Friday, August 11, 2006

Sticking to Principles

Among the most dangerous things that my parents taught me, it turns out, is sticking to my principles. Sticking to principles, for one, makes one unpopular immediately. The usual refrain "He thinks he is better than us!" plays repetitively in another's head when one refuses to consume alcoholic beverages to smoke some relaxing nicotine filled cylinders (which shall not be named, fearing government censorship) when approached by another to do so.

The danger of "principles" has landed emperors, kings and the like into the proverbial soup. It brought out female polygamy in Ancient India - when one woman was "shared" by five brothers. It brought about millions of wars in the past. A stubborn church brought about humiliation to greats such as Galileo and Copernicus; a stubborn interpretaion of the Quaran has plunged an an entire region into anarchy instilling "hate".

And right now, principle is being used as a "tool" to justify energy hungry imperial aspirations of cetrtain nations of the world (which shall remain unnamed - lest the author be deported, the right to free speech notwithstanding). I mean ... dictatorship doesn't look like utopia to you, but who the hell are you to say it's bad? How do you know other options are not worse? I guess you will learn in the long run.

We Indians are proud of our Indian principles and our Indian value system. How naive, how naive, how naive. For within this cloak of respectability lurks an ugly secret: there are no values, really. A respectable person is expected to have "values". But it has become a cloak for corruption. Indian principles, forsooth. And what of sex?

India shuns sex. Sex is out. If you're talking about sex to an Indian family, awkward silences ensue. Sexual awareness is not spread in school ... parents themselves are not well informed enough to talk to their children. In the land of Ajanta and Ellora, of Kama Sutra, of Kajuraho, sex is a taboo.

No wonder sexual abuse is rife ... (not reported, but prevalent, nevertheless)....

India is in need of some drastic social reform. We need to accept that, first.


The Solitary Reaper said...

Firslty,I think you should come back to India by the first flight and be a journalist here.
Secondly,I don't agree with you on the issue of reform that you mentioned.Personally I feel that talking too much about sex to kids will only get them unduly interested in it ;).And name a country where sexual abuse is not foiund,where sex doesn't sell?And don't you think there are many other issues than sex than need immediate concern in India?

Akhilesh said...

Perhaps we could use sex as a metaphor for repression in rural India.

Sexual abuse is rife in Rural India. So is nox-sexual physical abuse, worker exploitation and humiliation.

Sexual abuse is found everywhere, no doubt. But it is clear that in our "sex is taboo", closed-door society, it is much easier to get away with it. If you do something like that in the US, your life is ruined. Do that in India,odds are you will go scott-free. Either you won't be reported, the police will be to incompetent to catch you (or just won't give a damn) or the court-date will never come.

Ah, but there is room to be optimistic. With the current media boom and the sudden increase in the number of stories about sex and rape in the news, things can only get better......

Nothing wrong in kids thinking about sex. If you go to IIT, you do realize that almost everyone thinks about it. And also how misinformed people are about it. Misinformmation about sex is probably more dangerous than obsession with it...

Oh, sex does not sell in India. Not in the direct market, at least. And there's a huge black marked. The Pundits in the parliament should take a pragmatic view, regulate pornography and use the tax-money for paying policemen better so they won't have to take bribes to register FIRs for women who have been raped by, say, other policemen (as is common is some Indian cities)!

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