Yes, I said it. Out loud. Can you? Why are Indian people so uneasy about talking about sex?
Sex happens to be at the top of tabooed issues in India. It is apparently against our culture, bad for society, infects young minds and distracts people from the right path. In fact, it is perverted, dirty and something to be ashamed of. With so many pejoratives, it is no surprise most Indians keep their views about sex private.
We weren’t always like this. History scholars would agree that our ancient texts such as the Mahabharata are quite forthright about sex and illustrate a fairly liberal society. So, what made India so stuck up?
Parents won’t talk about it. Teachers won’t discuss it in schools and colleges. And then how can they, when they themselves have a stigmatized view of sex?
When in 2007, the state tried to introduce sex education in schools, the society rebelled saying it would corrupt young minds and how it was against the long cherished Indian culture and heritage and the concept of sex education is purely western in nature anyway. (Yeah sure, Mark Twain wrote The Kama Sutra). If thought logically it is an act of hypocrisy to deny that we have raised a sexually violent and irresponsible generation.
But we have just decided that we’d never speak about it ever again to anyone. Indian people have absolutely no problem with having sex; we know this because there are more than one billion of us. What Indian people do have a problem with, is talking about sex. Schools won’t teach formal sex-education and our politicians won’t talk about it until they are caught watching pornography in the parliament. Yeah, that did happen.
The typical ideology of living in Indian society is to pretend sex doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, such an ideology doesn’t work over time. This is because we are Indians later, humans first. According to psychological studies, Hunger, thirst, and sex are the principal primary drives for every human action, sex being the strongest drive.
However, since we evade it so much we have two major problems around sex in India. One, repressed sexual desire often comes out in unsavory ways. Two, we are unable to discuss or have a meaningful debate around any topic to do with sex.
The effect of our “let’s pretend sex doesn’t exist “society can be seen evidently in the newspapers all the time. Women commit suicide to escape the shame of being raped all the time. The shame and taboo of what “she had done” was so great that she saw this as her only way out. In fact, India’s cultural and social set-up is just as guilty of this young girl’s death as the man who raped her.
The point is parents need to have that sex talk with their kids. And there needs to be a part of the educational syllabus that explains the why(s) and how(s) of sexual intercourse. I mean, before the youth goes to the internet or to their equally uninformed peers for answers, why not give them what they need to know in accurate terms, so as to delay or end ventures carried out of sheer curiosity? The kind of curiosity that damages.
I will conclude with a question to you that where do we want India to be in terms of sexual attitudes today? I don’t want to propose or impose an answer. It will come only if we discuss the issue in a receptive manner.
So say it. SEX. Out loud.
About The Author
Student of law. Avid reader. Eclectic song binger. One season a day person.