I am in love with Radio since childhood. It’s my first love. That’s because it remained above the distortions that hit the silver screen /idiot box with passage of time, providing healthy entertainment, besides keeping me in touch with changes taking place in the world. The other two mediums gave way to skin show but radio kept its virginity intact for long. However, very recently I discovered that it has too given way to vulgarity and obscenity. This time vulgarity entered not through the eyes but through the ears in form of sound waves.
It took me by surprise when I found one of the very young female listeners shrieking out loudly on radio that she enjoys uninterrupted “Sex and the city” and others can also have same quality experience like her if they come to own a particular brand of set top box! It appeared to me that society has really progressed- a belief that did not stay for long. That probably also explains why we have so many late night programmes on radio, often hosted by female presentators with remarkable confidence. That makes me feel pretty awkward within as how come being a male I lack the same confidence? Anyway, the arrival of songs like “ Ooh la la“, “ Chikni Chameli“, ” Bhaag DK Bose” and “ Jalebi Bai“, to name a few, on radio wiped out whatever little respectability radio had so painfully preserved in all these ears.
Anyway, it gave me some sort of satisfaction that bombardment of such songs and programmes is indicative of growing maturity in society- something also in tune with supply and demand theory. I mean I felt when young generation can so boldly discuss and share their experiences on radio, television and online portals I have no reason to assume that times have not really changed, in which people like me owning a great degree of shyness in such matters are like great black patch on clean white plain clothe. Have a look at our teenage days. We had just morning shows at theaters delivering “Gupt Gyana” (secret knowledge), which was rarely watched by guys and gals from decent homes and then there were magazines like “Playboy” which few could afford and some Hindi books- poor versions of foreign magazines. To discuss such matters was considered taboo and television after much consideration started showing late night movies in late 80s, which none watched.
Look at our times. We have helpline numbers that deal with queries related with post marriage worries !! There is growing awareness about sex education, more than need of moral education- to such an extent that talks about moral education seems to be regressive! Well, my eyes were wide opened when some months ago next door young boy,studying in good school and belonging to a good family, asked me ,” Do I own CD of Murder-2 ?” My response in negative made him give me a strange stare and he was virtually annoyed when I asked why he has so much interest in movie having bold scenes-based on theme revolving around extra marital affairs? He smiled and said I am not in sync with recent trends!! I found merit in his response , after all, how come I forgot that all national magazines carry out sex surveys, which has details of intimate moments ? These are easily available low priced magazines which anyone can afford!! Gone are the days when “ Roop tera Mastana” or “ Julie I love you” aesthetically picturized songs, evoked unheard sensations. It’s a different world wherein explicit details in normal conversations are commonplace and sexting has killed all scope for unheard sensations.
The point is do these signs are indicative of the fact that society is on right track after having become comfortable with sex related issues? The answer is a big “No”! Just now I signed a petition that will serve as a memorandum to Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, compelling him to take note of “Gang-rapes, sexual assaults, victim blaming, shameful rape trials” which have terribly hit Delhi/NCR. It reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) in 2010, leading it to earn dubious distinction of being rape capital of India. The other cities are also not that safe. In Calcutta a woman was raped by five youths when they were offered lift by her in middle of the night. In Gurgaon, a woman pub employee was allegedly gang-raped by six youth in a flat in the city. The sensational rape case of a BPO employee at Dhaula Kuan is still fresh in our memories.
After such incidents males are cursed, viewing rapes in narrow perspective as subordination of females in patriarchal society a way via which males prove their superiority over females. The feminists and intellectuals speak about ways and means to prevent rapes the way this petition talks about like better promotion of ‘women helplines, monitoring through CCTV’s, sexual assault prevention and redressal policy, state and police sensitivity towards women, workplace safety and awareness campaigns. However, the big picture is often ignored. At this point it would be not be out of place to suggest that the United States has the world’s highest rape rate. A country that has high level of transparency in sexual affairs with a great freedom to indulge in sexual experimentation. Let’s also remember it’s a society highly feminist in nature. “1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape” states one of the reports published several years back.
Let me state that this issue has many complex facet. The same society that proclaims about freedom of sexual preferences and about attainment of maturity has utterly failed to address some of the key questions related with sexuality. The same society also deals with serious issues in biased manner as its more interested in vilification of men community and sharp polarization of society for vested interests. It boasts of sexual freedom but it loves to highlight important issues related with men and women in stereotypical way. That’s one of the greatest paradox in our times. It’s because more women in offices means greater consumption of material goods and so none of the countries including India can dare to ignore demands associated with women as they play a great role in stabilization of nation’s economy.
However, this has led to another problem. The market oriented global society has utilized women’s efficiency not only as qualified labour but also used her sexuality to great extent in selling of the products as well which these women are producing. Nokia sets are made in some remote part of India with the help of over burdened male and female staff and these very phones are launched at glittering ceremony, wherein one notices gorgeous male/female star accompanied by good looking females! Notice how sexuality is also being promoted along with new Nokia set!!
The problem arises here: Youth can buy a Nokia set but how and where will they unleash their sexual energy? That’s why it’s also promoted that we are now a country which allows many sexual preferences, enabling girls to boast “why should boys have all the fun? ” A certain sexual tension is gradually built. Want to buy a soap? Buy one which impresses girls easily or buy one which sexy Katrina Kaif uses over her long legs!! Want to buy a toothpaste? Use one which leads to freshness of breath so that it’s easier to attract kiss of a beautiful girl? If you use certain cream you attain a great glow to attract young girls and if female is using such a cream glow of her face is sure to get her a job!! It’s not enough to see the ball reaching the boundary. See how semi naked cheer girls express their joy when ball races towards boundary! You buy something and the woman cashier at counter, being impressed by the mobile you carry, offers you condom to compensate for lack of change!!
That sort of sexual impressions are being constantly generated. These are false images. But they are powerful enough to shatter into pieces better values. They lead to dangerous conditioning of mind. As a result right people from both the sexes suffer. If you are not allowing healthy release of sexual energy even as the the mind gets hammered with sexual images of all the types will it not lead to perversions of all types? Will it not lead to rapists and sexual offenders? Why are only men being vilified? Why not the system in its entirety being targeted? Will tough laws that seem to punish all the men and laws which view rest of the men as potential rapists serve the purpose? I think these are not preventive measures but methods to end the human society for forever.
Now let’s talk about love as well. The same Indian society which gives the impression that it has evolved to great extent is still comprised of people having more closed mind than people living in stone age. On the one hand, we find one reputed female editor finding extra marital affairs good for keeping marriage lively and, on the other hand, we have societies which hang to death boy and girl for loving each other just because they belonged to different caste. One real love story gives gives rises to many problems in India. Angry parents, shocked relatives, red-faced friends and hostile law authorities all make the life of lovers no less than living hell. No wonder the path of true love is never easy.
It’s quite ironical that casual sex has so many takers if one takes into account growing number of teenage pregnancies or sex at the call centers or growing number of educated girls from good families joining prostitution to earn good money in short time but the same society is not yet ready to embrace the lovers with open arms. That reminds me of middle class morality, which finds its appearance in dramas written by G B Shaw. A stiff resistance often greets lovers, who not only have to face hostile law authorities but also be face-to-face with shrewd moves of deceptive friends and relatives. Deceptive friends? Tell any friend that you are in love with some girl and you are bound to hear anyone passing this great information that she has slept with him too!! A lobby of bad friends gets in action side by side good ones, leading to dominance of half truths. True lovers get above such traps but not all are that great willed and so most love stories end up on tragic note.
So it’s okay to be fake lovers, in which there is display of money but no real emotions. Just the way a new movie get released every Friday, a new girlfriend or boyfriend appears in life of such lovers. It’s okay to be a couple, who have no respect for each other but they are in relationship to keep the society happy or , for that matter, to keep the honour of family intact. Often such couples are involved in serious clashes and some even come to murder their partners. However, the Indian society has place for all such incidents. It treats them as part and parcel of drama called human life. What really baffles is that these same block heads who endorse all ills of societies in name of growth of society are so harsh towards lovers seriously in love with each other!! The custodians of morality still issue death warrants to them all in name of religion, caste, language and status.
Let’s hope that Indian society which is so eager to convey the impression that it has evolved and in tune with better sensibilities makes way for right people, create room for healthy relationships and removes chosen contradictions. At present, it’s in cusp which is neither modern nor ancient. I prefer not to treat it as a society trapped in transition. It’s probably moving away from its core: The core made up of ancient wisdom which treated even insentient objects worthy of admiration.
Look at present age. We are murdering our own kids-only because they fail to fulfill our expectations. We believed that husband and wife are each other’s reflection. Today we find that most of them are living in dead relationship. We treated women as object of worship. Today she is some ‘chikni chameli’ or, if that’s not the case, she is promoting some mobile or deodorant via the charm of her body !! Our wise present age intellectuals call prostitution the oldest profession. They forget that we have produced women who have set high precedents. Let’s not glorify trash even as we come to make way for trash to make the life attain full circle.