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Can the Home Minister ban those ads?

If K.J. George has real intentions to cleanse Bangalore and the police force, he must completely ban all advertisements on massage parlours and health clinics in all the media including the Internet.

Syed Sujeel Ahmed

One must have realized that crime increases in both financial extremities— boom or doom. But the form of it is different: In doom a victim loses money to robberies and fraud, whereas in boom a person willingly loses money in mischievous deeds. In doom a needy person might resort to petty crimes, whereas in boom a prosperous person might slip into dirty alleyways of immoral activities.

Today, the global IT and ITES industry has a sourcing of almost 55 percent to India; and a major chunk of these IT-dollars, pounds and euros is being showered upon Bangalore which has transformed this city from ‘Pensioners’ Paradise’ into ‘Sin City’. Crimes of all types are spreading in every nook and corner of the city, thus making the criminals news maker almost every day. This change of face of the city has happened in just a few years.

Almost eight years ago when one of my friends had met Shuaib Ilaysi, anchor of India’s first crime based news show—India’s Most Wanted (IMW)—with a business proposal to launch Bangalore/southern version of IMW, he expressed his unwillingness to do so. His justification was that the rate and variety of crime in this part of India is not much to sustain a crime-based show. But today the scenario is different. The rate and variety both are in plenty now: daring ATM heists, conmen robbing people, posing as policemen, thieves doing recce of houses with the excuse of catching pigeons and teenage girls selling their eggs by undergoing Oocyte Retrieval (OCR) (a surgical procedure to collect mature reproductive eggs which results in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOD) and hormonal imbalance) are just a few examples.

Friday’s (June 28, 2013) raid, facilitated by an NGO, on one of the houses located at 1st main road, Sahakarnagar, near Sanjay Nagar, off Bellary road, and the rescue of a minor and the arrest of three men involved in immoral activity (read f***h t***E) occupied major portions of newspapers. But what is perplexing is that the newspapers who carried this story stating as unlawful and immoral activity are the same who publish advertisements of this trade.

Pick up some of the mainstream newspapers and turn to the Classifieds page; one should not be surprised to see advertisements inserted under the heading ‘Massage Parlours’, ‘Health Clinic’, ‘Wellness’ and ‘Beauty/Health’. From the content of the advertisement inserted, one will come to understand, without exerting much effort, that the intentions of these ads are not in-line with the heading. And it is not even fitting for to even reproduce the content as evidence. The contents of these ads suggest what they actually mean, but the educated and investigative brains of these newspapers do not seem to catch the indications of them all! These advertisements are not for one insertion, but they have become a permanent part of the Classifieds section. What is surprising is that these ads suddenly disappeared just a few days before the raid which occurred on June 28 and the statements of the Home Minster on stringent regulations for dance bars. This is very much indicative of what these advertisements were actually meant for.

These are the newspapers that are daily scanned through without fail by the city’s who’s who ranging from the Chief Minister, Home Minister to police chief and many other law-enforcing agencies. Then how come none has ever objected to or taken any action on these advertisements? Doesn’t this silence leave us with many questions?

The marketing of this crime is not just limited to the newspapers but other means of advertisements are also effectively used. The local telephone search engines are yet another medium to sell this sin under the same garb of ‘massage parlours and spa’. The internet is another convenient way to accomplish this crime, apart from bigger players using their own website, small-time operators use popular US-based free classifieds site www.c****l**

It is found that such ‘service providers’ are spread all over the city, even in the Muslim-concentrated areas. But the majority of them operate out of posh localities and in and around the IT hubs. With the quantum of money involved, this trade has acquired the form of an ‘organized industry’ and there are people who just work as call attenders, speaking fluent English. There are managers who manage the affairs. And there are security guards who look after the safety and security of their ‘staff’. There is also news that the services have extended to resorts that are exclusively built for this trade.

But the important question is: how come such advertisements in mainstream newspapers and telephone search engines are so openly allowed to carry out? Is there none to put a break on it? It is disturbing to see that these newspapers groups, despite laying tall claims for being part of anti-corruption drives and movements, knowingly and consciously publish such illegal advertisements to earn money through corrupt means.  And is it not a fact that the string of this network reaches up to the higher-ups among the police force and politicians?

If the Home Minister, K.J. George, has real intentions to cleanse the city and the police force, then he must put on a blanket ban on the advertisements of any kind on massage parlours and health clinics and any advertisement carrying such contents in all the media including the Internet. Also, he must ensure to catch all the accomplices from the police force who are acting as safeguards of the trade and turning a blind eye on it.

(The writer is a principal contributor to, the Egyptian news and community portal)

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