In India, sex itself is considered a taboo and never discussed publicly. It is evident that the unnatural act of homosexuality will be a taboo subject to the society as well as the government. However, homosexuality has existed in India for ages. Historical literary evidence indicates the existence of this practice. Even Rig-Veda, a sacred text of Hinduism makes oblique references to the practice of unnatural sex.
So it comes as no surprise that India, one of the largest religious countries has eventually accepted the existence of a third gender. Homosexuality is legal as long as it does not violate the three basic conditions that also apply to the traditional flesh trade. One the act should be performed between two mutually consenting adults and two none of the participants should be a minor i.e. below 18 years of age and lastly it should be committed in private and at least 200 meters away from places of worship, institutions etc.
Male prostitution is not a very new concept in India. Men providing sexual services to women or couples in an absolutely professional manner are termed as gigolos who charge money for the services provided. However, male prostitution is still low profile if we compare it to the exclusively homosexual prostitution, more commonly known as the gay prostitutes. With the legalization and liberalization of the homosexuals, cities like Kolkata are witnessing an alarming spread of gay prostitution rackets. Illegal traditional flesh trade ‘joints’ that has been previously closed down by the police have reopened, now catering to this new trend of sexual preference and earning a substantial commission from the gay prostitutes. The earlier legal problems of flesh trade, police raids and local goons are no longer of any consequence since homosexual activities are legal as opposed to traditional flesh trade. So the bisexuals, homosexuals and the transgender are having a booming business. Previously restricted to massage parlors, escort services, magazines, newspapers, internet and social networking sites, this form of prostitution has now come down to the street level. Important traffic signals and junctions are infested with these gay prostitutes. According to a survey conducted by PLUS, an organization for the welfare of gay prostitutes around 1000 homosexual sex workers are now operative in Kolkata (although the actual figure may be much more, compared to 100 – 150 in the last two years). 70% of these gay prostitutes are from the suburban areas of Kolkata coming here in search of some fast buck.
These gay prostitutes are mostly transvestites, to attract customers, which make them even more horrible and depraved. Backed by an army of eunuchs and local motorcycle hooligans, they are a common sight on the EM Bypass, Hazra crossing in South Kolkata, and of course posh areas like Camac Street, Park Street and Southern Avenue and even esoteric places like Nandan, harassing young male pedestrians and passing lewd comments. What makes them even more degraded is that the not only deal in sex but are also drug suppliers and small time arms and ammunition dealers. It is surprising that many of them belong to well to do families and some of them are actually college students.
The issue whether homosexuality is legal or illegal is not the point. Gay prostitution is definitely an act of decadence. They should be compartmentalized in certain areas of the city like the traditional red light areas to maintain the dignity and the sanctity of the major crossings, posh areas and streets by the police. These cross-dressed gay prostitutes are like a bad skin disease on the cityscape and should be abolished immediately before they further infect the City Of Joy.
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