15
June
2012

Why rape? Going to red light area and buying sex is no wrong

By: Sourav

My Kolkata has been hitting headlines for wrong reasons since the beginning of 2012. Crimes against woman (mainly rape) and political controversies are dominating the space on the front page of all leading English and Bengali newspapers. Recently rape cases have outnumbered the cases of political controversy, making the city unsafe for women, and dragging the city’s age-old reputation through mire.

Eve teasing and molestation have been rampant in not only the capital city but also different parts of Bengal where the divine power is worshipped in female forms such Durga and Kali. Back-to-back rapes have hit Kolkata hard. A report published by an NGO named Maitree in association with the National Commission for Women states that West Bengal ranks second on the national level, in number of rape cases. The report also mentions that the victims belong to the age-groups from 7 to 45.

Who are committing crimes against women? Only the unemployed, illiterate youth from the bottom layers of the social ladder, who are usually supposed to be the scum of the earth? No. Educated persons, high-profile executives and businessmen are also listed among rapists in Bengal. There is no mercy even for minor girls, female beggars and widows in the state where the Chief Minister is a woman.

After the Park Street rape case, a begging woman was raped and deserted on the Nivedita Setu in Kolkata; a 29 year old widow was raped in Ketugram, Burdwan; seven persons abducted a teenager in Falta, South 24 Paraganas and raped her for 10 days. A doctor was accused of having raped a hearing impaired patient in Bankura Medical College, this March. A 27-year old married woman was raped by a taxi driver before it was 12 at night. A 20-year-old woman and her mother-in-law were raped at their residence in Nadia district three days back. Not necessary to mention more such cases, since it is making daily news.

Kolkata rape case, rape cases in India, Zakhmi Aurat, Dimple Kapadia, number of rape cases, social issues, crimes against women, red light areas in india, read light in kolkata, sonagachi, G.B. Road, Delhi red light area, park street rape   In 2010, the percentage of rape cases in Kolkata was 0.2. Delhi had scored the highest percentage. Madhya Pradesh with the highest number (3,135) of rape cases topped the list, and Bengal was next to it the last year, according to The Hindu. The picture is more or less grim all over the country. Since 2011, Kolkata has been competing with Delhi to win the notorious title “The rape capital of the country”.

What has made Bengal a hotbed of crimes against women? Have rapists migrated to the state and found a safe haven to indulge freely in the heinous pursuit here? Has rape become a joyous affair in the city of joy? Has the number of sexually starved men increased in Bengal? Or, has the service of Bengal’s prostitutes fallen short of the demand for sex? Whatever the reason is, Maa and Mati are suffering the pain of being robbed of dignity.

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Why rape, while there are red light areas in Kolkata, the suburbs around the city, and all over the state? Sonagachi with 10,000 sex workers and Kalighat are two thriving red light areas in the heart of the city. Kidderpore houses a small red light area on Mushigunj Road, and the flesh trade is on the go at Premchand Boral Street in Bowbazar. Prostitution in more two red light areas in Kolkata – one near Behala Chowrasta and another near Khanna Cinema Hall – has come to an end due to residential development in those areas.

Let’s travel from the center of Kolkata to suburbs in the north and south of the city. Baruipur, Shashan, Rambagan, Naihati and other suburban places have small red light areas. Miles away from the city of Kolkata, Kadaroad in Durgapur, and Sitarampur and Lachhipur near Asansol are known for the flesh trade. Sheoraphuli, a few kilometers drive from Kolkata, houses female sex workers. Near Laldighi is a small red light area in Berhampore, Murshidabad. G.B. Road, Delhi’s famous red light area, houses 38,000 sex workers. With over 100,000 registered female sex workers, Andhra Pradesh tops the list. Karnataka has a whopping number of 79,000 female sex workers.

Apart from sex workers in the red light areas, there are street prostitutes and call girls selling sex. Times Classifieds advertise escort services available all around the city. Evidently, places and opportunities to buy sex in Bengal are multiple. Despite, rape is a thriving crime in the city of cultural heritage. Is forced sex more enjoyable than sex on sale? Are rapists looking to have free sex in times of inflation?

Buying sex is no wrong. It is a professional give-and-take affair. Visiting a red light area is an aberrant social activity, and going to a prostitute is a taboo in the civilized society of India. It earns bitter flak from all quarters. The Gen Y merrymakers are being entertainment by bikini-clad mermaids in water, at poolside parties which are in vogue nowadays. Nocturnal party animals crowd nightclubs and discotheques to dance with seminude girls who are often imported from the foreign shores, on 25th and 31st December nights every year. Extramarital affair has become a common social norm. Many metropolitan teenagers who age below 18 are sexually active. So, why can’t young bachelors and middle-aged men go to prostitutes?

Sex is one of the basic needs of human beings; it can’t be denied. 2 out of every 10 men feel a stronger urge for sex and more frequently. They can easily get their appetite for carnal pleasure satisfied by prostitutes in red light areas. Should they hunt girls or women to add fuel to their flames for flesh? While search the Internet for statistics of rape cases in India, I came across uncommonforum.com where a man in 20s has sought a solution to his obsession with sex. He is not supposed to don the hat of a rapist for satisfying his libido. I would like to advise the man to buy sex.

Now the time seems to be ripe for the victims to learn from the movie Zakhmi Aurat (released in 1988) which shows how Dimple Kapadia’s character, a gang-rape victim and other women undergoing the same trauma take revenge by castrating the rapists.

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