex workers can live with respect and dignity. They live in fear, they get exploited and have to unwittingly satisfy the corrupted cops, to avoid getting arrested and jailed. They get humiliated and shunned everywhere and by everyone.

I believe that not just prostitutes, but also eunuchs, homosexuals and transgender individuals should be accepted into the society and people should get over judgmental mentality. Each person has a right to live their life the way they choose it. There are many hypocrites who portray themselves as saintly, like the mullahs and babas, and behind closed doors exploit women forcefully. I condemn those kinds of goons. They are the real threat to the society, because they fool people and take advantage of their innocence and trust.

I understand that this is a very controversial topic. Many of you may feel offended too. However, I request you to just see from the perspective of these women who are many times forced into prostitution and have no other way than to continue in it. They get trapped and fall into a cycle. Perhaps, we should become a little liberal in our thinking and give them a chance too?

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