KARACHI: In a city bustling with frustrated people, on a road packed with vendors of every sort; in a street renowned for being historical, there lies a market – haven for Karachi youth. The Rainbow Centre, near the Empress Market, Saddar, which once used to be trodden by wealthy traders of the subcontinent until partition, is a place where shame and chastity have no room. It is a market within a market. One may get to see the posters of Hollywood and Bollywood films, but that’s not what keeps the market running and thronged by the young-enthusiasts of the city. There
is more to it.
The fact that Rainbow Centre supplies CDs and DVDs of all types to the city is beyond doubt. What captivates youngsters here even more is a variety of porn films available at minimal prices. On entering the market, one may grasp the attention of shop owners in the middle of the market who would never give a second thought for calling you to at least see how erotic their collection is. “Hey bro, what do you want, double or triple? Look, we have everything!” is what you hear clearly in a low-pitched voice.
The business has shrunk to a devastating extent owing to the availability of porn on the internet, free of cost. Not many young faces are now seen in the market apart from a few novices who are yet to discover the filthy side of life, or are devoid of internet facilities. Sources told Daily Times that porn movies are originally downloaded via internet by paying in dollars to the websites operated from the United States; and then are burned in DVDS to cater to the sexual needs of the city.
Again there are bad people with a principled life and good people with an unprincipled life. Two random shop owners were selected to see what they could offer to a young buyer. Reports were that a handful of sellers had child pornography to offer to the customers with paedophile tendencies. The first guy shockingly answered that he doesn’t have videos of girls aged less than 18. “How can there be a porn video of a girl not already in her teens and who isn’t an adult?” he asked with a look of concern on his face. The next randomly selected person looked a tad weird as on his shop’s TV a film showing bestiality was playing which was quite nauseating. “See, I have videos of deflowering of virgin girls, you want more? In that case, I can arrange a film of 8 years old girls, but that will cost you Rs 300.”
Whether porn should be completely banned or made illegal to watch is a question that should be left to viewers and/or the higher authorities, discussing its ramifications is worthwhile. The porn industry that has made many a people captive is roughly a $13 billion business, largely owned by corporations in the US. Every 30 minutes a porn movie is filmed in the said country, while every second at least 30,000 people are watching porn. To top it all, 42.7 percent of all internet users actually use the facility for porn. In a country ravaged by religious extremism where sexual freedom is curtailed to an untold extent, porn is often seen as a notion of liberty. “At nights when my family is in deep slumber, I open my computer to watch porn. I don’t know what would be the results of watching it, and how it is wrong religiously. What I know is that’s the best part of my life which is otherwise sad, rotten, despicable, lacking every colour,” said a young guy during a debate on porn.
Be it the Rainbow Centre, the plethora of adult websites or an old phenomenon of internet cafes often used for browsing “all-kinds-of-stuff”, the sexual desires of the city are being taken care of. What the porn viewers need to know is the negative repercussion it can cause them. Porn is highly addictive, and can tear apart the social life and psychology once one gets hooked to it. A recent study has shown how it prepares its stranglehold. In human brain there is a Dopamine level that increases as soon as we start doing anything enjoyable; it can be eating food, hugging a friend, or kissing one’s spouse. When tested how porn stimulates the Dopamine level, the results were astounding. Watching porn can increase the Dopamine level to an extent greater than eating, having drugs, and even sex! That’s why the craving for watching porn is more intensified than of actually having healthy, normal sex. This trend can easily wreak havoc with a junkie’s life before s/he even thinks of changing it for better.
Apparently, the red light areas have vanished from the surface, and what has taken place is the ever-booming market of porn videos which now employs thousands of job-hungry men and women – for filming, making DVDs, transportation – unlike the trade of prostitution.