Intercourse! Lemme shout it out again, in all caps. INTERCOURSE!!!!

I often wonder what’s wrong with us Indians. It doesn’t matter if you’re from right wing or left, or if you are a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, in India you just can’t talk about sex in the public. You can’t mention the word, or anything that means anything close to that. It’s not as much about religion as it’s about the culture, in the sense that this mindset transcends all religions.

On the other hand, Bollywood churns hundreds of movies every year with ladies clad in revealing clothes, showing off their cleavages and thighs in item numbers. They shake their “booties” and we scratch our crotches thinking no one’s noticing. 

Indians are really a confused lot! 

When the conservative Brits “rediscovered” the lost temples of Khajuraho in India, they were offended with the explicit sexual imagery on the walls of these temples. Although these imagery form a mere 10% of such sculptures in the temple complex, they are important in this context. In fact, Khajuraho are not the only temples where you can see such depictions of human sexual activity. If you observe closely, you can find them in Belur, Halebid, Hampi, Pattadakal, Badami and Aihole complexes as well. There are many such ancient temples and structures in other parts of India.

We don’t have a specific reason as to why the sculptors carved such images. Different people have different views and some sound very funny. They go on to explain that such images are philosophical and they teach you to gain control over erotic feelings. Sample this. The problem is that today’s society tries to understand why their ancestors devoted their time to eroticism. The way I see it, over the last few centuries Indians went recluse in terms of public display of affection, thanks to the many cultural invasions but, that’s another day’s discussion. What’s important is that we know that it was very much part of Indian culture and that these sculptures weren’t just dealing with sex but also family life, in general.

Vatsyayana’s treatise on sex “Kamasutra” too doesn’t limit itself to that. I haven’t read the book as such, but the commentaries on the book clearly mention that the book covers all aspects of family life, love etc including sex.

Unfortunately, these things don’t fit well into the Indian middle-class definition of “culture”. Last week, a set of activists demanded the ban of sale of Kamasutra books within the temple complex of Khajuraho. The activist who led the protests went on to say something that effectively means “our ancestors had no work and they did such shameful things but, we can’t allow such things to exist in our society“. They violate the concept of Hinduism which we understand, they mock the present day society’s narrative even though the people behind that narrative would be enjoying YouPorn on their 6 inch smartphone screens. We have seen many of our elected representatives, people who pass laws of the land including many restrictive laws upholding the popular Indian culture, watching porn clips on their mobile phones sitting in an ongoing assembly session.

And then we have the likes of Pahlaj Nihalani. He doesn’t have a problem with ladies gyrating on the beats of an item number, but he has serious issues with the mention of the word, wait for it, not sex, not fuck, but intercourse!!

I know we don’t have much of sex education in India, all the sex education I received in my life was from my classmates in sixth standard who were audacious enough to draw male and female organs on the blackboard at the age of ten! And back then, internet was almost non-existent in Indian towns. Seriously, the parents have a totally different notion about their kids. My classmates could have written a thesis on Vatsyayana’s works!

So, if the word intercourse is censored and a U/A certificate is issued to a trailer of a film which would anyway be put up on YouTube uncensored, what do our textbooks use these days instead of such scientific words. I can understand if they had said the ‘F’ word, but this is not even an abuse!

With the rise of the extreme right Hindu activists under the present day government’s nose, there’d be a day when our sexual lives will be controlled by people totally unknown to us. Oh hold on! It’s already being controlled! 

It’s a shame that our censorship mentality has spread like a virus from movies to our daily lives. In fact, I only see the Hindu society devolving into what the western society was in the medieval ages.

Does that mean people like us should stay mum? No. We shouldn’t. We should shout it out loud. 

INTERCOURSE!! Take that Mr.Nihalani.

Click here to see how censorship can change the way this post sounds.