The Legal Analyst ISSN: 2231-5594Volume 1, 2011, pp.100- 105
PROSTITUTION IN INDIA- LEGAL AND SOCIAL RAMIFICATIONS
When prostitution is the world's oldest profession and we are not able to curb it by law(s), why don't welegalize it? Under apprehension and fear of police and enforcement authorities, those in this trade are compelled tolive a life of harassment, exploitation, humiliation, cruel and degrading treatment. If we legalize it, we can thenmonitor the trade, rehabilitate and provide medical aid to those involved. Legalizing sex trade would be a better option to avoid trafficking of women and pointed out that nowhere in the world was prostitution curbed by punitivemeasures. Most of us say that our society is not ready for such a radical change but how many of us honestlybelieve that an inter-caste marriage, which is a legal right of a couple, is not frowned upon by the society? Have we forgotten the relentless and merciless honor killings that take place every other day? That untouchabilty, which isbanned by the Grundnorm that is, the Constitution of India, is not practiced in India? Perhaps none of us!So we need to legalize prostitution, social acceptance would come eventually. But if we wait for our society to beready for it then they would be deprived of their right to live life with dignity.
Trafficking, Women, Law.
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment.People who execute such activities are called prostitutes. Prostitution is one of the branches of the sexindustry.
The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being a punishable crime toa regulated profession.
Prostitution was a part of daily life in ancient Greece. In the ancient city of Heliopolis in Syria, there wasa law that stated that every maiden should prostitute herself to strangers at the temple of Astarte.
In India, the practice of prostitution has been prevalent since time immemorial. Originally,
werecelibate dancing girls used in temple ceremonies and they entertained members of the ruling class. Butsometime around the 6th Century, the practice of "dedicating" girls to Hindu gods became prevalent in apractice that developed into ritualized prostitution.
literally means God's
where according to the ancient Indian practice, young pre-
pubertal girls are 'married off, „given
away' in matrimony to God or Local religious deity of the temple.
The marriage usually occurs before thegirl reaches puberty and requires the girl to become a prostitute for upper-caste community members.Such girls are known as
'. They are forbidden to enter into a real marriage. The system of
started only after the fall of Buddhism and records about them start appearing around 1000 A.D.[Bharatiya Sanskruti Kosh, IV, 448]. It is viewed that the
are the Buddhist nuns who weredegraded to the level of prostitutes after their temples were taken over by Brahmins during the times of their resurgence after the fall of Buddhism. According to the 1934 Devadasi Security Act, this practice isbanned in India.
India is home today to Asia's largest red-light district--Mumbai's Kamathipura, which originated as amassive brothel for British occupiers and shifted to a local clientele following Indian independence. TheMughal Empire (1526 -
1857) also witnessed prostitution the word „
tawaif’ and 'mujra
' became commonduring this era. King Jahangir's harem had 6,000 mistresses which denoted authority, wealth and power.Even during the British era prostitution flourished the famous Kamathipura, a red light area in Bombay,was built during this era for the refreshment of British troops and which was later taken over by Indiansex workers.
*Assistant Professor, RML National Law University Lucknow, INDIA.