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Khajuraho is more like political opinion than erotic architecture
The world, generally speaking, does not understand Khajuraho. It depicts non-Hindu nuns and is a defense mechanism against defeat and repression.

FOR ANGLICIZED, Westernized Hindus and for the rest of the non-Islamic world, particularly for Westerners, Khajuraho represents expression of sexual freedom, liberty and promiscuity. It along with Kamasutra and Konark represents freshness of life in otherwise inert Hindu life and serves as anodyne. For its opponents; mostly the middle classes, much influenced by Victorian Puritanism and Brahminism, it is a blot on Hindu civilization and many are shy of discussing it and visiting the temple sites.

In fact it is neither of them. If one looks carefully at nixie and nixo crafted on the temple walls they represent something which is not purely Hindu. Their bodies are culturally hybrid with nixies’ faces Hindus but their genitals, curls and curves foreign and imported whereas nixos could be either Hindus or adopted Hindus crafted for a particular purpose. It should be emphasized that Hindus were defeated civilization even by Buddhists and Jain rulers and Hindus did not have any defense mechanism except ritualism and inclusion of victorious foreigners and non-believers into higher castes.

In fact, Khajuraho represents an attempt by Hindus to offer an alternative to Buddhism and even Jainism’s asceticism and Puritanism. The females here shown could be interpreted as nuns of different religions; most probably Buddhists and Jains but also Christians and Muslims if they knew them. Sure, Muslims do not have nuns but in weaker sense that could represent a kind of cerebral aggression towards them, if Hindus knew them. Khajuraho is a political ideology to reply the defeat and repression that Hindus suffered. It is a kind of political aggression; entering into social, personal and religious lives of ‘opponents’ by depicting them in Hindu cultural context. It should be considered a conscious act.  

The depiction is neither mild nor soothing. In fact it should be considered offending but as a result of misunderstanding those whom it offends consider Hindus as nude. It is like capitalist way of containing and defeating competing ideologies through symbolism and iconism. This is what only Hindus and to some extent Jains could do. It is offending to all females except possibly upper caste Hindu females and the beauty is casteist in nature. The world needs to understand it.

The fact is that genitals shown in Khajuraho erotic postures are not like Hindus’. It gets clear that even after around 1200 years later Hindus have not been able to become any way near them and it substantiates the suspicion that at least the females belong to foreign culture. This is not to suggest that Buddhist nuns or for that matter other nuns have that perfect body but then it is nudity and they need to be shown beautiful to make representation meaningful. The prefectness of nudity tells at the acceptance of correct market forces.

If one look at the adult Indian magazines, particularly likes of Debonair, one can understand that nudity does not belong to Hindus in particular and Indians in general. Majority of them look almost pathetic and if they look so at present one can understand the beauty more than thousand years back. This is not to suggest that Indians should have remorse for not having that perfect body like Whites and become disinterested and start rejecting sex. The sex is always local; for Africans, Africans are beautiful, for Indians, Indians are beautiful.

Why nudity is not for Indians gets clear from understanding a hypothetical situation; if Aishwarya Rai is offered steamy and skinny bikini she may feel shy to adorn it. She may do it for money but those who have very observing eyes could see regret and cultural incompatibility. One can take name of Sherlyn Chopra, Mallika Sherawat and Poonam Pandey. Sure, they can do nude photoshot but how many of Indian girls are like them and even they may show a kind of shyness if pictured with appropriate males. There is a lot of difference in a picture and video of a single heroine and a video with a male partner. Even the bold Paoli Dam in Hate Story, a Hindi movie, would feel uneasy and discomforting if her shot in the film where hero squeezes her bosoms in very aggressive way is re-shot with more sensuality. Sure, Sunny Leone is hot but she is a porn star.

This is not limited to Hindi film heroines. Even the supposed liberated and sexually free fair and slim Punjabi females of New Delhi may not be that bold. Some may reject sex with expert American young men because of political opinion. Some may reject it because they believe that others are ‘exploiting’ them. This is true both in case of a Republican and a Democrat male. Feminism has a lot of meaning and political opinion may over take the desire and sexual pleasures; even economic comforts.

Indian bodies are not at all made for group sex either. Sure, there are always distributive aspects of all variables and parameters in India and some in India, though an insignificant minority, may find itself suitable for group sex, the significant majority; almost the whole population, is totally naïve. Therefore, the sex in Khajuraho is mere depiction and not hypersexuality.

Khajuraho does not represent history or reality of any time in India. Like many Hindu things it points to the future; a time may come when Hindus would flourish. Like Hinduism, Khajuraho is majorly urban. This is the beauty of Hinduism that it is literally an urban religion in spite of its apparent rural rituals and it flourishes in the modern era. Khajuraho just points towards that. This theory, if accepted, may tell that architect of Khajuraho is capitalist in nature and that Hindus were not mere cerebral people but tinkers too.

Khajuraho represents cultural nationalism to account for political and military passiveness and economic sluggishness. Sure, Hindus could not keep pace with the time as Hindus were not erotic people. But in modern time the temples should be considered positive in nature. But it also warns about the limit of nationalism; if Indians led by Hindus start doing everything that the West, particularly the US does, then they may have to diversify so much so that except very few they can not analyze themselves. Imports, nationalism and inflations should have limits. Let Indians follow the middle path; localized universalism with localized Anglicization and Westernization. They should not try to build another Khajuraho because that may be catastrophic conflicting and divisive in nature.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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