Prostitution Evolution Dilemma and Cultural Differences

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The paper contains the ancient trails of historical background of sex industry in India and how it was viewed socially, culturally, politically and economically and the impacts it brought to India and its society. Prostitution in India can be traced back from its cultural relics that traces back to ancient India. According to Bhattacharji (32), the earliest mention of prostitution occurs in the most ancient literary work in India, the Rgveda. Even in the earliest Vedic age, love outside wedlock was a familiar phenomenon and unions promoted by mere lust are mentioned in quite an uninhibited manner. Prostitution as a profession appears in the literature of a few centuries after the Vedas, although the reality that it must have been common in society much earlier is a big possibility and could have been undocumented due to un-evolved primitive culture (Bhattacharji 32). Extra-marital love citing in the Indian literature may have been voluntary and unpaid but there is the possibility of it being regarded by the male partner as a form of service for which he was obliged to pay in some form. It was deemed as a temporary contract then and was not regarded as a profession (Bhattacharji 32) or maybe the awareness of the bargain was not yet coined to the term prostitution. Gradually, out of the abuses to women in India, paved for the rise of the new set of women group either because they could not find suitable husbands, or because of early widowhood, unsatisfactory married life or other social pressures especially if they had been violated, abducted or forcibly enjoyed and so denied an honorable status in society, or had been given away as gifts in religious or secular events- such women were frequently forced to take up prostitution as a profession- or at least a way to freedom. They found themselves in a unique position who had to be their own bread winners and guardians. Unlike all the others that were wards of men. So, these women who took up prostitution had to be reasonably sure of an independent livelihood (Bhattacharji 32) somehow being out of the shadows of unfair gender system by taking account over their own power despite the social issues they will be faced. There is absolutely no way of knowing when prostitution in India arose as a recognizable profession or how much the prostitute received by way of payment. Its emergence and recognition as a profession was presumably concomitant with the institution of strict marriage rules, and the wife being regarded as the private property of her husband (Bhattacharji 33). The process of the emergence of prostitution must have been slow, varying from region to region and from age to age. By the later Vedic age, at around the eighth or seventh century B.C., references to a more regularized form of prostitution were recognized as a social institution. Early Buddhist literature, especially the Jatakas, bears testimony to the existence of different categories of prostitutes, and incidentally provides some information about their fees as also of their financial position (Bhattacharji 33). Although the later Vedic literature tacitly assumes and sometimes even overtly mentions prostitutes, it is in the Buddhist texts that we see them