Red Light Districts

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#61 Oct 9th, 2007, 00:18
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#61
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Originally Posted by Aishah View Post This is a very sobering thread - it started off almost as a joke put by New South Welshman (where is he now btw - only one further comment that he might try and visit an area, bit like going to a zoo..)At first it was very male-oriented, then the ladies put in their bit and it has turned into a good discussion of the real India,warts and all..
Now this is the Irony of this board..the threads which are serious in nature...take the humorous turn....and this thread..which was a joke is all serious stuff now...
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#62 Oct 9th, 2007, 00:44
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Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post ... the vast majority of those opinions are completely wrong, so I prefer to find out for myself.
Your justification for doing whatever you decide to do is summed up in the sentence above. The problem is that people don't necessarily have a right to learn through experience when the consequences are detrimental to others. The question is what is most important: your personal development or the dignity of these people? Legally, you may be entitled to walk through red light districts, but morally it is dubious.
#63 Oct 9th, 2007, 00:57
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#63
I beg to differ.

Walking through a red light district is hardly morally dubious.

Ignoring that reality, or pretending it doesn't exist, or even pretending that those folk are somehow beneath me...... that may well be.
#64 Oct 9th, 2007, 01:34
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Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post I beg to differ. Walking through a red light district is hardly morally dubious.
One person throwing a plastic bottle in nature doesn't itself constitute a major problem. If many people did throw plastic bottles, it would turn into a problem. One person picking a flower from a public flower bed won't be noticeable. If many people did pick the flowers, the flower bed would be destroyed. The occasional tourist walking though a red light district will hardly me noticed and definitely quickly forgotten. Large numbers of tourists turning a red light district into a tourist attraction would be undignified and constitute a problem. I believe that it is by these standards one should evaluate ones' actions. It usually gives a clear indication as to whether an act is reasonable or not. The case of red light district voyeurism, whatever the reason, easily qualifies as an unsustainable or unreasonable act.
#65 Oct 9th, 2007, 04:02
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One person travelling overland to India isn't a problem, but ozone distroying plane loads of tourists????

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Originally Posted by pundabee View Post One person throwing a plastic bottle in nature doesn't itself constitute a major problem. If many people did throw plastic bottles, it would turn into a problem. One person picking a flower from a public flower bed won't be noticeable. If many people did pick the flowers, the flower bed would be destroyed. The occasional tourist walking though a red light district will hardly me noticed and definitely quickly forgotten. Large numbers of tourists turning a red light district into a tourist attraction would be undignified and constitute a problem. I believe that it is by these standards one should evaluate ones' actions. It usually gives a clear indication as to whether an act is reasonable or not. The case of red light district voyeurism, whatever the reason, easily qualifies as an unsustainable or unreasonable act.
Good points I suppose, but tell me, do you look at beggars and those living in poverty when you visit India?


Speaking of poverty......

I was very concerned about how I'd feel when I witnessed real poverty on my first visit to India, I read lots about it, I got to the point where I knew I'd still find it hard, but I was sure I could handle it.

I got to Chennai, booked into the hotel, then went for a walk, it was about 05:30, I got to a footbridge that lead to Chennai Egmore station and found a young woman sleeping with a new born baby on one breast and another about 10 months old on the other.

About half an hour later I walked up the side of Egmore station and found a street that could only be described as a Shanti town, it was horrendous, one person looked at me and smiled, it was more than I could cope with, I wanted to go home.

5 minutes of reality proved how useless all that reading had been.
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#66 Oct 9th, 2007, 10:30
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#66
Steven - "5 minutes of reality proved how useless all that reading had been". I had exactly the same reactions and 'awakening' as you, and funnily, also in Chennai. Chennai was the first place I came to when I first came to India. I think this happens to many people from other countries when they first come here - my Oz friends, one of whom had worked in the worst districts of Khartoum and Eritrea, said she thought India was even worse.
All the issues raised in this thread are not just peculiar to India, they are also relevant to almost every country in the world..And I agree with Capt Mahajan - it is not morally dubious walking through a red light district, your personal reasons may be but walking is not.
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#67 Oct 9th, 2007, 11:20
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Believe I got my fill of the red light district in India by watching Born into Brothels. "Born into" being the operative words in the title and no matter how candy-coated (with it's catchy soundtrack & photography under-theme) this doc was presented - one couldn't help but feel sadness for those children whose fate (regardless of caste - one Brahmin family was featured)had already been determined generations in the past.

Since prostitution is so synonymous with drug users, organized crime, & diseases here in the west - I must say that it really doesn't induce a strong urge to feel it, observe it and/or explore it firsthand in any foreign land .... let alone in India where it appears many of the "service providers" are "performing" only due to some cruel form of nepotism.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
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Last edited by PeakXV; Oct 9th, 2007 at 21:35.. Reason: spell
#68 Oct 9th, 2007, 14:13
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Originally Posted by Aishah View Post Diana, I would say that some of the village people here, who have never gone outside a very narrow range of their environment would never have heard of the world of bars, nightclubs and prostitutes.
True of course. In this case however the fellow was a well traveled, well educated fellow who has spent the last few years studying in the U.S. What is interesting is that his focus seems always to present India as somehow flawless in comparison to the US which is unspeakably evil. When we visited together once we were in India, it was odd to see how he really did just turn a blind eye. I don't know if he really could not see the drunk man staggering about Thrissur round, or if his core belief that India=Good and America=bad had in influence. It was, to me, a strange phenomena that I've observed in a couple of Indians studying in the U.S. but not in people living in India. Not sure what to make of it.

Sorry to go off topic.

I stay away from red-light districts because at this point in time there is not anything I can do to help (tough I hope that changes) and there is nothing there I want.

The issue of "looking" is a tough one for me. Staring at or photographing beggars vs. the power of those photographs? We stare and yet we hurt as much for staring as for the person we stare at. Or we do if we can still feel. It's when sights and images lose all power to move people, as is happening in much of the western world, that I feel we are in serious trouble.

In the US it does seem it takes more and more to have an impact: more violence, more sex, stronger drugs, more blood...the horror shows of my childhood are today's afternoon specials.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Rabindranath Tagore
#69 Oct 9th, 2007, 20:41
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#69
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Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post One person travelling overland to India isn't a problem, but ozone distroying plane loads of tourists????
Flying to India is not a sustainable act.

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Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post Good points I suppose, but tell me, do you look at beggars and those living in poverty when you visit India?
I don't go to poor areas for the sake of it, but when approached by a beggar, or when there is a beggar sitting on a pavement begging, typically because he/she isn't capable of walking, I look, approach, smile and make a contribution. Strangely though, of the many foreigners I have seen being approached by beggars not one has made made a contribution.

I am not afraid of these sides of India; I just don't think it is reasonable for foreigners to seek them out for the sake of personal development or to be a voyeur. Going there with the purpose of doing different types of voluntary work is, of course, different.

I am not questioning your motives for wanting to experience these other sides of India; I am sure you are a decent person with a good heart, but my point is that it is not necessarily the right thing to do. At the very least there are strong arguments against seeking out these sides of India as a foreigner (or Indian for that matter).
#70 Oct 10th, 2007, 10:13
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#70
Well said, Peak XV!
#71 Oct 12th, 2007, 12:10
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Believe I got my fill of the red light district in India by watching Born into Brothels..."<snip>
thanks for mentioning this, and i heartily agree with your comments, peak. i haven't found anyone who shares my critique of the film. it was good, but could have been great, if only the director hadn't kept forgetting that it was about a tragic reality and not about melodramatic displays of her altruism.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~Helen Keller [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
#72 Oct 12th, 2007, 12:16
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#72
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Originally Posted by Aishah View Post This is a very sobering thread - it started off almost as a joke put by New South Welshman (where is he now btw - only one further comment that he might try and visit an area, bit like going to a zoo..)
Calm down Aishah. I started this not to visit these places, just out of curiosity to where these places are, as I have never stumbled upon such areas out of my 3 visits to India totalling 6 months, and as you should know by reading most of my threads, the only reason I visit India is mostly to check out the nightlife and pubs/clubs/etc. You shouldn't judge me by a forum entry, so get your head out of the toilet.
#73 Oct 12th, 2007, 19:56
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#73
Not judging you NSW, just a comment on how this thread was changing; humblest apologies if you thought the 'zoo' comment was judgemental, was not intended that way. BTW I am still breathing!
#74 Oct 13th, 2007, 02:30
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#74
All good Aishah. I over reacted. I sorry too.
#75 Oct 13th, 2007, 09:01
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Thank you,NSW. It is easier to see what a person really means when you are talking face to face - sometimes writing stuff, the exact meaning can become a little lost! But the beauty of this Forum is, it is very helpful for basic information and the latest news about India and that comes through clearly! BTW your idea for a Forum on the nightlife of India sounds good...
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