Nothing. India’s legislative is not doing anything for its porn stars. The legal system protects its sex workers but it is failing to do anything about the booming porn industry of India, the real losers being, the porn stars who have not yet even found a mention in the constitution.
Who are pornstars?
Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus in the documentary ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ documented the lives of girls who are lured by green bills in the industry only to realise that the industry is patriarchal, feeds to the patriarchal mindset and is demeaning.
The documentary explains that porn stars are people who want to earn to be able to sustain themselves, who want to assert themselves and some look at this industry as any other industry and want to earn a name.
Are Pornstars Prostitutes?
No. Pornstars want to be filmed expressing their desires; at least that is the expectation they come in this industry with. And prostitutes want to earn money in exchange for sex.
But the fine line between pornstars and prostitutes in a situation where the legal system does not protect the pornstars leaves them more vulnerable.
Why do pornstars need protection?
1. The lack of legal framework for any industry adversely affects the freedom and rights of people involved.
Just like in economics a new base year is chosen every now and then to include the value added by recently invented commodities, the legal system of India also need to keep evolving in order to remain relevant. And it does. But some industries where human rights are at stake, such an issue requires desperate attention.
2. India has the third highest HIV epidemic in the world. Around 2.1 million people in India live with HIV.
A Lok Sabha reply revealed that the two major reasons for rising of HIV patients and the emergence of three Northeastern States as ‘HIV Hotspots’ are- Injecting Drug Users and Unsafe Sexual Practices.
India has a 90-90-90 target under the UNAIDS programme which has its deadline in another 2 years. Its target says,
- “By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
- 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
- 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression”
But the ground reality is nowhere near to the target. Mizoram’s Aizwal district itself has the HIV prevalence of 24.68% as compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.
Once the production of porn is recognised as an industry and once the workers are protected, India can regulate the industry and more effectively work to combat the spread of HIV.
3. Pornography is prevalent but is still a taboo in the society, many in the industry are exploited and find it impossible to get out of the web.
A Pornstar must be treated with the same dignity as an engineer. And why not? What is the rationale behind treating people differently for their profession? However, there is a long way for the Indian society to reach that point. But, a set of exclusive rights for them is the need of the hour.