By Sandeep Sahu
India has come a long way since the time bees and flowers were all that one got to see by way of love making on the silver screen. With the advent of the internet – and, not to forget the ubiquitous, all-purpose mobile phone - sex is now all over the place in the virtual world. And it has predictably had its fall-out on the real world too. Sex is no more about two amorous individuals spending some intimate moments in a private space. It is now completely in-your-face. Just having sex, it seems, is not enough of a ‘kick’ anymore. It has to be displayed like a ‘trophy’ won in a match.
Take the case of Pranab Chakravorty of Raighar in Nabarangpur, a place that one instantly associates with poverty, malnutrition and everything else that is wrong with our development model. But what this 24-year old youth (now arrested) has done is symptomatic of what the advent of the mobile phone and the internet has done to our countryside. Not satisfied with having trapped his 14-year old neighbor, a girl student of class IX, into a physical relationship, he posted the video shot on his camera online for the voyeurs of the neighbourhood - and the world at large - to go gaga over.
In another example of the perversion that has crept into our society in matters of sex, a group of youths was arrested in Bolangir for forcing a college going boy and girl talking to each other into sex, recording the scene on their mobile camera, making an MMS of it and selling it to anyone interested for Rs 300 a piece! [As if to prove that such perversion is not limited to a few individuals, they were apparently doing ‘brisk business’ before the police spoiled the ‘fun’!]
Even more revolting was the case in Sambalpur, which was decided by the court a few days ago. Five youths were sentenced to life imprisonment by the court for gang raping a college girl, recording the abominable act on their mobile camera and making it viral on the net back in 2013. One of the convicts was an auto rickshaw driver, who had dropped off the girl and her boyfriend at a place before rushing back to gather six of his friends and returning to the place for the ‘conquest’. The charge sheet said the youths overpowered the girl’s friend and took turns to rape her while others gleefully shot the entire sequence on their mobile cameras.
One could go on and on. Such cases are too numerous in the state to be recounted in an article like this. Just how deep the rot has gone can be gauged from the fact that the CBI raid on Kalia, a Bhubaneswar builder, alone unearthed over 400 (Yes, you heard that right!) sex videos, many of them cases of rape. Odisha’s unenviable reputation as the poorest state in the country has clearly not prevented it from going the way of its more illustrious counterparts when it comes to the perversion sweepstakes.
So, what exactly is it that has led to this perversion, this uncontrollable desire to flaunt sexual ‘conquests’ as some kind of a trophy? Is it the result of watching too much porn of the kinky kind? Is it the new age definition of ‘fun’? Is it the desire to make some money while indulging in sex? Is it man’s way of getting even with women, who are becoming increasingly assertive?
It is for sociologists and psychologists to study the phenomenon in all its dimensions and the factors that have spawned it. But it is time for parents, guardians and teachers to open their eyes to this cancer that is eating into the vitals of the society and do a rethink on whether they are giving the right kind of upbringing to growing up boys. And for lawmakers to think if the existing laws are adequate to deal with the malaise that has clearly taken deep roots in the society.