Monday, November 21, 2005

Fragrance and Pre-Marital Sex

Now, now, that's just my coarse sense of humour at work - this post is about Khushboo (the film actress) and her much-maligned statements on pre-marital sex.

For the uninitiated, bit of background: in the Tamil edition of 'India Today', Khushboo aired her views on practising safe sex, whether it be after marriage, or before. She also went on to say that 'no educated man should expect his wife to be a virgin'. Her statements were the cue for all sort of political parties to jump into the fray, and begin the usual nonsense - burn effigies, shout slogans and make life hell.

Now, the question: why do we have this piece of parchment called the Constitution - does it have no more value than toilet paper? If it does, then the words 'freedom of speech' on it ought to mean something too. Freedom of speech is not saying 'good morning' to my professor at college, or doing chamchagiri to some geezer in khadi ; it's also my cue to comment on controversial issues. As long as my statement do not constitute libel, I have the right to say it. And in essence, even if you disagree what Khushboo said, that's all she did - give her opinion on something.

Pray, why does the topic of pre-marital sex raise the devil? After all, in today's metro-sexual India, pre-marital sex is very much a reality. I strongly suspect the reason for such vehement protests is that a woman had dared to talk openly about sex (pre-marital at that too!). After all, talking openly about sex is taboo, and not 'part of Indian Culture'. Never mind the fact that we have the second-highest population in the world - the lights were off then!

All this 'sexy' talk aside, the issue is really one of change. On one side we have the old fuddy-duddies who'd love to see Sati & child-marriages reinstated (part of culture, you know), who'd encourage dowry, believe that women should only sit at home, cook and bear children (I earn enough !!) and would rather have sons than daughters; on the other end, we have folks who believe in change, increasingly decide what to do themselves without binding themselves to dumb superstitions and are individualistic. The old order (and I do not mean the aged, necessarily) is threatened, for they do not want to see the world changed. And they know in the back of their minds, that change it will, for change is inevitable.

The more fuss they make, the more scared they are. Let them fuss and rant - the battles might be theirs, but the war is ours.


Anonymous said...

Change is fine...but change without any regard for the feelings of others and without any concern for others definitely is not. While there is freedom of speech, it is also the duty of someone using that right to not offend someone else who might be having some values. Nobody ever said that freedom of speech should not be used to expose someone who is corrupt or is a rogue but in today's world it is only used to cause shock to people who are perfectly moral and follow age old traditions(like the parents of most of the teenagers who have supposedly become liberated). In all this talk about rights people seem to have conveniently forgotten their duties(just like the NHRC which fights for the rights of the terrorists but not for those of the common man)

Ranjit Nair said...

Changes are societal, and not based on 'values' or individual opinions - this is the point I was trying to make here. It is a fact that pre-marital sex IS happening in India today, whether one likes it or not. What Khushboo said was her opinion, and whether you agree / disagree with her opinion, she has the right to express her point of view. If you do not like it, or feel that her opinion infringes on your dignity, express your protests in a civilized manner. NOT through chappal throwing and vicious smear campaigns.

I disagree with your view that freedom of speech only allows one to give opinions that do not 'hurt' anybody else. Am I allowed to comment on only rogues / corrupt politicians ? Of course not - in my opinion, the freedom of expression that my consitution allows me gives me the right to opine on anything I please - as long as it does not amount to slander. As for people who are 'moral', one man's morality is another's superstition - I may not share all the moral values that you believe in, but that hardly means I am immoral (for instance, I know parents who have no compunctions in marrying their daughters off to rich old men with fat dowries - I feel they are as immoral as corrupt politicians).

It is NOT my 'duty' to panter to a supposed set of moral values - I suscribe to my own set of morals. I can choose my own right and wrong for myself. As for the NHRC, I have to admit I share your views - terrorists ought to be amputated, have their tongues cut out and then set free. Rapists ought to get the same punishment too !