MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA FEBRUARY 01 , 2012 01.30 A.M.
In the beginning of January 2012 , I read a disturbing news item in the Mumbai edition of Times of India and other news papers . I am putting that news verbatim , as it is available on the internet :
” Four FEMEN activists have undressed at the Indian embassy in Kiev in protest against the country’s plan to block young Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakh women from entering India as part of a national anti-prostitution campaign.
The topless activists, partially clad in Indian clothes, used a ladder to climb the Indian embassy’s balcony and unfurled banners saying “Ukrainians are not prostitutes!”, “Delhi, close your brothels,” and “We demand apologies.”
The protesters waved Indian flags and knocked on the embassy’s doors and windows – until detained by security guards and taken away by the police.
The demo was sparked after the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.
FEMEN’s blog says that by issuing such an order, India has gravely insulted the women of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.
“Indian prostitution is directly connected with impunity of the country’s criminal business,” the blog states. “Blaming it on women is a shame for the heirs of such a rich and old culture.”
The FEMEN movement made its name by carrying out politically motivated naked protests at home in Ukraine and in countries throughout Europe, including the Vatican . ”
[ On January 16, Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice refused to register FEMEN as an official political movement, claiming its position was extremist. ]
USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved in 1991 and 15 new countries came into existence . Ukraine became independent on August 24 , 1991 and along with other former Soviet Republics , started her life on a new note .
Economy of Ukraine , in spite of her shinning capital city Kiev , is in shambles . She was unable to cope up with the transition to market economy and started struggling with her economy . She , during this period , was stricken with 8 year – recession also . Then in 2008 , Ukraine was caught in the world-wide economic crisis . Economy suffered and finally plunged .
According to me because of this grim economic situation many Ukrainians started visiting various countries , including India , in search of job and greener pastures . It is said that Ukrainian girls are indulging in prostitution in India . So the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.
I strongly feel that such kind of order for the blanket ban of Ukrainian , Russian and Kazakh women is insulting indeed . Even if Ukrainian girls are indulging in some kind of amoral activities , the order is harsh and uncalled for . There is law enforcing agency in India . They must perform their duties and should do something to stop this menace . A policy to not issue visa to the young girls of Ukraine , Russia and Kazakhstan is very humiliating and insulting .
In stead of making the machinery more effective , Government of India issues such insulting advisory to the Indian Embassy . FEMEN , which always protests in the matter of women , took offence and umbrage and protested naked in front of Indian Embassy in Kiev .
I am pained to see these 4 photographs . If women can undress themselves for a cause and protest naked in public , one can understand their pain and agony .
I empathise with them . I feel sorry for them . Brothels are in plenty in India . And they are not thriving because of Ukrainian girls . It is reported by some N.G.O.s that poor minor girls of Nepal and Bangladesh are lured into prostitution and brothels in metro cities of India are full of them . So why blame only Ukrainian girls . Is it not duty of the police to stop prostitution ? Is it not duty of the N.G.O.s to rehabilitate these poor girls and arrange for their deportation to their native countries ? In stead of strengthening its law enforcing agencies , central government reneges its duty and issues such derogatory and inhuman order .
Words are not saying it and it is not there in the text but the order suggests that Ukrainian women are prostitutes . It is not there openly in the order but one can easily draw the meaning . I am a non – entity but still I feel like apologising to the Ukrainian women .
My Ukrainian friends , I am extremely sorry ! Though I wish to do something regarding this but I am a small and helpless man . I am not more than a spec in the scheme of the things .
I can only express anguish and offer my apologies on behalf of this ancient Nation , where women used to be adored once upon a time and are still worshiped in the form of various goddesses .
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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