Archive for March, 2010


One of my friends read an article on substance abuse amidst sex-workers. This TOI article had lots of data and objective information in that regard. She had queries which I’ll reproduce in her own words.
1. ….can’t they make this kind of money in any descent job of dignity?
2. …why is there no action about it (flesh trade), just because cops are making money out of it?
3. What are our media friends and women in Parliament doing now?
4. Is there something that I can do to improve things?

Of all questions I liked the last one most as that was directed towards herself. Even I don’t seek answers to these questions but seek solution if I may. Towards that end I put across certain other questions.

1. Are sex-workers deserve to live a demeaning life just because they are in a particular trade or is it something we choose to be silent on as it rakes up many other related issues that we prefer to put behind curtains?
2. Flesh trade has flourished all through our history of civilization. What’s the reason behind?
3. Earlier it wasn’t illegal but now when it is, why this practice is still thriving? (I am not getting into issue of making it legal as that would drag the current problem into different realm)
4. And since it is illegal and still ticking why should only sex-workers bear the brunt of its ills, especially those who are forced or trapped into this trade?
5. Is it only authority who is liable to stop this exploitation or society can take the responsibility to bring sex-workers into its fold?
6. How can we generate different earning opportunity for these women given the fact that if provided an opportunity they are willing to switch out of this profession?
7. Can we give up our prejudice and fears to stand for our fellow human beings who are exploited and then blamed for their own exploitation?

I am forming my answers to reach a solution. Your inputs will certainly aid!

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Nobody has a choice but to respect an individual’s right to choose his/her own life especially if the individual is an adult and his/her decisions are legally correct. But had legally correct things been always right, there wouldn’t have been provision for any amendment. Has CJI given a thought on how wish of rape victim to marry rapist impacts herself and the society as a whole and in first place, what makes her wish so? What does it convey to a rapist and prospective rapists?

In most cases rape victim is under tremendous family and societal pressure. Also, due to social conditioning, a female always find herself in need of a male support to feel secure. She depends and relies on men to give herself an identity. With stigmas attached to marring a rape victim, she feels that if she doesn’t take perpetrator of her dignity as her spouse, no body else will accept her either. Even society encourages this thought process. But when a person of CJI stature supports such measures in the name of a victim’s wish, one sits and wonders the purpose of marriages. What sort of marriage will it be? Does the victim expect respect from her perpetrator in this marriage or will it just be another marriage of convenience with only difference being that the disrespect starts even before marriage and there’s no hope? Victim thus has to build an illusionary world to remain at peace where she ignores what happens to her. And most of the times she turns blind even when the same rapist victimizes others. Doesn’t this imply that if a man is unmarried, he can easily take a chance to rape, as later he can offer to marry his victim and escape the punishment? It’s only after getting married that he must be careful about his moves and save himself from getting caught as bigamy too is a crime.

I don’t know how casually or how seriously people take this crime. But I am sure that someone who does this is a man with distorted vision and attitude towards women. It’s not just a crime in legal terms; it disfigures the threads of any civil society. Only point that I can think of in favour of such marriages is change of heart of tormentor. So, does that mean that all other culprits too must be set free and we must wait for change in their hearts too? It sounds great and ideal. But till we get such dream world, try to think about the implication of your thoughts before advocating it.

Child Marriage, Female Infanticide or Sati was prevalent and once legally unchallenged. Though less frequent now, socially they still exist. But at least we aren’t accepting them and trying to work towards eradicating them. Then why instead of punishing a rapist, we are finding ways to save him in the name of victim’s welfare. On one hand we declare forced intercourse even in marriage as rape then what confuses us to declare a rapist as one’s husband?

All he deserves is punishment. All she needs is confidence to live her life with dignity.