Double Standards in India’s Sex Industry

You can find in India some of the largest red light district in the world. In fact, the documentary Born into Brothels discussed what it’s like having parents who are prostitutes. Among the major red light districts in the country are Sonogachi in Kolkata, and Kamathipura in Mumbai.

Unfortunately, some girls here are coerced into the sex industry. Human trafficking is rampant, as well as forced prostitution. This being said, many Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) help sex workers, especially with regards to their sexual health.

UNODC reported that even though some sex workers would want to leave the industry, they are afraid of the stigma of the society. No matter what they do, they will always be labeled as prostitutes. As ironic as it may sound, sex is not that a taboo topic in India. Although the sex industry is thriving, the Indian culture does not consent this in contrast to more liberal attitudes to brothels in Australia.

Sex in Hinduism

Hinduism does not consider sexual desires as evil. However, the religion stresses the value of purity and living morally. Regardless of the social stigma and reputation for prostitution, the religion regards the sexual fulfillment as a primary goal of human life.

Intention plays an important role as to whether or not sex, in general, is allowed or disallowed. If the sexual purpose is only for pleasure, Hinduism sees it as adharma or unlawful. On the other hand, if sex is for procreation, it is dharma or lawful.

Hindus of high social ranking also deem sex outside marriage as against the religion. An article from the BBC tells how a judge in New Delhi asserted pre-marital sex as morally wrong and in contradiction of religious teachings.

Prostitution and the Sex Industry

As much as Hinduism detest prostitution, the sex industry in India continues to boom. The sex trade in the country can be traced back in the 1800s during the British occupation. Brothels were established to accommodate and meet the sexual needs of British soldiers. More than a hundred years later, India’s red light districts are still the same poverty-stricken areas.

Instead of regarding sex workers as an outcast, the society should help them if they are serious in enforcing the tenets of Hinduism. Moreover, one should refrain from paying for girls then loathing them after satisfying your sexual desires. It is equally wrong.