Country on Gambling and Prostitution

Nepal: Country on Gambling and Prostitution

Ram Manohar Sah

"A female slave is called keti and costs about thirty Mohurs but, if young and handsome, she will bring ten Mohurs additional. A few have been degraded and sold by the raja on account of crimes alleged against them but by far the greatest part has been sold by necessitous parents. All the ketis, even those belonging to the queen, are prostitutes. The poor creatures are therefore forced to sacrifice their chastity, in order to procure clothings."

This paragraph was written by Francis Buchanan Hamilton on his visit to Kathmandu Valley two century back in his travelogue "An account of the Kingdom of Nepal"(pg 219-220). When Hamilton Visited Valley two century back, it was time just after King Prithivi Narayan Shah's victory. Since Hamiltonís observation in 1802-03 AD, time and situation has seen sea changes, but the above paragraph remains truth even today in day light, except the fact that active slavery word and practice is banned since 1925 AD (Chandra Shumshere) and keti is respected Nepalese vocabulary word and king/queen reach is limited to their secretary.

With the passage of time, we can claim to have made progress on technology and political scale. But we remain almost on the same level on sociological development today as Hamilton described. Visit Thamel and you will find some or other girl selling her chastity in the pretext of massage center or beauty parlor. Visit some dance restaurant in the night life of valley, and you will get some vulnerable beauty sole unbuckling her jeans in need of few bucks.

The story is not exception to the valley. In the name of Dance bar restaurant or massage center or beauty parlor, each and every corner of country is today being developed as prostitution center. The bar restaurant itself add the necessary ingredient to make the whole atmosphere exotic.

With the evasive and corrupt administration, restaurant owner easily manage legal license to operate dance bar restaurant with girls as the staff. Beauty sole get trapped in these hells; some by ignorance, some by the helplessness, and some for the materialistic aspiration.

These restaurants are hardly regulated, and can be seen opened round the clock on every public places and residential places. People engaged in these activities hardly care of public comments and social values. On the other hand, the increasing dominance of this culture is demolishing the remaining social values in the society. The prevalence of corrupt bureaucracy hardly melts in front of the warmth of few conscious and suffering civilized groups.

Now to the another story of society
Pandav bet Draupdi on dice and have to loose everything they had. This story teaches us two points. For those who justify gambling as an example, points that it has been with society since older time as a respected recreation activity. But for people, who are on other side justifies that Gambling can even loose your wife, property, and prestige. Amid all these morals, society still is witnessing gambling on large scale.

The existence of eight casinos in Nepal tells a very small story about the attitude problem of the ruling & administrative class. The owners, mostly high class people, continuously promote gambling as business. The bureaucrats get its greedy fulfilled easily through the gambling operating centers. Government justifies as the source of tax income. But in all this process, common poor man is the looser.

The story of these licenced Gambling businesses is tip of ice-berg in whole show. Each day and each corner of country, there are numerous gambling centers operated. In festival sessions business magnifies. All this happens in the day light with the awareness and sharing of profit with local administration. Local people get struck with the reach of high profile people involved in it, even if common people want it to discourage. This gambling is scattered everywhere be it rented and dedicated room, personal house, road side shops, safe corner on street, common restaurant, or high profile dance bar restaurant.

Where we are? Are we moving forward or moving backward in the development of civilization? Should we all allow it to happen in the name of safeguarding the individual freedom, or have we became blind in the light of individualistic world. Should we allow it to happen in the helpless of individualistic limit, or is our individualistic desire showing helplessness in front of society, or is it failure of collective society? Are we unable gauge the infinite inhuman grief of those girls expressed in front each customer, or are we unable to read the game behind the Gambling?

We feel easy in blaming that around 10,000 girls are sold in Indian red light market each year, and around 1 lack Nepalese girls are today in Indian red light areas. But we ignore to realize that, each minute and in every corner of country, we are creating and promoting indigenous red light areas. Today, we are feeling happy to send girls abroad in the lure of rials, but ignore to mention that in most of the cases they are neither different from any other red light areas. The big question remain unanswered, is the poverty only reason to justify this inhuman practice or are we unable to build strong determination?

Gambling is fading the income coming out of Yarsagumba, gambling is fading the salary of gulf countries, gambling is making people sell ancestral property, gambling is spoiling the yearly saving of employed and yearly sell of business man, gambling is making children stave of food and fun, gambling is killing the spirit of festival. The only people get rich and happy in this process is gambling center owners, gambling promoting corrupt administration, and gambling safeguarding government rulers.

Some people are engaged in Gambling & Prostitution through their habits, some get involved with the curiosity, some get motivated by the friends circle, and some has innate motives and attitude to promote it. Except the last point, all the other ways can be controlled to certain limits if individual people desires. The last point shows the collective failure of bureaucratic and civil society. Some people have perception that they can gain substantial amount persuing these activities, by either proactively practicing himself/herself or proactively promoting these businesses through their shops. This happens because of the feeling and experience that money can buy every thing, including bureaucracy, people and parties.

We need to ask to our self and to the so called civilized society and to the office bearers in power corridors. Do we desire to be on the opposite side of the show consciously? Do the money gained/accumulated from these activity is going to do good for the society? Do the prestige of country increase in the connected world? Is this the things we want to carry forward to our next generation? Will the future generation praise us from these practices? Is the other recreational activity in the digital age not sufficient to suffice the jeal of destitute soles?

If the answer for the above questions is no, then we need to ban Gambling and Prostitution from our heart, from society, from country. Gambling and Prostitution is not adding any value tangibly or intangibly to the economy, to the society, to the development of human being, to the improvement of quality of life. Rather, it left behind the grief, guilt, grievances to suffer and to society.

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I agree


  • Posted on - 2010-01-04    by     ravi
  • we have to love our country Nepal .