Let’s face it. Raj Kundra probably does own a mobile app that uploads pornographic videos. The app is called Hotshots, and some satisfied consumers of the app, perhaps out of a sense of duty to their fellow Indians, have uploaded content from the app to multiple porn sites on the internet. Hence, Kundra’s masterpieces are freely available to be viewed for all connoisseurs of Indian creativity.
But why is any of this wrong? There are multiple issues at hand here. First of all, is consuming or producing pornography immoral? Reading the wikipedia article on Pornography in India was about as much fun as you’d expect. Let me quote a gem from the article:
In October 2018 the government directed Internet service providers to block 827 websites that host pornographic content following an order by the Uttarakhand High Court. The court cited the rape of a 10th standard girl from Dehradun by four of her seniors. The four accused told police that they raped the girl after watching pornography on the Internet
The implication is that the accused would not have raped the girl if they’d not watched pornography. Of all rapes that have ever occured, how many are a result of the rapists having watched porn immediately before? I don’t seem to have the statistics, but probably very few. Rape has been a problem for thousands of years. Invading armies have raped whole towns and villages. In the Nanjing Massacre in 1936, the invading Japanese army raped 30,000-80,000 women in one province. Hence, rape is probably more about a differential power structure than the availability of pornography.
But we can make an even stronger point! Pornography actually reduces rape and sexual assault.
UCLA researchers surveyed recollections of porn use among law-abiding men and a large group of convicted rapists and child sex abusers. Throughout their lives, the sex criminals recalled consuming less porn. More evidence that porn is a safety valve. Instead of committing rape and pedophilia, potential perpetrators find a less harmful outlet, masturbating to porn.
Around the millennium, partly in response to the availability of Internet porn, Japan, China, and Hong Kong relaxed laws that restricted its availability. In all three places, as porn became more easily available, sex crimes decreased.
Using Czech police records, American and Czech researchers compared rape rates in the Czech Republic for the 17 years before porn was legalized with rates during the 18 years after. Rapes decreased from 800 a year to 500. More porn, less rape.
This also ties in with our general experience. The wide availability of pornography has in fact hindered men from interacting with the opposite sex, especially in countries like Japan. The largest consumers of porn are probably incels.
Alright, so we have established that pornography cannot be blamed for an increase in sexual abuse. Is it still bad? This is a more nuanced question. I do believe that the actors working in pornographic films are often abused and traumatized. Although they agree to act in such films out of their own volition, they are often left traumatized as videos of their sexual acts remain in circulation for the duration of their lifetimes, affecting their relationships with their families, etc. Hence, these videos should be up for deletion whenever desired by the actors (after say a year of being on the internet, so that the companies may recuperate their costs). This affords the actors some modicum of control over their future. However, I do believe that there is nothing inherently immoral about people engaging in sexual acts or watching them, as long as everything is consensual. Any person who has read this far probably agrees with this.
Alright fine. Porn and let porn. But where do neuroscience and Indian law enforcement come into this?
I was recently listening to the audiobook of “The Hidden Spring” by Mark Solms, a reputed neuroscientist from South Africa. The book claims the brain learns through instruction and experience to preferentially activate various neural circuits, while inhibiting others. For instance, if you’ve recently been swindled of a lot of money by a close friend, you will start becoming less trusting of people. Your “suspicion” neural circuit will be much more active than your “trust” circuit, and you will probably say no if someone asks you for a loan without an adequate guarantee. It is this preferential activation of neural circuits that gives humans their individuality. For instance, your brain might preferentially activate your “trust” and “sympathy” circuits, and my brain might activate its “suspicion” and “hatred” circuits. As a consequence of this, you will probably be a more empathetic person than me and have many more friends, whilst I remain a neurotic loner.
So how is any of this related to the Indian law enforcement? Well India is the most rule-abiding country in the world. At least going by the number of rules it has. It, by very far, has the longest constitution in the world, and is decked with all kinds of laws and rules and directive principles and such that are supposed to govern all aspects of our lives. It contains common sensical laws that implore you not to kill your fellow human, and also goes into the minutae of how to send in your registration papers for your new house to the registrar within a couple of weeks with two passport size photos, or your registration will not be accepted unless you pay a 300 rupees fine. But this doesn’t begin to explain the genius of it. It is much more magnificent than the human brain, as you might appreciate below.
Writing laws is not too difficult. However, knowing when to apply them requires much more intelligence and creativity. The Indian law enforcement is not stupid like those in other countries, who supposedly try to apply all laws to everyone equally. They are composed solely of the best and the brightest. The artists. The Picassos of knowing whom to apply the laws to, whom to really apply all possible laws to, and whom to consider above the law and grovel in front of. The differential activation of neural circuits pales in comparison to their differential application of power.
How does it all work? Well, like I said before, India has laws for everything. It’s not really red tape. It’s a red curtain, hiding you from progress and all other material gains that may corrupt you. If you want to do anything at all in India, it is not possible to follow all the laws. If you want to open a company, some officer looking for a bribe may tell you that you didn’t follow Section %(*&^ Clause B, which asks you to take a no objection certificate from the Department of Fisheries down the road. And he’s right. Because there is indeed such a law! Because there are multiple laws for everything. And if you follow all the laws, there will be little money or motivation left for anything else.
Hence, the unwritten law of the land is that you can get past all the red tape if you know which hands to grease, and don’t piss off people more powerful than you. If you are reasonably powerful and wealthy in India, no laws apply to you. The constitution is completely irrelevant to you. You can open whatever business you want, do any kinds of transactions, and you’ll be fine. However, if you piss off anyone more powerful than you, they can soon come up with a thick booklet of rules that you’ve violated since getting on the bus that morning. And they’ll be right. You probably have violated those rules, because let’s face it, you have to violate rules to be able to breathe in the country. And now you’re screwed. You’re done for. You will be assassinated in the media, people will hate you for being anti-national, and moving to Pakistan will be the only door that is open to you.
So what happened in the Raj Kundra case? He was accused of selling pornographic videos by Poonam Pandey, who has her own pornographic app and an Only Fans account. He was also accused of violating her contract. Soon, Sherlyn Chopra, who also her has own Only Fans account and a pornographic app, reported him to the police for selling pornography. Recently, Zoya Rathore, who is the top actresses in the pornographic videos on the Hotshots app, reported to the police that she was asked to audition for the videos on the app, but she refused. She apparently did not act in them. Despite already having multiple pornographic videos of hers online on the Hotshots app. The magical realism needed to warp reality to this extent will make Salman Rushdie weep with joy.
Kundra, probably having anticipated trouble for selling pornographic content in India, ensured that the company wasn’t Indian. He would shoot content in Singapore and other countries, upload them on the app in the UK, and only then allow consumption of the videos in India. Imagine the app to be like the PornHub app. Out of Indian law enforcement’s jurisdiction. Hence, seeing as they could not prosecute him for owning the app, the Indian law enforcement charged Kundra with forcing girls to shoot pornographic videos.
How do you exactly force someone to shoot pornographic videos? There are lengthy contracts that actors have to sign before shooting begins, and they are monetarily compensated for those. Heck, those videos may sometimes have a higher quality of acting than many college drama productions. That is exactly what happened in this case as well. Hence, it is likely that none of these charges will hold up in court. However, Kundra and his family have been vilified in Indian media, and will probably have to leave the country for any semblance of sanity.
Well, law-shlaw. We need to protect Indian morality. Kundra can’t be allowed to do it. But what about the fact that every major Indian city has brothels. The Prostitution in India wiki page says the following
Prostitution is legal in India. A number of related activities including soliciting , kerb crawling, owning or managing a brothel, prostitution in a hotel,child prostitution, pimping and pandering are illegal. There are, however, many brothels illegally operating in Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. UNAIDS estimate there were 657,829 prostitutes in the country as of 2016
So if you’re a person asking a prostitute for sex, or owning a brothel, you should be put into jail. Let’s face it. Hundreds of thousands of Indians buy sex from prostitutes every day. How may are put in jail? OK, let’s assume that catching them red handed is difficult. But every one knows where the brothels are! Why doesn’t the police just go and raze them to the ground?!
We have a unique situation at hand. The Indian law enforcement is, at this very moment, aware of hundreds of thousands of people who engage in prostitution, create and produce pornographic content in India, create distribute and screen softporn “B grade” movies in India, etc. However, it chooses to arrest and malign a random dude who made sure to not violate Indian pornographic law by creating and uploading all of his content outside of India. Moreover, his chief accusers are other pornstars, who currently have their own active pornographic apps!
This is the genius of the Indian law enforcement. The fact that they have a bazillion laws is not the crux of it. The crux of it is the fact that if they don’t like you, or if they have orders from their political overlords, they will open their thick rule book, and find some laws that you are in violation of. You uploaded a facebook post criticizing the local MLA? Arrested under “Intent to cause disturbance”. You’re the sole witness against rioters in Gujarat? Well you didn’t file a report before taking a leave for a day 21 years back, so you’re hereby arrested. And they’ll be right each time. And you’ll hold your head in your arms and scream as loudly as you can, as they take you away in chains. And they’ll display your face to the whole world before they ruin your life. You fucking pornographer.