Saturday, January 10, 2009
The attitude of Indians towards issues like sex, sexual education, AIDS and public display of affection is distressing. The country which gave ‘kamasutra’ to the world is struggling to find a balance between its culture (as advocated by the fundamentalists) and reason. Just a few months back there was this incident of a 70 year old woman being raped by 4-5 men in some village. This was a sexual punishment to an offence committed by her son.
Sex in India is still not something which can be freely discussed on a dining table within a family. There is a constant rise in the number of young couples choosing to stay in a live-in relationship in big cities which is the reason for our bollywood movies becoming more and more expressive these days but the fact remains that most small town dwellers still find it uncomfortable to talk about the 3 letter word.
Even big cities and metros like Chennai impose rules (mostly just implied) like reserving the left side of the bus for women and the right side for men and any trespass into the other territory is greeted with sullen faces or even an insult at times. In most cases the people of the opposite sex would not occupy vacant seats in the other domain. Walking hand in hand with your girlfriend, boyfriend or even spouse attracts nasty comments or/and abuses.
For a country like India where the population index beats any other index hands down it is imperative that people are made comfortable talking about condoms in public. STDs and the threat of HIV+ can be taught to people only when they are in a comfort zone when you speak of sex. If the TV in the living room get switched off when Amitabh Bachan speaks about safe sex or Shabana Azmi speaks about breast cancer, the millions spent in these awareness campaigns would just go down the drain.
We are a nation which is on the verge of making same sex relationships legal which is funny because over so many years we have not been able to accept a so called ‘normal’ relationship. Any sexual relationship which is outside the wedlock is still a taboo (and sometimes illegal as well). Sex which should be one of the most important factors in any intimate relationship is sill considered a word which may result in a broken relationship. A guy demanding sex in a pre-marital relationship is considered lecherous, the partner demanding a non-conventional sexual desire is considered unholy. Even married couples have to ‘steal’ time from their families to indulge in sexual activities (which may be part of the fun but should not be forced).
The sour fact is that the people who advocate a form of Indian culture where sex is considered evil are the same who commit sexual crimes like the one stated above, the states which have a strict code of conduct for men and women in sexual matters (or even in something as simple as sitting together) are the same that role out the maximum number of pornographic movies each year, the men who insult and ridicule the gay community are the same who indulge in pedophilic activities with young boys.
If India has to fight evils like HIV+, breast cancer, female feticide, rape, pedophilic activities, etc. we would have to stop tagging sex as evil. Embrace sex for a brighter India.