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Sexual choices, the West and Indians
I greeted my Facebook friends on the Valentine’s Day this year. But soon after that a momentous thought struck to me as to how relevant is the day for ordinary Indians. I try to find answer to this very old textbook question. I have my views about the sex and society in India.

The Hindu-dominated India feels pride in being liberal with respect to many views. I know that many Muslims, even in India, would object to this and so would many Westerners. But I take it at face value despite of some rare ugly shows by few rather more ultra-traditionalist groups and West-haters.

Mind you, as per my opinion disliking or even hating the West is no abnormality in India for individuals. Neither is opposing the dominance and expansion of the Western culture. Only thing is that non-conforming views should be opposed rather decently, in a peaceful manner.

Now being pride of tolerance, non-violence and having liberal traditions demand some equivalent positions too on multiple topics and commitment should not be confined to mere lip service. However, liberalism does not mean unnecessary an non-required imitation of other cultures nor relativism implies nihilism. Let me be short in details and come to specific topic of expression, acceptance and expansion of love in private or else in public lives in Indian society.

But first the oft-stated views about sexual choices and views in India. The fact is that simply because there are erotic Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh and ancient Hinduism had few treatises on sex, does not imply that Hindus were rather open society over matters involving sex. But still for quoting purpose the treatise list is impressive and it includes, Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra, Koka Shashtra, Anang Raga, ChandaMaharosana and few more.

In reality, Khajuraho is the combined cerebral wish of Hindus and Jains to kill their competitors by mere depiction, iconism and by proposing an apparent cosmopolitan theory. The carvings are no depiction of real sex in India neither a narration of sexual lives of the society anytime anywhere in India. In the end it is politics based on sex: politics to kill all nuns of all religions, except possibly those of Hinduism. It is also a theoretical attempt to universalize sex in India.

Moreover, literal representations of group sex, open-ended promiscuity, homosexuality and trans-sexuality in few texts and temples do not imply acceptance of the same by Hindus as a majority for any measurable significant period of time in their history.

The arrival of Islam might have made Hindus a bit more conservative but to say that its influence and Victorian prudence and views on morality and sex affected Hindus in particular and Indians in general so much so that modern majority Indian aversion to homosexuals and transsexuals can be explained by Puritanism of the time is a little bit exaggeration and definitely an overstatement. All the iconism on sex is Brahmanism in the end and therefore many times casteist, cerebral and non-historic too.

All need to know that practicing Brahmin priests, if they are true to their past traditions fully, would never write and accept a theory which can be termed as cosmopolitan for all Indians. They may write an ethereal theory for upper castes and fair foreigners. Okay, one doesn’t agree? Fine! Forget the future, in the past Brahmins never wrote anything close to egalitarian and indeed never on sex, barring few exceptions. All should read the Laws of Manu where tabooed sex is permitted but under special conditions and many times with punishment even for the first caste.

Therefore, while many Indians can have one reason or another to argue for freer sex and alternate sex in modern times, the justification for doing so does not lie in supposed freedom over sexual matters present during ancient times. Sure, Hindus did not have much taboo but they have never practiced free sex either. Just compare the genitals of Indians with those of the Westerners and a sharp observer can understand the differences between the two people over sex.

Nevertheless, the fact is that, ideally speaking, everyone should have freedom to express oneself and to desire in solipsistic way even though in real terms that might not be that easy in non-Western societies. Same is the case with expression of love and sex in India.

If individuals in India; males and females, feel that they have enough maturity to find their future partners themselves then that should be mostly respected by their families provided those people and their families are well educated, are good middle class by Indian standards and if they are Hindus they have acceptable caste relations as well. Non-Hindus in India can decide their last touchstone themselves.

But doing so for the sake of doing it or because of herd-behavior may not always be good. The cases of cheating, sexual abuse and other exploitation, teenage pregnancy, abortion and unwanted parenthood are widespread in India. And those may lead to depression, despair, other psychological disorders and many time disorders in hormonal cycles, affecting the bodies and brains of affected people, sometimes for the whole life. I think in India, for young people for up to middle classes, familial support is required most of the time, and this is particularly true about young girls.

The young Indians should listen to their parents, if they can, but should not suppress their feelings either, if they are genuine. But one thing is clear that if all remaining things are appropriate then issues of caste, region, language, sect and religion should not obstruct relationships among various Indians. But all need to know that class should matter as much as their daily routine or else it could be termed as social miscegenation and would mostly spoil relations in longer term.

Comforts and possession matter a lot even for middle class Indians and therefore, they should be rather careful about class disparities in their relations. Most of young partners in India should try to convert their relationship into happy Bollywood films like ending but again without suppressing their preconscious. But they should not play too much with their unconscious either, even though Hindu unconscious is rather peaceful and stable, in spite of frequent violence present in Indian society.

Updating with time is a must, particularly for Hindu-dominated India. But then societal values matter a lot and families are good things all over the world, particularly in India. It is a bit difficult thing even for people of big metropolitan cities to have freedom in sexual matters like those in the West; copied, morphed or adapted, and continue to think in what should be called as normal Indian way.

There is another issue requiring urgent attention and that is the multiple-front divisions of Indian society because of various reasons. The reasons could be differences in economic and other opportunities, literacy, digital divides, abilities to learn modern technology and now newer one; sexual orientations. All are decisive and harmful to the cause of unity of India. But divisions because of sexual choices would make completely different types of Indians, many times unrelated and that should be avoided at all cost.

Mind you, inertias are good for societies many times. But for all those who are capable and can excel in life, self and ego are the most important things. One should be selfish to the extent possible without affecting negatively his and her personal and professional lives. Also, satisfying libido is time-dependent and therefore with the advent of technology and changes in consciousness people should adjust their sexuality to account for their changed libidos.

So moral is to think as per one’s ability and background. One should try to avoid offending either of the two in that order: oneself and his and her families. But then it requires a very good understanding of surroundings, something that I do not believe a majority of young Indians have. Please ignore, if it appears rather intrusive and overbearing to any reader.

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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