Vantage point

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CSWs also Offended!

A few days back K S Sudarshan, the RSS Supremo kicked up a lot of dust by comparing politicians with prostitutes. All the politicians were very offended at being compared with prostitutes.

It turns out that prostitutes were even more offended at being compared with politicians!! An article in the 17th June edition (could not find the article online) of the Pune TOI says -

CSWs pen their angry reaction to RSS chief

Pune: It’s now the turn of Pune’s prostitutes to settle a few issues with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief K.S. Sudarshan, who recently raised eyebrows by likening prostitutes to politicians.

Following Bharatiya Janata Party president L.K. Advani’s return to his post after the furore over his remarks on Pakistan founder M.A. Jinnah, Sudarshan had translated a Sanskrit verse into Hindi which said that politicians change their stand just as veshyas (prostitutes) change their clothes and appearance.

About 37 commercial sex workers (CSWs) from Pune’s red-light area have objected to this comparison with politicians in an open protest letter to Sudarshan.

They expressed “regret at the quality of thought in prominent leaders and so-called protectors of culture and morals”. “We have told you of our compulsion; now tell us what are the compulsions of politicians,” the letter, released on Thursday, stated.
Penned by CSWs affiliated to ‘Saheli’, the letter said that “by comparing politicians to us, you have not only insulted us but also womanhood. We sell our bodies to earn a livelihood as we are helpless and have no option.”

It pointed out that the condition and fate of CSWs has not changed in the past 100 years. “Our plight, our viewpoint and principles remain the same. Many of our generations have been ruined because of injustice, violation of human rights and exploitation by society,” it added.

The CSWs have urged Sudarshan to remember their circumstances before making any comparisons in the future, and said that the RSS chief should try and understand their plight.

Tejaswi Sevekari, project co-ordinator of Saheli, told TNN that though a majority of the CSWs were illiterate, they have a library of newspapers where important news items are read out to them by social workers everyday.

The CSWs were so upset with Sudarshan that they decided to register their protest through a letter. Stating that a copy is being sent to Sudarshan shortly, Sevekari said, “We will get his address from the local RSS office.”

Well, what do you have to say now, Mr. Chaalak?