“My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky” wrote the most celebrated of the Romantic poets. Nature was Wordsworth’s muse. Chetan Bhagat seems to be becoming mine though not in a good way. Any time I don’t feel like or feel up to writing, I just have to see a post from Chetan Bhagat and “my heart leaps up” – albeit not with joy but with sheer frustration at the inanities he churns out and how the masses are lapping it up. My heart leaps out (not up) ,my blood boils over and I am compelled to pick up my pen and write.
This time he speaks on the sexually repressed society that India is.( http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/The-underage-optimist/entry/let-s-talk-about-sex ) Sorry to disappoint you Mr Bhagat but no I didn’t fold my paper away secretively or slam shut my laptop on seeing the title of your post. Quite to the contrary the attention grabbing title that you have chosen ensures that people read the post. Content is of no importance. Nothing sells like sex- be it in cinema or print. Yes we are a sexually repressed society; yes we need to accept men-women relationships, sexual or platonic, for what they are; yes we need to talk about sex – but there has to be a method to the madness or to put it more prosaically, a reason to do so and a time and platform for it. Talking about sex for the sake of talking doesn’t serve any purpose. That would be no better than voyeurism and that’s just about what the post does- state the obvious, state what we already know with over simplifications and no concrete suggestions.
And the unavoidable number game starts all over- we have two problems around sex says he. Really? Just two? That somewhat cheers me up. The first problem with lack of openness is that sexual desire manifests in unsavoury ways- child molestation, rape. And I thought that had more to do with perversion, loss of humanity, lack of respect for other human beings and also total disregard for the law. Silly me! Going by his logic, USA with all its openness towards all matters sexual should be free from such crimes. Sadly it isn’t so. Rape, it has often been said, isn’t simply about sex- it’s about power- making another human being submit to your desires because you are more powerful. How about resisting from such over simplifications Mr Bhagat?
Second problem he says is that it doesn’t allow meaningful discussion on any matter sexual. How many things do we have a meaningful discussion on in any case? Are our politicians, or even the self proclaimed custodians of society like Mr Bhagat himself, interested in doing anything meaningful for our society or country? Sadly no. No one has the political will to discuss any matter remotely controversial be it sexual or religious. Why blame the politicians? What is Mr Bhagat himself doing if not playing to the galleries by talking of women empowerment or where the protests against Delhi gang rape went wrong or , as in this post, by telling us how we are a sexually repressed society. Yes we are. What is one of the 100 most influential men in the world doing about it except churning out platitudes yet again? How about a meaningful, open debate on lowering/raising age of consent or the potential misuse of anti rape law or how the anti dowry law is already being misused in one of your posts Mr Bhagat?
The ills that plague our society and humanity are many. That no one who can make the slightest bit of difference is willing to do anything about it, is perhaps the most tragic of all such ills. Somewhere right in the beginning Mr Bhagat says that “we are Indians later and humans first”. But sadly he equates being human with being ruled by the most primodial of all instincts – sex. “Nature has made sex a powerful internal force. This force is so strong that despite all the progress and comforts designed by humanity, the power of sex still remains. People, Indians or non-Indians, are interested in sex.” And here I thought we were capable of rising above our animal instincts and animal nature. Really !! Silly, silly me!
Indians or not, Mr Bhagat, we all are human beings. And we as a race are capable of more than Delhi Gang Rape or Godhara. Let us shed our sacrosanct attitudes and display the last vestiges of humanity left in each one of us. How about walking the talk for a change Mr Bhagat?