A microphone in his hand, Christian evangelist Aldrin Bogi walked around a college auditorium and gave a fire and brimstone lecture to adolescent girls about the dangers of pre-marital sex.
"Sex before marriage has many dangers associated with it," Bogi told his rapt audience.
"It leads to many complications and you stand a chance of ending up with deadly diseases. Say no to it, especially if you are a girl," he said.
At the end of Bogi's hour-long talk, more than 100 girls of Mount Carmel College, based in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, signed a green card pledging sexual abstinence until they marry.
Bogi belongs to an outfit called Morelove, an organization founded by three evangelists, which has launched a campaign on chastity in the high-tech city, home to more than 350,000 young technology workers.
"I found many young people being promiscuous without understanding the meaning of it," said Dominic Dixon, founder of Morelove.
"We came up with this idea of abstinence commitment to counter deadly diseases such as AIDS. One way to prevent AIDS and other sexual diseases is to abstain from sex until marriage and keeping sex within the context of marriage," said Dixon, whose campaign has so far netted 2,500 pledges of abstinence from women.
The campaign is similar to those launched by US-based groups such as the Pure Love movement of the Roman Catholic Church.
Morelove has counsellors based in colleges, schools and call centers in Bangalore where they advise teenage girls and women on problems related to sex, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
"Young Indians are getting adapted to a [Western] culture that is not Indian. When you adulterate an ideology it destroys the values we have as Indians. We want to promote the campaign as a pure India," Dixon said.
"When you look at young people employed in the call centers there is an increasing need for help. These people out there have so much money and liberty. They do not know how to handle what they have," he said.
In India, sexual intimacy such as kissing is never shown on television and rarely even in mainstream Bollywood films. Pre-marital sex is not discussed in public.
But in Bangalore, riding a wave of prosperity as companies abroad outsource services such as software and call centers, couples can be seen kissing in parks and in bars.
In the call centers, media reports talk of condoms blocking toilet drains and guards being posted outside toilets during nights.
The call for sexual purity had a profound effect on 16-year-old Savya Sherlin, who said that in any pre-marital relationship in India it was the girl who has to suffer the consequences.
"I think it [abstinence] is very necessary for the youth of India. Sex is very common. Casually if you ask any friend, she will say she has slept with her boyfriend. They do not know what the consequences are," the devout Christian said.
"Girls have to be more aware of sex. They can be stuck with something, say unwanted pregnancy, and cannot carry on in life," she said.
Holding a card which read "I, Savya Sherlin, commit before God to save the gift of my sexuality from now until marriage regardless of my past," Sherlin said it was a treasure.
"Everytime I open my purse I see it and it feels really nice. Marriage is something which organizes everything for you, including sex," she said.
Her colleague, 17-year-old Shalat Nancy, said she signed the card because it made her remember her family values and the advice her parents gave her.
"Marriage is something that is holy. Sex is only good when you are married as it comes along with it. One has to cherish it within marriage. It is planned by God and it happens," Nancy said.
Morelove has people, mostly women, writing in and staying connected through their Web site www.morelove.in. The Web site lists the advantages of staying a virgin until marriage and has a section on counseling.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) has repeatedly voiced concern over the weakening cost competitiveness of its US fabs and challenged the US’ “on-shore” policy of building domestic semiconductor capacity. Yet not once has the government said anything, even though the economy is highly dependent on the chip industry. In the US, the cost of operating a semiconductor factory is at least twice the amount required to operate one in Taiwan, rather than the 50 percent he had previously calculated, Chang said on Thursday last week at a forum arranged by CommonWealth Magazine. He said that he had
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), also a former chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), has said that he plans to travel to China from Monday next week to April 7 to pay his respects to his ancestors in Hunan Province. The trip would mark the first cross-strait visit by a former president of the Republic of China (ROC) since its government’s retreat to Taiwan in 1949. Ma’s trip comes amid China’s increasing air and naval incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, and at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) continues to seek to annex Taiwan. Ma’s trip could be
The Twenty-Four Histories (中國廿四史) is a collection of official Chinese dynastic histories from Records of the Grand Historian (史記) to the History of the Ming Dynasty (明史) that cover the time from the legendary Yellow Emperor (黃帝) to the Chongzhen Emperor (崇禎), the last Ming emperor. History is written by the victors. These histories are not merely records of the rise and fall of emperors, they also demonstrate the ways in which conquerors embellished their own achievements while deriding those of the conquered. The history written by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is no exception. The PRC presents its
The International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant issued on Friday last week for Russian President Vladimir Putin delighted Uighurs, as Putin’s today signals Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) tomorrow. The crimes committed by Xi are many times more serious than what Putin has been accused of. Putin has caused more than 8 million people to flee Ukraine. By imprisoning more than 3 million Uighurs in concentration camps and restricting the movement of more than 10 million Uighurs, Xi has not only denied them the opportunity to live humanely, but also the opportunity to escape oppression. The 8 million Ukrainians who fled