Thursday, January 09, 2014

This is something that routinely pisses me off: how the western media makes it a point to remind us that we came up with Kamasutra and yet, we are still regressive about sex. Sadly, this type of logic from LA Times is becoming quite commonplace:
India, despite having produced the Kama Sutra and being home to sexually suggestive temples and monuments, remains socially conservative. Homosexuality is still taboo in much of the country, even regarded in places as a form of mental illness, forcing many people to live double lives.
http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-india-gay-sex-crime-20131211,0,3560836.story#ixzz2psEujUMP
O … K … since the argument is so ridiculous and because I have tremendous respect for my readers’ time, I won’t mind making an effort for a rebuttal but I do want to add a couple of things about “Kamasutra” and “India as a home to sexually suggestive temples”.

As an Indian, let me assure that we mostly don’t give two flying hoots if our great-grandfathers came up with the Kamasutra. Indians don’t look at their country as the “Land of Kamasutra”. That’s strictly our pin-up poster marketed towards the occidental cultures so that they would think we are cool. Yes, we tend to spawn a lot of population but a lot of it is owed to the constant cultural pressure to quickly begin to earn a living, settle down and start a family soon. In my entire life, I have never been in a single conversation where we casually discussed Kamasutra, like, "It’s there in Kamasutra. Look it up" or "I think you borrowed my copy of Kamasutra. I want it back. I had a doubt the other day”. NO, no one here reads the Kamasutra or even if we do, we don’t publicly discuss it like it’s a culture treasure. Also, as far as these sexually suggestive temples are concerned, I don’t know. I am sure I have been in some temples  like that but I never paid any particular attention nor did they strike to me as something sexual. But, hey, let me tell you that that we Indians get very busy in temples. It’s a holy place, we haven’t got all day, so we quickly share what we want to share with the deity and get out of there. No one looks at a wanton sculpture in a temple and revises their opinion on gay rights. That’s not how it works ever.

However, I am pro-whatever-sex-thing-you-are-into as long as you are not breaking anyone’s heart and not doing it in front of neighbors or street dogs. But I still don’t get why the Indian courts have to keep making a big deal about these topics like the supreme court criminalizing homosexuality or the Delhi high court declaring pre-marital sex as  “immoral”. Like we don’t have enough people to jail already that we have to create new categories of crimes ? Goddamnit, the country is full of perfectly eligible people who ought to be in jail and are roaming in our streets freely - rapists, corrupt officials, political embezzlers and what not. Let’s first get some of these people in before we start jailing innocent people looking for love. Let’s use our jails for the right reasons and don’t we all learn about efficient management of available resources in our economics classes ?

Anyway …

7 comments :

smanu said...

Hey! Regarding Indian courts making a big deal abt criminalizing homosexuality, I feel the news was advertized in a very different way. Going through the news back then, I remember SC did say that Indian Society was more tolerant towards homosexuality and the overturning of the 2009 HC judgement(which decrimialized homosexuality) was for two reasons:
1) Its more a result of the British archaic law, which was passed by Indian Legislature later.
2) The judgement is to safeguard the role of legislature so as to ensure that judiciary does NOT overreach legislature.

A detailed reading would say that - Judiciary is infact trying to say its time Legislature must decriminalize homosexuality. Here are some links and u can see it for urself how the news is propogated differently by different sections of the media:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-sets-aside-delhi-hc-verdict-decriminalising-gay-sex/article5446939.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/bench-why-has-not-parliament-revisited-section-377-so-far/article5449866.ece
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/setback-for-lgbt-community-sc-rules-gay-sex-illegal-upholds-section-377/438944-3.html

The next day, on Dec 12, the whole day the Indian News Media was broadcasting many Minister's opinions and most of them were "FOR" decriminalizing homosexulaity. Its perhaps just a matter of time before this is decriminalized?

The human right activists and specifically LGBTI activists instead of making a hue and cry abt the judgement must perhaps focus on "mounting more pressure on Indian Parliament" to pass the act soon? U know how bad Indian Legislature is in prioritizing their activities - one fine day they discuss Food Bill(after it was on their To-Do list for some 1 and half years) and the next day they move on to debating LokPal Bill due to Anna Hazare Movement. Once the hue and cry is done, they just forget that they must move on to Food Bill. They must perhaps have a seperate minister/secretary just dedicated to prioritizing passage of Acts?

Yes, obviously there are many more eligible criminals who need to be jailed than LGBTs who are being compelled to move out of the country due to this Indian Law apathy.

Sash! said...

Hmm ... thanks for educating me on this ... I agree that "mounting more pressure ..." is certainly a way to go about it ...

My comment was on how western media reports it ... and I thought I will comment on that ... :)

smanu said...

Educating aa? Maybe I should learn how to put across info precisely...at times I bombard ppl with so much of info that it gets difficult for them to see my point of view...

Yeah maybe u were really pulled by the incorrect way of looking at things by the Western media, hence wanted to do that? :)

Twilight Musings said...

May be, Indian people should read about Kamasutra on a regular basis. I don't think most of its contents any more explicit than high school biology or some parts of Srinadha & Kalidasa poetry that were already part of AP state curriculum.

They will realize that there are better ways of getting a girl than stupid movies with cutting hands or threatening suicide or stalking or pouring acid. More than half the book was about how to get a girl without damaging any of the social niceties along the way. I think that remains highly relevant to Indian society to this day, imho.

smanu said...

Yeah u r right there. I'd like to add some more thoughts if u allow me to...

I think Kamasutra can be a reference for everybody, not only Indians(again this is a superficial comment coz I have not "read" it myself). Just coz in some parts of the world, its not too difficult for a guy to get a girl, it doesn't mean he is doing it right. Sometimes, no love is fine atleast, loving the wrong way can be such a hazard, a menace to the society as a whole.

Coming back to India, I think the real problem is people do not even approach each other. Fantasizing from distance and assuming it is love is the real problem, hence the consequences are so stupid, stalking, threatening, girl dumping the boy, boy leaving the girl in lurch etc etc...Honestly, I rarely see real love happening in India before marriage, I do not see much scope for it here.

smanu said...

Or maybe I should just say South India here...

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