Condoms at the Commonwealth Games

Promoting promiscuity
by Farzana Versey

The Indian government is prepared. It is providing 150 vending machines at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) village from where athletes will be able to purchase condoms. Will this promote prostitution? Our former sports minister, Mani Shankar Aiyer, thinks so...

Objecting to contraception at the venue will not stop prostitution.


Full column at Express Tribune:


  1. My comment has been posted at the site now.

  2. Fascinating, Farzana. While it has seemed reasonable to me that any publication (to include its electronic equivalent) might wish to reserve certain rights in presentation, i.e. how it is framed; whether the article or essay "merits" front-page prominence, or whether it is "buried" several pages deep; whether first, last or middle among columnists, essayists, opinion writers listed on the same page -- to include headlines in reportage pieces (most particularly if the reporter had been dispatched under the publication's auspices and on the publication's dime ($$) -- and, yes, certainly there is a rhetoric to such presentation or framings -- for what it's worth, I have a degree of discomfort with a certain kind of putzing-around with the titles of essays or opinion pieces that fall, albeit arguably, into a more, shall we say, "creative" realm.

    In Shakespeare's As You Like It, there's a scene where Touchstone, the fool, accompanied by Audrey -- apparently a local beauty -- is being presented to the Duke-in-exile's court somewhere in the forest of Arden. There is an exchange of witty banterings between the duke, one of his lords-in-waiting and Touchstone; whereupon, at a certain moment, Touchstone sort of surreptitiously elbows Audrey in the ribs, saying, perhaps sotto voce, "--bear your body more seeming, Audrey."

    I'm wondering, Farzana, if the juxtaposing of "condom" and "commonwealth" in your original title might not have been touching a bit too close to the bone for the Trib's headline editor, hence the prophylactic which was presented to their readers in lieu . . .

    Be that as it may, it's rare that we are given such a before and after view of the headlines employed by media. Thank you.

  3. Mstaab:

    You are right in the “reserve certain rights” bit, Mark. Most publications have a policy and standardisation. It just so happens that I have a policy too! And it is made known. Unlike quite a few, I am not bothered about positioning – usually publications have given me a thorny crown – but the authenticity in the manner of projection. Besides, I do believe that my headlines are rather neat and apt.

    The juxtaposition was meant to touch close to the bone…er…and given that the word was used in the first sentence itself the “prophylactic”, as you call it, was premature.

    Be that as it may, it's rare that we are given such a before and after view of the headlines employed by media. Thank you.

    I should hope you are not humouring me for I plan a more detailed before, after and middle soon :)

  4. >>I should hope you are not humouring me<<

    In what sense? :)

    >>I plan a more detailed before, after and middle soon<<

    After your "I'm with stupid" clarification appended to your previous article, I have already fashioned a five-point safety harness for my office chair. :D

  5. In what sense? :)

    I got my answer!

    And, why do you need a safety harness? I plan to be pretty harmless...


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