Rave Parties, Sex & Scandals – New Craze Among Indian Kids

Rave Parties, Sex & Scandals – New Craze Among Indian Kids

The Oxford Pocket dictionary of Current English defines Rave as "talk wildly or incoherently, as if one were delirious or insane."

The trend of Rave parties began sometime in the '80s in the west where people usually gathered around a fire, over the weekend and had fun together with disc-jockeys and other performers playing electronic dance music. Over time, these parties became associated with all kinds of weird things from trance music, Para-psychological out-of-body-experiences, and experiments with psychedelic drugs to sex, dating and partner swapping.

In the recent times rave parties have become synonymous with all night partying and consumption of drugs like cocaine, Marijuana, hash, Ecstasy, acid and speed. The groggy eyed youngsters invariably reach home in the early hours of the morning, pop Valium pills to sleep, then struggle back to work in the morning-waiting for the next opportunity to party again.

According to a senior police officer, unlike conventional parties where people get together and consume food and alcohol and just a few might secretly take drugs behind closed doors, the rave parties are more of drug related events where just about everyone openly tries one or a combination of party drugs like Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, hash, LSD, codeine, Ice, ephedrine or marijuana.

College kids do Ecstasy, at Rs 300 to Rs 400 a tablet, with an "ecstatic duration" of five to six hours (ideal for a party). Cocaine, at Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 a gram depending on the quality, is usually snorted by a slightly older generation that starts at the late 20s and moves through to the mid-30s. Sometimes youngsters have a cocktail of drugs to keep pace with the changing music. Mixing of drugs can be very dangerous and it should be avoided at any cost.

This is precisely what makes rave parties – a sort of secret, underground hang-out just to experiment with drugs. "Unlike conventional parties where the host is someone known to you who is throwing a party and foots the bill for the food and the booze and you don't have to spend anything, rave parties are invariably contributory affairs and their frequency goes up substantial during the festive season, "Praveen B, a senior event management executive explained.

"In a traditional party, you are expected to behave in a manner in which the majority of the so called 'normal' people expect you … whereas in a rave party its quite 'normal' to take drugs and indulge in sexual acts and Since that is what many people around you are indulging in there is nothing shameful or shocking about it ", said Tanmoy (name changed) a businessman who attended one of the events in Gurgaon a few months back.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity a PR Agency executive said that most Rave parties are organized by the drug cartels as a business promotion exercise though many people who frequently attend these parties may not be aware of it. According to her the hidden motivation behind organizing rave parties is to promote the sale of drugs among the younger generation but since this cannot be done openly, the real organizers remain in the background and invites are sent to a close community of friends and contacts through social networking sites like orkut or facebook.

The modus operandi is simple, the organizer either promotes the party through sites like orkut or sends out individual SMSs and emails, asking the selected invites to reach the venue as' a gala party is being held where high-profile people and celebrities will be present '.

Since it is not legal to host such parties, they are usually held at secluded places, far away from the main city. At the entrance of the party venue, guests have to prove their identity before being allowed in. Usually there is a cover charge of Rs 5,000 or more per couple which takes care of the food and drinks but drugs have to be paid for in cash.

"Many of my friends have landed up in a debt trap because of their drug habits. They had to borrow money from friends to pay for the drugs taken at the parties and as a result the next day they were seen borrowing from someone else to repay yet another loan "explained Barkha a college student.

Of late ket or K, ketamine-a veterinary anaesthetic has started emerged as the latest substance of abuse at the rave parties in the metros after hallucinogens such as ecstasy and gamma hydroxy butyrate. When injected, snorted or smoked, gives an OOBE or near-death experience for about an hour. At Rs 35,000 / kg it is quite affordable. But at the same time, since it is neither banned nor is it a scheduled drug, enforcement agencies are finding it tough to book cases under the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) Act.

How do we explain this new craze among Indian youth towards rave parties? Are these a reflection of how parents are giving too much money to their children, to compensate for their own lack of time? Do parents today care or bother to find out how their children are spending the money? Should we just dismiss all this as a passing phase in the life of the youth and a fact of life? Or should rave parties which have become an excuse for sex, booze and drugs, be banned in our country?

All this has serious ramifications as nearly 35% of all new HIV infections in India each year are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Every day, more than 6,000 young people – almost five every minute, become infected with HIV.

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