Thoughts From India
By An Indian Comrade
I am a Stickman fan and am a regular reader of ezines which are about the fairyland that is Thailand. I also make it a point to visit Thailand at least once in a year. My first visit to Thailand was in 1996 and the last was in Jan 2002. So I can call myself very informed about the changes that have taken place in the recent months in Thailand.
Now I belong to India and so am very lucky in that my flight to Bangkok takes only about three hours. It is a very comfortable journey, time-wise…I have seen the moral clampdown happening in Indian cities over the last 20 years (I am 36 now) and what I feel will happen in Thailand will sadden a lot of regular visitors (including myself) to Thailand.
One should take cognizance of the fact that Buddhism took its birth in India and that the Buddhist culture has a very strong influence of Hinduism on it. In fact Thai (the language) has a lot of words that have a Sanskrit base. There is no doubt that the ethos of the two cultures share a lot of commonality.
Bangalore from where I hail had a lot of cabarets in the 70s. You could pick up a girl as and when you wanted to. There were bar girls albeit in closed, secluded and few bars. There were many locales in the city (like Cox Town and Lingarajapuram) where madams ran their brothels. Anglo Indian girls (born to Anglo Indian parentage) who could speak excellent English provided decent escort service. The bus stand, the railway station and movie halls were places where you could bump into freelancers every evening. Similar was the situation in most Indian cities. But then there was this feeling that India was becoming a destination for sex tourism. We suddenly began to feel for our rich culture and how insulting it was that our girls were selling their bodies to satiate an evil mind bla bla. All this crap has now led to a situation where only the police and political bigwigs get what they want and the common man is frustrated to a point where he is committing sex related crimes…Exploitation of girls coming from poor families has only increased.
Since the feeling on morality was a strong base on which the vote bank could be turned, all the political parties endorsed it. So irrespective of who comes to power in New Delhi and inspite of losing out on a really BIG opportunity to bring in foreign exchange and reduction of poverty (think of the millions of jobs that can be created in the hotel industry, transport, guides, tourism infrastructure etc), we are way below world standards in terms of quality of life…India had and still has the potential to provide one hundred times of what Thailand can offer, in all respects…There are beaches, hill stations, deserts, snow capped mountains English speaking people, big chested women and cool weather, many of which even Thailand doesn't have…
I think morality is too strong a platform in countries like Thailand and going by the Indian I do not see any immediate reprieve. Thailand I feel will not be the same in the next few decades.
Talking about a longer timeframe, I think sexual openness is any community is a cyclic process. Imagine a country like India which gave the world works like Kama Sutra, where innumerable kings gave physical form to their wild sexual fantasies in their harems, the country where sexual fantasies were born, where the scriptures talk about righteousness in every family man having a courtesan, is today a place where an unmarried guy has no way out but to use his hands…I think we will lose out a couple of generations before the openness that we are talking about will return to this country. But that would also be the time when Holland would have closed down all its cafes and the vestiges of the dead red light district would just be another historic tourist spot….
Interesting thoughts and predictions that could very likely eventuate. The world is a changing place, and it seems that more and more, countries in Asia are being influenced by the politically correct West, and are slowly adopting the moral high ground as as the case in these wealthier countries. On ne hand its a good thing, but on the other it isn't so good…