Choosing between Porn, Prostitution and Murder

Given below are three news reports that appeared almost within a week, all fromthe Indian film industry:

  • Tollywood actress Shweta Basu was caught on Sunday, 31 August 2014 for being involved in a prostitution racket. Shweta shot to fame in 2002 when she won the NationalFilm Award for Best Child Artist for her role in the film ‘Makdee’. Among her other acclaimed work is NageshKukunoor’s ‘Iqbal.’

As per reports, Shweta in her statement to the cops said, “I have made wrong choices in my career, and I was out of money. I had to support my family and some other good causes. All the doors were closed, and some people encouraged me to get into prostitution to earn money. I was helpless, and with no option left to choose, I got involved in this act. I’m not the only one who faced this problem, and there are several other heroines who have gone through this phase.”

  • Shruthi Chandralekha, a small-time Kannada actress, has been arrested for murdering her husband, in Bangalore on 6 September 2014. The 22-year-old murdered S. Ronald Peter Prinzo, 35, in Maduravoyal, Tamil Nadu eight months ago after he allegedly forced her or was forcing her to act in pornographic movies.

Before tying the knot with Prinzo, Shruthi was reportedly married to another man, Manjunath at a young age of 16. But she fell in love with Prinzo, and called off her relationship with Manjunath.

  • 8 September 2014 brought news that Sunny Leone starred in a double role with Vir and Tusshar in Mastizaade. This adult comedy is from the stable of Pritish Nandy Communications. So far, she has more than 10 films in India to her credit.

Sunny Leone has been a porn star and in an interview she said thatshe is proud of her sexiness and has no regrets about having been a porn star in the past as she feels it’s not a cake walk to do intimate scenes in front of so many people on the set. Her husband is also a porn star and her manager.

It is superfluous to say that an undercurrent of sex characterises all these news items. The paradox is in the outcome.

  • The one who is a porn star is the most successful in terms of her movie career.
  • The one who was caught in the act has been made film offers and am sure will be seen in Big Boss. After all that was how Sunny Leone landed in India, after Monica Bedi.
  • As of now, the most unfortunate one is the one who refused to be part of such an act.

a  aa   aa

Each one’s situation will look like a paradox because of parallax.For the common man, the order would have been in the reverse—with the one who didn’t participate being most successful and so on. This is because typically, the common man will see it from the point of moralitywhile the film and media industry will see it in terms of economics. The film industry which started with the movie “Raja Harischandra” lost its morality and nationalism as it gained secularism.

For the media and film industry,porn and prostitution are hard cash in the form of advertisements and indirect cash in the form of readers and viewers. The economics of porn and prostitution has been extensively covered in the media albeit without saying how much the media makes by peddling it.

In July, the Economic Times reproduced an article from the Independent titled ‘Death in the valley of the dolls”. The article was about the prostitution boom in California’s tech industry. The trigger of article was this: “In November in Santa Cruz, California, 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, a father of five who had worked at several major Silicon Valley companies including Google and Apple, took a fatal dose of heroin. Police say it was administered by Alix Tichelman, a prostitute whom Mr Hayes had been entertaining aboard his 50ft yacht, Escape. Ms Tichelman, 26, allegedly left him to die.” The author Tim Walker described it as “it was a deadly meeting of two very different varieties of entrepreneurs.”

The 9th to 15th August issues of The Economist had the cover story “The Sex Business”. The issues provide a complete business plan for anyone who is interested in prostitution. The commoditisation of women’s body is complete when the Economist writes “What counts as exotic and therefore desirable varies from place to place” to describe women, which nationality is preferred where. The report also says “A degree appears to raise earnings in the sex industry just as it does in the wider labour market”and “The freelancers, part-timers and temps the internet is bringing to the sex trade are likely to help it absorb demand shocks.”

For the media, prostitution and porn are part of service and film industry respectively.But governments need to look at it differently.As per the Economist, Sweden (in 1999), followed by Norway, Iceland and France criminalised the purchase of sex. Canada is working on a similar law and European Parliament wants to implement the Swedish Model across the EU and similar demands are seen in the USA for such laws.

India has few tribes/communities which are forced into practising prostitution as a family profession. The Government has been working with them to persuade them to give up such a lifestyle. India has banned the Devdasi system. Putting a ban on purchase of sex should be the next logical step.

It is difficult to fathom that there are Indian girls (not counting statistical errors) who grow up with an aspiration to become porn stars or prostitutes. It’s time the Government setup counselling centres for young girl achievers especially in the case of media, film, fashion, etc, where the person becomes a star but loses the focus and gets sexually abused. Another recent victim is from the field of sports, the national level shooter Tara Sahadev. She was cheated into marriage, was kept in illegal confinement and tortured for years to forcibly accept conversion to Islam. However, she refused to convert. There are far too many cases of this nature, which can’t be ignored. There are NGOs and Women’s Commissions but they pick and choose cases based on religion and politics and not on merit.

If the government doesn’t take timely corrective action,the future will be anything but pleasant. This country has even seen supporters of rapists and terrorists in the name of the culprit being juvenile. It will be ideal if the Government investigates the intent and the backers of these pro-rapists protesters. We have seen in the recent past that terrorist sympathisers from political parties, media and NGOs were on a kind of payroll of terrorists or their sympathisers.

Sandeep Singh writes a column on “Narendra Modi and CXO Leadership” on www.swastik.net.in

  • time4MAN

    This country has 40+ gender-biased laws specifically made for women/wives that are used daily to extort and/or kill hubby (read – get justice) using some or other pretext!

    These laws, like 498a, Domestic Violence act, Maintenace etc. are abused daily with full support thru govt,judiciary,police, and Women NGO’s.

    On the other hand, so many men when abused by such empowered women, have absolutely no legal recourse ‘coz legally only MEN are ‘presumed’ guilty before proven innocent, and having no hope of getting justice, Men are killing themselves (http://ekhusbandkimaut.blogspot.in)

    It’s hard to fathom why a supposedly celebrity educated Tamil actress couldn’t find a legal recourse to get out if she was really facing abuse! Until the full investigations are done .. I for one, am not going to believe her story after seeing daily news of so many women killing their hubby.

    Regarding Shweta, I find it strange to see anyone defending her!
    Whatever she “chose” to do was absolutely “her” decision – and there’s no problem with that whatsoever! I’m not sure why she’s playing the victim card now! A prosti charging 1lack per encounter is not a victim but powerfull to command such a premium in the market full of competition..no?
    There’s no problem with anyone chosing to do prostitution, and self-prostitution is perfectly legal in India.
    However, there’s something that the media is hiding – probably she was again trying to extort someone and maybe someone powerful which landed her 2nd time into police net! Media mostly paints every woman as a victim only!
    Many men also go thru hardships, and they don’t have option to choose prosti etc. And when some of them commit crime, we don’t find such articles trying to find the conditions the man went thru – instead we as a society rise to say – ALL MEN ARE CRIMINALS!

  • Vishal Tibrewala

    Purchase of sex is banned in so many countries but it has not disappeared ….has bans ever solved issues , they give rise to corruption…..is purchasing sex not banned in India , or UAE or other gulf countries…….we as Indians and for that matter the majority of the MALE COMMUNITY globally has a double standard on this…..from the age of 15 till end if the life anything which runs real high in a MANS mind is SEX…….and it’s a natural instinct provided by nature…..there are many many theories written on this …to cut it short in my view BANNING it is not the solution……legalizing it and controlling through effective management is probably the solution……WORLD CANT SURVIVE IN IDEALISM…..

  • ramgopal varma

    Devadasi System was never intended as prostitution.. Its very unfortunate, U mention it in this particular light..

  • dorkopter

    Really? Ban on the purchase of sex?

    What would come next? Short term “marriages”? Maitri karar? Extortion?

  • Ratan Sharda

    Though provoking and worrying.