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international news _ 25th April, 2007

Indian Rave Cop's Sex Obsession

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Anti-free party police chief Vishwas Nangre-Patil, who last week used internet stories from the Czech Republic to brand Indian ravers 'dangerous anarchists' stepped up his efforts to demonise dance music this week, branding rave culture 'narco-terrorism'.

"Narco- terrorism is a growing threat not only to national security but because of the kind of needles used to ingest these substances and advocacy of free sex, AIDS cases are on the rise," the Superintendent told the Times Of India, "Government, police and NGOs need to give it a serious look."

The Times eulogized the Pune cop, gushing 'they call him the 'Rave man, crime buster, super cop and the devil incarnate . . . yet Patil takes it all in his abundant stride' though the 'Rave man' revealed a peculiar perception of parties when quizzed if he'd ever actually been invited to one.

"In fact a lady friend sent me an SMS to that effect," said Patil, "And I replied, it starts with music, then drugs and then free sex so think ten times before inviting me!"

His comments flatly contradicted the views of rave expert Nicholas Saunders who in his seminal book on ecstasy and rave culture Ecstasy Uncovered pointed out that raves first exploded in popularity in the UK precisely because ecstasy reduced sexual tensions.

"The suppressive effect of Ecstasy on sexual drive has been a strong influence on rave culture. On Ecstasy, small talk and flirting seem ridiculously hollow, and so this sort of behaviour has become taboo in rave culture," he wrote (in 1994).

"Women became truly liberated; able to let go and enjoy themselves without fear of being taken advantage of by aggressive men, and this allowed them to approach men who they don't know. Similarly, women who didn't feel threatened by men felt free to respond warmly," he said.

The now deceased hugely respected sociologist added that the positive atmosphere had already started to fade by 1994 as alcohol and other drugs started to replace ecstasy though his emphasis on the lack of sexual activity at raves, reflected ancient pre-historic dances, according to US author Barbara Ehrenreich.

Writing in her new book Dancing in The Streets, Ms Ehrenreich noted how Westerners routinely denigrated festivals and tribal celebrations as sex orgies conducted by 'primitives' and pointed out that the reality was generally different.

"Commonly, ecstatic rituals were rather chaste undertakings," she recounted, "The self-loss that participants sought in ecstatic ritual was not through physical merger with another person but through a kind of spiritual merger with the group."

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