Friday, August 20, 2010

Should Prostitution be legalized in India ?

                                                 I know a very bold topic to be discussed, But hey as you know i don't do anything that is normal. Ok this is first Debate in my blog and i really like to bring  professionals before you. Our guest for today would be  Mr. Abhay Agarwal.  Abhay is copywriter for Experience Commerce and he gets the credit for writing copy at Royal Challengers, Super Popular Friend  and was pretty difficult competitor to have debate with. So finally we called a neutral judge Shazia Shaikh to give the final verdict for our debate. So here is how it goes.

Dhavalyours: Prostitution has been the second most ancient occupation in india since agriculture. Since the ancient times it has been going on and we do find cultural references of it. Its been high time that we accept it and make it legalized
AbhayJust because it's been an "ancient proffesion" in India, and there have been cultural refrences to it, it isn't nesicerily mean that it should be legalised. using that rationale, even Sati should be legalised. I agree that there were many good traditions in ancient india, but prostitution, wasn't one of them.

Dhavalyours: Sati is been almost eliminated in India. The percentage of women being raped is much more than a women performing sati ritual. We had taken an initiative to stop sati 200 years ago and we have been successful to eliminate most of it. So its high time we take initiative for this cause.  

AbhayBut was sati abolished, by legalising it? or was it abolished, because the british government clamped down hard on a ritual that it considered barbaric? The british government, was able to abolish the practice, since they didn't profit from it in any way. 

Dhavalyours: Agreed Abhay the issue of feminine respect has been of high concern. Statistically it is proved that the rape percentage in India is increasing as ever. Women are not safe. Delhi is the raping-capital of india, Sense of security has been of major Issue. I would'nt wish to come home and find that my wife, mother,sister n the worse case even my daughter is been raped by some sex-seeking maniac, ruining life of my entire family. If Prostitution is Legalized and is open to public, Men can get a proper official place to relieve themselves which would eventually reduce the rape percentage in our country what say ? 

AbhayBut prostitution is not an answer to prevent rape. Men get sexually frustrated, because of our famous ancient tradition, that make pre-marital sex a taboo. Anyways your as good as raping a prostitute, the only difference is: she agrees to have sex because you throw money at her.
Dhavalyours: Abhay i agree with you on this, but the question of women respect is what i wanna resolve. People denote these women as 'prostitutes' and you know what in hindi. If prostitution is legalized :
  1. They would be referred as Sex-Workers.
  2.  There would be an age limit to women or men entering the profession of prostitution. This would save the small girls who are thrown into this business in their teens.
  3.  Proper contraceptions such as condoms would be used. This would avoid the sexual diseases such as AIDS.
  4.  Middle Level people such as Dalal's would be eliminated providing profit directly to the person as  well as the government. 
  5. High taxes would be taken from each session.
  6. Most importantly consent of the sex-worker would be taken in mind.
  7. Since Sex worker would be benifiting goverment greatly Her future would be taken care of.
  8. They would be given opportunity to part away from profession whenever she wants. 
  9. Monthly check ups would be oraganized to make sure their health and also if a person is healthy enough to mate.
  10. They can do service to community by providing sex-education to youngsters OR whom we call ( the  jumping hormones. )
    Now if in this way prostitution is legalized the sexworkers would find it really  good. Its a bad bad world where sex-workers are harrassed by both the customers as well as sex-agents as well as by Police and society. They are like officially rejected every where and this is one ray of light which should help them.
AbhayInstead of flatly legalising the problem, why not rehabilitate them? Give them an education & alternate means of living.It doesn't matter what you call them. At the end of the day, they still have to sell their bodies to earn a living.If you want to prevent small children from entering the business, then why can't the government do any thing now? Because they are hand-in-glove with the pimps.No woman  would turn to prostitution on her own. It always comes down to an ultimatum. This is just an easy way for the government to ignore poverty: "why should we take care of impoverished women; if they want money, they can just become prostitutes."  
  • Even if you legalise it now, you'll still have illegal redlight areas like you have now. If prostitutes don't have any choice now, then what choice will they have once, their pimps get more power?  
  • You can talk about: their health, their rights, their "welfare" etc. But
    the question still remains: why should any woman have to sell her body
    to earn a living? Don't we have better options today? 
  • What would you do if some girl in the future said: "I want to be a sex-worker when i grow up!" As far as Sex Education is concerned, why can't the teacher impart the
    same knowledge? Are we, as a society, so sex-starved that we cannot
    teach our own kids about sex?
Dhavalyours: See abhay as far as it goes we have a really close approach on this issue. Parents slap their kid when he/she asks the question "Mom what is sex ??" Or else intelligently he is been answered that it refers to gender. Result little boy goes to internet and searches porn. No no it is not to promote prostitution as a profession. It is to increase the self respect of sex workers. Their image in society. Now we cannot change the whole system in one day. What do we do is we try to control it by imposing strict rules and slowly go towards the path of eliminating it. 

AbhayParents slap their children, because they don't know how to answer a question like that.Hiring a prostitute to answer these questions is not going to solve anything. There are many books in the market today that show parents how to teach their kids about "the birds & the bees". If their parents want, the can also search the net for help on explaining the facts of life to children. But by legalising it, you are telling people that it' OK to sell their bodies, and there by promoting it. as far as collecting tax goes:
  1.  Who in thier right mind would pay a prostitute, by cheque/card? 
  2.  Who would want their bank records to show, that they have visited a prostitute?
  3. If prostitue got payed only in cash, then how much of that would she declare to this great government of ours that has reduced her to a sex-worker?
  4. Judging by the number of prostitutes in India, how much money would the IT department have to spend in order to conduct raids on all these "workers"?
  5.  If you legalise it, then it would become an industry(which it already is), and would be even more difficult to eliminate.  
Dhavalyours: See again Abhay We have to accept 1 thing. I told you this is an ancient profession they have tried to remove it since centuries man, but just could'nt. Its high time we accept the truth that we cannot remove it from our society. but yes by bounding it to rules we can definitely have to control.

Abhay  Being ancient is irrelevant. It was devised during a time of extreme male dominance. When we, as a society, were ten times more patriarchal than we are today. It was a profession created by men and for men...but using women.
Do you think that a women would want to be a prostitute, if she was qualified to be a doctor or a lawyer? Forget that; what if she had passed her 12th, and was eligible for being a cop? Dhaval, would you become a gigolo, if you had a B.E.? or any other qualification?

Dhavalyours: Again please dont take the privilege of getting personal with that statement. My Idea of Making Prostitution legal does not have pieces to make india rich by that money. Agreed it is a horrible profession and should be stopped. Definitely after taking a BE degree from respectable college and being sexually straight why the hell in the world i would turn into Giglo ?? Dignity of labor is the problem with the profession i completely agree. But millions of those who are already in this profession you can't just say them "Boss dukan band chalo kal se tata bye bye." right ?Yes we need to eradicate it out of our society and Legalizing is just the first baby step to do it.

Abhay: We are saying "dukaan band karo aur, hamaare saat doosra dukaan khol do." We can and we should give them an alternative means of livleyhood. Do you think they would go back to prostitution once they start working in an office?

Dhavalyours: Yes they may go back to where it started from, that concept also stands true. But if we plan to take immediate plan of action, Legalizing it is the option. We will definitely find a solution in future to stop it. Abhay my idea to legalize it is just for 1 generation.
  •  But again from a lifestyle perspective it would be really cool enough to have a sex-education parlor. 
  •  You know where people from any age and any community can come and talk their sexual problems or would get their doubts solved.
  •  There is a difference between a person telling a path and a person walking a path. Even your mother would tell you sex with unknown partner is wrong you may get STD (Sexually transmitted Diseases).
  •  But if a you see a guy in person who has been living and struggling with a disease Impact is really deep into your hearts. The men / women so called sex workers would really get a chance to make people know about their stories to the world.
  •  People would look at them as hero's, who would be contributing a substantial part in making India a better, mature country. 
AbhayThere are already enough of sex clinics in Mumbai, that are run by qualified psychologists and sexologists. We also have many NGO's that teach people about aids; We don't need to use human guinea pigs, to teach children about STDs. Are you saying that you want people to get Aids so that they can teach others about it?
Why do we need to create even more prostitutes to teach kids about the evils of prostitution?
Do you think that a prostitute, would want her children to also grow up to be prostitutes?

Shazia: Ok Guys, you have to stop somewhere now. Its been a pleasure to watch you guys having a deep conversation over topic and discussing it from financial, social, educational and cultural perspective but here is what i would like to say I support to ban prostitution as every woman has the right to her dignity. They should be given alternative respectable jobs that do not only hamper their public image but also relieves them of the psychological trauma of being in a disgraced profession. Also it is always said that men need to relieve themselves, well if they are so desperate in life they need to get married n sleep with their wives. Men should not be allowed to let go just because they are men. As stated by Abhay "Prostitution was started by men for men by using women" i would say "let women abandon prostitution for other women using men". Its great to have support from Men like Abhay.

                              And in that manner  Shazia supported Abhay's point of view that finally it should not be legalized. But hey we both shared the same view port that it should definitely be demolished from the society. Thank you Shazia and  Abhay  for joining the discussion it turned out to be a great blog post.

                                  Do you think you have better opinion on this topic ? Do you think you have a solution ? Post a comment and communicate, Even at a smaller level your comments do  make a difference.


  1. Coming from a woman, this might sound offensive or even degrading to some, but I sincerely feel, legalising prostitution is a good way to start with. Agreed that there is corruption in India, middle men are more rampant, women are forced to get into prostitution sometimes, they do not have a choice and even may choose it to support their useless husbands at home because they are not well read and have only their bodies to earn a living.

    First things first, let’s work our work our way up towards complete literacy. Offering free education, more support for schools, funding small education set ups will ensure that everyone is well educated to earn their living any other way but prostitution. Did you know that men also offer their services to bored high class rich housewives and even socialites who do not like being with their husbands but will throw money for a male stripper who entertains them?

    Prostitution is not just about women who cannot help themselves. It is about men and women who are not equipped in another way to go ahead in life due to various reasons/ blocks faced in life and from society at large.

    Did you also know that there are girls from respectable families who entertain men on the sly so that they can get the Gucci bag they saw and flash there diamonds? It’s all about the money!

    Legalising prostitution will set it as a separate industry which provides revenue, paves a path way for people who don’t mind being in it (they only see it as another profession) saves those who do not want to get into it... what stops the government from using this money generated to fund schools? Empower the poor?
    Structure and rules always bring stability to everything. Especially something we cannot eradicate.

    1. Gud Really gud statement. But it is not as simple as it look when it comes to administrative level.You know what i have worked on this issue for last four years (although just some paper work) since i was in 12th. i too thought that making prostitution legal will solve hell lot problem of prostitutes. please don't take it otherwise, But sex is a hunger the more you get the more you want. every bit of word i am saying is experimental. There is no end of this hunger . I was going through the countries where prostitution is legal. And the data i found was really drastic enough that i stopped working on the issue. It has been seen that after legalizing the sex trade there are many other issues which goes negative. With time the market will need more women .And here comes the problem. Once again we are at the same place. The only difference is now this market is controlled by small groups and after legalizing this will be controlled by mafia. Anything that i am saying here is my 4year research. The number of girls traded to sex industry will increase not decrease. Not only that The place of legal sex trade will become legal adda for drugs trade, arms dealing . all other kind off illegal trade will become legal indirectly.

      I am not saying that prostitution should not be legalized but not with the kind of government world is having . All the government in this world is governed by money minded people and this cannot be discarded.

  2. I agree with Divea - we cannot impose moralistic judgements on people anyway. If there are individuals who actually choose to get into prostitution, no law is going to stop them. And rather than chastisising them, legalising prostitution will help protect their rights and as Divea sas, save those who do NOT want to get into it.

  3. hey,
    u need to legalize it to control/manage/understand/support awareness/stop disease/ensure use of condom/stop abuse/stop child prostitution/stop human trafficking for child prostitution.

    i can continue but fact is- it is a COMMERICAIL activity bound by no law, hence there is no way that u can ensure that the parties in the activity are even being human-leave safe.

    its not that illegal red light areas wont come up but then rite now all are illegal, the CSWs get raped by customs and they cant complaint! they are either unaware or dont have a say in the use of condom which brings us to HIV spread.

    the fact that the CSWs bear children which are usually fatherless is also a reason why we need to legalize it. so that those who are keen to surrender the profession can be provided rehab.

    i knw it sounds like a govt scheme(and it is fashionable to crib and abuse all welfare schemes) but the absolute denial of providing a legal sanction is just stupid. Moral or immoral it is everywhere and it is size and in problems.

  4. Its serious topic but i think we are mixing up issues here.

    If we say that we can not stop prostitution then .. There is no question that following issues should be taken care.

    1.Decriminalisation of prostitution and securing their future and good health. Giving respect to their profession.

    2.Rehabilitation of sex workers who are doing it against the will and making strict laws against people who force someone to do it. 86 % sex workers in india are doing it against the will.

    Prostitution is age old but its a system created by men who wanted sex available outside of family for pleasure and free from reasponsibilities.

    Although its a basic human need i have a discomfort in having prize tag for it. Any cultured society will have a serious problem about bodies on rent.

    Sex workers will not get same reputation as other professions.
    As Divea rightly said education is most important, no one will come in this profession if they find better way of earning. Educated person will trade with other skills and not with his/her body.

    1. i agree . Running legal brothel will increase the potential threat that the counting of cultured family will become constrained to finger tips.

  5. @ankita vrinda and Divya welcome to the conversation. All three of you girls support the thought of legalizing it Thank you for taking my side. There are many people for eg. in navy who do not meet their wives for 6 months, There are truck drivers who do not meet their wives for 5 to 10 years. Legalizing would help them.

    @divya thank you for bringing the issue of male prostitution also.

    @vrinda completely agreed with you if a person wanna come in this profession who are we to judge him / her I think with right to speech and action we do have a right to occupation.

    @ankita Thanks for such in depth thoughts on the topic. You are absolutely right, This has become a cycle kids of CSW with no father again go back to same profession repeating it over again and again.

    But again the question is how our society accept CSW's ? which women would like to a shop from where CSW will by grocery ? Will not men try to be irrational with them on roads ? I am talking about our current society @ankita,@divya and @vrinda Is there a way by which CSW can get a respectable place in our society ?

  6. I believe that prostitution should certainly not be legalized. If it is, there would be numerous extra problems for the system and public to deal with.

    1. Firstly, there would be an enormous growth in human-trafficking. Little as we can accept children being thrown into this business, legalizing prostitution would only serve to increase it further. It's present when prostitution is illegal. Imagine the scenario if that law was written.

    2.Women now look to prostitution as a means to earn money out of desperation. In the scenario where it is legal, girls who would not have qualms about having sex with strangers would look for a quick buck and turn to this business. Imagine young professionals turning into call-girls.

    So, legalizing prostitution would be a terrible idea because simply catching up with the horrors that would accompany it would be a nightmare. A better idea would be to try and rehabilitate the existing sex-workers in the country.

  7. Nice Article......

    One does a PS3 game on this topic sound??? :P

  8. @ every one supporting prostitution.
    Can you find me someone who would readily join the profession, if they had an alternate job; a job where the minimum wage assured them that they could take care of themselves and their family?

  9. Now its very easy to contact with doctor .

  10. legalise it!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. i wish you had invited somebody with an open mind to have this discussion. Mr copyrighter (having a legal background i assume) should have known the difference between prostitution and sati. sati was a social evil.. widows were burnt ALIVE. it was murder. prostitution is a way of earning a livelihood. please show me how these two are similar. just because both have been carried out for as long as we know?
    Second, when we talk of legalising prostitution we don't mean that parents should dream of making their girls prostitutes. it means that the women in that profession should not be denied of their basic rights. like right to life. right to a dignified life. right to get justice. rape with a prostitute is no crime! why ? only because she consents to have sex for money. it should be a recognised as a profession. what if Mr. Copyrighter is made to work without pay? just because you provide your services for money dosen't mean people should be forced to do begar (which means work without pay). and how does he plan to 'rehabilitate them'? please i wish you would read it and reply.


Plant an Idea