Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Cricket is not religion

Some say cricket is a religion in India. They are wrong.
Cricket is a game followed by many Indians. It is popular. That does not make it a religion.
AIR and DD promoted cricket. India did reasonably well in cricket. In other games India lagged far behind.
There is no god of cricket.
There are people with vested interests who create hypes. When it is India –Pakistan series they say it is the greatest rivalry in sport. When it is India –Australia series they say it is the greatest rivalry in sport, bigger than Ashes or India –Pakistan series.
Commerce dominates sports. Those who bid for TV rights decide the format. There is no money to be gained by participating in Asian Games, so BCCI does not send a team to Asian Games.
If the choice for a cricketer is between receiving Padma Shri or making money by shooting for an ad film for a product the cricketer chooses making money.
Some cricketers want to play in IPL but not Tests for their countries. IPL is business and entertainment.
Indians follow various sports. When it is World Cup Football many Indians watch matches even though India is not a participant. Indians follow car race, tennis tournaments and European Football leagues. There was interest in Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao welterweight category boxing match which was hyped as match of the century. Asian Games and Olympics have a following.
Some want betting to be legal. They say you cannot stop betting so make it legal. It is like saying you cannot stop rape so make it legal. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha wanted betting to be legal and he said if a woman cannot avoid rape she should lie down and enjoy it. It is a disgrace that he was not sacked. He continued till the last day of his term and retired. Making betting legal does not end fixing whether it is of match, spot, toss or session. Illegal betting thrives along with legal betting.

Prostitution is commercial rape

There has been no talk on any TV channel about how to end prostitution. On the contrary there was talk about making it legal. There is evidence that prostitution has gone up where it was made legal.
On 29/1/2014 Gloria Steinem said:

“Prostitution involves body invasion and so it is not like any other work. So how can you call it sex work? Prostitution is the only word you should use.”

“It is the equivalent of commercial rape and so instead of the prostitutes, the traffickers should be punished and the customers should be educated.”

“When a girl is put into prostitution at the age of 12 or 14, does she have a choice after all?”

“Prostitution is not a profession but oppression.”

Those who want prostitution to be legal have following arguments:
1) Legalization of prostitution is an entirely separate issue from human trafficking.
2) Even if it’s not perfect, legalizing prostitution would at least make prostitution a little bit better.
3) Prostitution is a victimless crime. Legal prostitution protects women in prostitution.
4) Women choose to enter prostitution. It’s better to choose to make lots of money as a prostitute than to choose to work at a minimum wage job like McDonald’s.
5) Prostitution is sexual liberation.
6) Men need sex therefore prostitution must exist. Prostitution is a natural form of human sexuality
7) Legalizing prostitution gets rid of its criminal elements – pimps and traffickers.
Counter-arguments are the following:
1) Women trafficking is involved in prostitution. Women are lured by promise of jobs. When they refuse to be prostitutes they are starved, beaten and gang raped. The criminals are not brought to justice. Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking. Legalization of prostitution promotes sex trafficking. Prostitution and sex trafficking are linked.
2) Legalization of prostitution increases illegal prostitution. It does not improve the lives of women in prostitution. Prostitution can’t be made “a little better.” Prostitution has gone up in Holland after it was made legal there. Those who dispute it are like ostriches who bury their heads in sand.
3) All prostitution harms those in it. Legal prostitution does not protect women in prostitution from harm. It’s not the legal status of prostitution that causes the harm, it’s the prostitution itself. Trafficking and rape will continue.
4) It is profoundly unjust to declare that prostitution is an acceptable job for some women – those who are mostly poor, mostly young.
5) Prostitution is sexual exploitation.
6) The sex of prostitution is not “sex” for women in it. Most men who use women in prostitution have other sexual partners. Many of them are married men.
7) Legalizing prostitution benefits pimps and traffickers. Pimps become businessmen. Traffickers become suppliers.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women opposes making prostitution legal for following reasons:
1. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers and the sex industry.
2. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex trafficking.
3. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not control the sex industry. It expands it.
4. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases clandestine, hidden, illegal and street prostitution.
5. Legalization of prostitution and decriminalization of the sex Industry increases child prostitution.
6. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not protect the women in prostitution.
7. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases the demand for prostitution. It boosts the motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider and more permissible range of socially acceptable settings.
8. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not promote women’s health.
9. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not enhance women’s choice.
10. Women in systems of Prostitution do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized.
CATW favors decriminalization of the women in prostitution. No woman should be punished for her own exploitation. But States should never decriminalize pimps, buyers, procurers, brothels or other sex establishments.
Hugh Grant was punished for having sex with a prostitute. Police caught him when Divine Brown performed oral sex on him in a car. That happened on or around 28/1/1995. Hugh Grant pleaded no contest and paid a fine of $1,180. Elizabeth Hurley was his girlfriend at the time. In most countries prostitutes are punished but men who go to prostitutes are not punished.
Renuka Chowdhury had suggested that law must be changed to punish men who go to prostitutes. She did not have support of her male colleagues in the union cabinet. On 15/9/2007 the ministers were discussing Amendment to the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act. The amendment was to enhance traffickers of women, portray prostitutes as victims instead of offenders and punish customers of prostitutes. Kapil Sibal opposed punishing customers of prostitutes. Anbumani Ramadoss and Mani Shankar Aiyar supported Kapil Sibal. The draft bill was sent to a group of ministers for re-examination.
Lalita Kumaramangalam, chairperson of National Commission for Women and BJP member, wants prostitution to be legal in India. What BJP has to say about it?
Some women choose to be concubines or mistresses.
Prostitution is not the oldest profession. It is hunting or agriculture.
Prostitutes have fixed place. Call girls go to clients.
Some anchors and panelists are like Birnam Wood fairies. For them fair is foul, foul is fair.
There are evil people who don’t want rapists to be punished. Whenever the question of punishing rapists comes up they say “It is patriarchy. It is society. It is mindset. It is lack of education.” and so on. They don’t say rape is a crime and rapist should be punished. They oppose death penalty for rape. They oppose castration for rape. They oppose life imprisonment for rape. They oppose 20 years imprisonment for rape.
Some evil people are anchors. Some are lawyers. Some claim to be human or women’s rights activists. While they don’t want rapists to be punished they want husbands to be punished for having sex with their wives. Marital rape is an oxymoron.
In some countries denial of holocaust is a crime. In France denial of Armenian Genocide of 1915 is a crime. India should have a law that makes it a crime to oppose death penalty for murder and such high crimes. India should have a law that makes it a crime to oppose death penalty or castration or life imprisonment or 20 years imprisonment for rape. Murder is a crime and not a human or democratic right or civil liberty. Rape is a crime and not a human or women’s or democratic right or civil liberty.
Those who talk of marital rape either don’t know what marriage is or have a perverse idea of marriage. It is strange for a woman who has defied her parents to marry a man of another religion to claim she was raped by husband.

MPs want free drinks

MPs have demanded and got many privileges at airports. Public and private airlines have to entertain them and meet their demands. MPs forget they are representatives. They think they are rulers. Many TV channels had campaigned against VIP culture including privileges for MPs at airports. For some months there was silence. Now Civil Aviation Ministry has come back and granted the privileges MPs demanded. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapti Raju referred to those privileges as courtesies. These are not courtesies but extortions.
One privilege is free coffee, tea, cold drinks and other refreshments to MPs at airports. All airlines have to abide by that. It is disgusting that MPs do not want to pay for coffee, tea, cold drinks and other refreshments. Sometimes MPs are accompanied by their friends, acquaintances, assistants or family members. They will also have to be given free refreshments. When MPs travel with their parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, spouses, parents-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews-in-law, nieces-in-law, cousins-in-law, uncles-in-law, aunts-in-law and others they will also get free refreshments. This is outrageous. Soon MPs will demand free biriyani, chicken, mutton and so on.
Most MPs who demanded these privileges are first time MPs from BJP. They have support from MPs of other parties.
Some MPs have said they do not use such privileges. Two are from BJD: Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo and Baijayant Panda. Kalikesh said it is not only MPs but bureaucrats, judges, journalists, police officers and frequent fliers who get such privileges. Airlines grant privileges to their regular customers.
What airlines grant willingly is a different matter. MPs got the privileges because they extorted it from the Civil Aviation Ministry. If bureaucrats and others have put pressure on the ministry and extorted the privileges it is wrong. Civil Aviation Ministry should withdraw privileges granted to MPs and other public servants.
It is foolish to expect Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to speak against such privileges because they enjoy many privileges which MPs do not have. They have SPG security which is extended repeatedly and crores of rupees are spent on them while people of Delhi are short of security. They don’t have to stand in queue and be frisked at airports. When they travel on road, traffic is blocked.
Ashok Gajapti Raju said previously his lighters and match boxes were confiscated at airports. After he became Civil Aviation Minister he is exempt from security checks and carries his lighters and match boxes without confiscation. This is security breach.
Many MPs do not accept the accommodation provided by government and live in five star hotels and their expenses are a burden on the citizens of the country. There were reports of some MPs taking government accommodation and continuing to live in five star hotels.
MPs do not pay toll. They wanted red beacons on their cars. That demand was not granted.

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