Why the combo of sex and powerful position is not a private matter
Whenever there is a sex scandal involving a powerful politician, bureaucrat or a general, there is this assortment of intellectuals and liberals who immediately start beating the drum of “oh, but sex among consenting adults is a private matter”. They are either trying to private-matterize the whole thing out of naiveté (which is highly doubtful) or they are trying to save/help the person caught in the act due to whatever reason.
The same thing is happening in the wake of the recent sex scandal involving an Aam Aadmi Party minister called Sandeep Kumar who happened to be holding the portfolios of SC/ST Welfare and Women and Child Welfare in the Delhi government, incidentally, and ironically.
The usual suspects have started saying that although the act might be termed as immoral, it cannot be termed as illegal and hence, strict action shouldn’t be taken against the minister.
I’m not a legal expert, but isn’t Sandeep Kumar married and isn’t having a physical relationship with someone outside of marriage adultery and isn’t adultery a felony and hence, isn’t someone committing adultery automatically a criminal? Although he or she might not be a grave criminal like a corrupt person or a swindler or a murderer, by engaging in adultery, isn’t the person automatically committing a crime? So why is it just an immoral act and not a criminal act? That’s one thing.
With power comes responsibility. Honey trap has been used since the time immemorial to carry out political and military intrigues. Not only political and military intrigues, honey traps are also used in various professions and even in civilian matters. If you are holding a powerful position and if you are open to sexual favours from someone other than to whom you are married, aren’t you compromising the position you are holding? What if someone starts blackmailing you? Just imagine, a person like Prime Minister or the defence minister caught in the act. It can destroy an entire country. It no longer remains a private affair between two consenting individuals. When you are holding a powerful position, you bring everybody you have influence over in a compromising position.
Before this Sandeep Kumar sex scandal video tape, there was this another sex scandal video tape involving Manu Singhvi, a senior Congress minister in the UPA government. In the video he was shown getting a blow job from a prospective judge. I don’t know if it is true or not, but the woman giving him blow job was seeking a position as a judge and Manu Singhvi was in a position to help her. Even at that time the coterie of liberals and intellectuals screamed that it was a matter of something happening between two consenting adults and Singhvi shouldn’t be judged too harshly.
Suppose the scandal hadn’t broken and things would have gone the way they were supposedly planned and that woman had become a judge (who knows, she might have become a judge nonetheless) by the dint of the fellatio rather than her capabilities. What if one day you had to face that judge? What if the turn of events manifest in such a manner that one day, maybe after many years, the same judge becomes a Supreme Court judge? What if she has to take a very crucial decision but taking a decision in favour of the country may go contrary to the interests of someone she gave fellatio to years ago and that someone wants to use that incident to influence her decision?
From the other side: what if someday Manu Singhvi becomes the Prime Minister (in India, it isn’t an impossibility) or if someday he holds a very critical portfolio and this woman has a recording (assuming the recording wasn’t made public) of her act with him and she decides to use the recording to get some favour that may harm the country irreversibly? Does it then remain a private affair between two consenting adults?
Of course all sorts of things go on without them becoming public knowledge but as they say, you cannot swallow a fly knowingly. These things happen and they will keep on happening and there is little that can be done to stop them from happening and this is not even the point. The point is, don’t turn them into private acts between two consenting adults. When public figures are involved, when positions are being used and when these acts can be used during negotiations, they are not private acts between two consenting adults. In many instances they can turn seditious.