Far greater trauma awaits those girls who favoured their boyfriends by letting a camera tape their intimate moments or were victims of the hotel room service spying through a keyhole. A girl taking her top off in a car to please her man, a newly-wed couple in their honeymoon suite, an executive hurriedly changing into evening wear. All these too are the rage on message boards, posted by boys who, in all probability, are not grotesque, dark, abnormal psychotics but regular types one encounters everyday. Somehow, they do not care about how many lives they are ruining in the wake. All to get what are called Rep (reputation) Points, compliments from other users of their message boards.
The Indian public space is today stalked by boys and men who enjoy recording the inescapable exposures of just about any woman. Even the image of a fat sari-clad lady travelling on the side bar of a packed autorickshaw has been posted. The affordability of mobile cameras, the ease with which such images can be uploaded and the fame of being prolific in these matters has unleashed an underground terror here that may have no solutions as this trend in the First World has shown.
The most disturbing element in this is the increasing willingness of men to post images of their own girlfriends or even wives. What began as an MMS clip of a Delhi school girl that caused a national outrage is today a torrent. In most of these home videos shot by consenting couples, the faces of the couple are blurred or cut from the frame. A man who calls himself Wonderarts regularly posts two to five minute nude videos of a woman he claims is his wife (he never shows her face). He tells this reporter, "I need reps (reputation points) and more downloads (an indicator of his fame) and I assure you guys a satisfactory result."
The sleazier and more "home-made" a posted picture or video is, the higher the rep and the source moves up in ranking. Most of the time the ultimate prize is nothing more than being the most popular member on the message board but sometimes, a few members also try to sell video clips. In one such clip that is for sale, you can hear the pleading voice of the man begging a woman to let her be taped. An increasing number of such clips are from small towns where the girls are unaware of how such clips can be misused. Small town cyber cafes where couples routinely make-out in the cubicles, are a common setting in the posted clips.
Another popular haunt is Goa. A man who calls himself Indrak says, "Just walk down any beach, you can see nude people. Indians too, having sex. I have seen cute Indian couples during foreplay." The number of sites that allow such video uploads and downloads is rising. The file sizes of camera phone footage ensure that they can be uploaded in less than 30 minutes even if the bandwidth is low.
Not all posting perverts get away. Two years ago, two students from the Malnad Engineering College in Mysore, in the insanity of new marriage, had taped their love-making. One of the boy's friends somehow got hold of the footage and leaked it on the message boards under the name Mysore Mallige. A police investigation followed and when the identity of the culprit became clear, he was beaten up by girl's men folk. Mysore Mallige is still regarded as a cult video by those interested in such matters and it is credited to having inspired the countless videos that followed. A person called The Last Rites says with an intention to compliment his hometown, Mysore, "Mysore Mallige was where it all started boys. Now don't you go forgetting your roots." Meanwhile, there are several rumours surrounding what happened to the victimised couple. Some say that they have separated. Others say that their parents have committed suicide. But none of this could be confirmed.
Why men do this, why are they willing to ruin whole lives for nothing more than fame in some internet underground, is not exactly a profound question. Men have always bragged about their little conquests, they have always looked at women with hatred because women exhibit power over them, the power to deny them or the power to grant them the thing they need the most. It has always been the case. But now technology has allowed men to express their hatred. Besides being a regular source of voyeurism, it is also a money making machine - online (internet websites) and offline (cd and video). This is how it is done - the MMS video clips get posted on websites, every time someone logs on, the unknown owner makes a few cents, visitors are then directed to sites such as rapidshare or megashare, which offer free downloads, but again make money from hits, more entrepreneurial visitors (like porn peddlers), download a series of small MMS clips and convert it into a CD, the master CD is sold for a few thousands, depending on the content, finally, thousands of copies are then sold at about Rs 100 each.
Courtsey: Yatish Suvarna (The Times of India)