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The guilt associated with sex is stunning!

Last updated on: March 9, 2012 22:59 IST

The guilt associated with sex is stunning!

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Sex was never a dirty word or picture in this country; we celebrated our sexuality.

Our curse was the Victorian morality gifted to us by our invaders, says movie director Suparn Verma.

Since the dawn of time, Man has been writing laws and creating rules. It is in our innate nature to govern, rule and dominate.

The ancient holy texts woven around tales of God-like men are like our moral science textbooks, the keepers of our times.

In fact, the one thing every head of State, temple, tribe or household demands his/her denizens to do is conform. To be 'normal,' as defined by the standards set long ago by faceless and nameless individuals under the garb of 'God's will.'

The biggest weapon of societal or religious control is Guilt. To harness this weapon, one simply needs to create a doctrine of right and wrong and start inculcating it from the moment a child is born. Anything said enough times with a modicum of rationality becomes the truth.

India was never one country, but a series of warring States brought together for the sake of governance and easing business transactions for the East India Company.

We still aren't one country and, sadly, we have forgotten our place in the world. Sex was never a dirty word or picture in this country; we celebrated our sexuality.

If you don't trust me, look at the wonderful ancient carvings on the walls of our temples and caves. Our curse was the Victorian morality gifted to us by our invaders.

Before them, when the Mughals invaded India, there was no concept of the ghoonghat (veil); it was introduced to conceal the women from the invaders. Centuries of invasions later, the ghoongat became a customary tradition for women in India who had, earlier, never seen their bodies as objects to hide.

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Image: Nandana Sen in the yet-to-be-released Rang Rasiya


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Sexuality became the focus of public attention

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Stephan Ridway, who describes himself on Twitter as an educator, geek and podcaster, states in his lecture on Victorian sexuality at Sydney University, 'The Victorian era of the 19th century, like no other period preceding it, became dominated by the belief that an individual's sex and sexuality form the most basic core of their identity, potentiality, social/political standing and freedom.

'It is a curious irony that we moderns commonly portray Victorian sexual mores as puritanistic, moralistic and highly repressive, when like never before, sexuality became a focus of public and private attention.

'The Victorian bourgeois may have covered their piano legs out of modesty, but as an emergent social and political force they chose sexuality as the basis for delineating their identity from the aristocracy, peasants and emergent working classes.'

'The pervert, masturbator, homosexual, hysteric, prostitute and nymphomaniac, all emerged as distinctly classified sexual species possessing their own internal 'secret' which had been revealed by the penetrating gaze of science.' (To read the entire lecture, click here)

The polarisation of public and private spheres became the foundation upon which the ascendant bourgeoisie constructed the family and its sexuality.

The passionless reproductive wife, confined to private domesticity and her public, competitively orientated husband became the central reference point for discussions concerning sexuality.

The prostitute, the homosexual and the solitary masturbator emerged as entities posing the greatest threat to heterosexual reproduction, bourgeois morality and social order.

Our patriotic legislature and moralistic crusaders may change Victoria Terminus's name, but they can't stop being staunch Victorians themselves, espousing the very Victorian and Western values against which they claim to protect our ancient Indian culture.

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Image: Vidya Balan stunned movie goers with her bold act in The Dirty Picture


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Every man wants a porn star in bed

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We tend to be biased against things we don't understand -- be it culture, behaviour or people.

The media dictates a common man's understanding of basic issues in today's world. So, for a couple of decades now, the religion of Islam and jihad are one and the same thing in the mind of the average Joe on the street; all terrorists are Muslims and the Middle East is the root cause of all their troubles.

Everyone enjoys sex since time immemorial, but the guilt associated with sex is stunning.

The first on the list is Masturbation! It is the introduction of sex in a man or woman's life. Yet, even though we are in the 21st century, people believe too much masturbation will make you blind or make you impotent or finish up the sperm bank.

Then there's Virginity! A man doesn't have a hymen, so the women literally got sed on this one. It is funny how every man wants a woman to be a porn star in bed, but also wants it to be her first time! And, unlike a woman who can have unlimited orgasms, he can have only two or three in the course of the night. So much for practice makes perfect

Watching porn is dirty or a sin! Why? Everyone has seen porn and enjoyed it (with a few exceptions I'm sure). Some may debate that porn actors are victims who are controlled by various mafia. I agree. So legalise it and you will have porn star celebrities like Sunny Leone running multi-million dollar businesses of their own.

Prostitution is a sin! It is the world's oldest profession and, surprisingly and sadly, illegal in most parts of the world because prostitution, just like homosexuality, threatens the bedrock of the most carefully created institution that we call society -- marriage!

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Image: Post Bigg Boss, porn star Sunny Leone has signed on a mainstream Bollywood film


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Homosexual parents are NOT different

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Homosexuality in men and women has been around since the creation of man and woman. But because it comes in the way of the fundamental function of sex, which is reproduction, it has been describes as a sin and a crime.

What is it that society fears really from the union of two men or women who wish to get married? That it will make marriage less meaningful? I wonder how!

Will Britney Spears' 55 hour just-for-fun marriage or Kim Kardashian's 72-hour marriage or Rakhi Sawant's TRP-laden swayamvar or Rahul Mahajan's television marriage instill more faith in this great institution?

With divorce rates busting court seams, I wonder how much homosexuality has a role to play in an institution that has now started to redefine itself, where the traditional roles played by the husband and the wife are no longer the same and young men and women are starting to build this institution from ground up.

Homosexuality is as contagious as the belief that standing next to a short guy will make you shorter or spending time with women will make a man any less of a man.

Homosexual parents aren't any different from same-sex or single parents and their kids turn out just fine. Hitler, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Stalin all had 'normal' parents, so this argument doesn't hold.

With millions of orphans and abandoned kids growing up without a loving family, it is a crime to stop two people from adopting them because they are homosexual.

Gay parents don't raise gay kids the same way straight parents don't always raise straight kids!

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Image: A scene from Girlfriend


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We tolerate corruption, not homosexuality!

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On what basis does the Government of India suddenly decide to challenge the courts order to decriminalise homosexuality?

Did it do so to appease our so-called religious leaders who hold vote banks in their pockets?

It is funny how some Hindus suddenly decided to wake up the day the BJP needed an election plank!

How Catholics in India are the most devout in the whole Catholic world because, even while the Vatican City did not have a problem with The Da Vinci Code releasing in theatres, the Catholic Church in India did.

Salman Rushdie can travel the world, including countries where Muslims live, but he can't come to India because Indian Muslims who haven't read The Satanic Verses will be angered.

Despite this, we are a very tolerant nation. We tolerate corruption, inept political leaders, potholed roads, lack of basic amenities and high taxes. But when it comes to homosexuals, they are an aberration, a crime and they need to be beaten and berated and jailed!

Be proud about belonging to a society where being gay means carrying a plaque around your neck that says GUILTY.

But then, that is the nature of mankind; we will celebrate people and their achievements after they are dead.

Just like we celebrate Alexander The Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Oscar Wilde, Freddie Balsara, Tchaikovsky, Leonard Bernstein, E M Foster -- to name very few of the talented men and women who happened to like loving the same gender.

In the end, I just wish to quote American poet, writer and satirist Dorothy Parker: Heterosexuality isn't normal, it's just common.

Suparn Verma, a member of Rediff.com's founding editorial team, now directs films in Bollywood.


Image: Kim Kardashian on the cover of Prestige magazine


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