Shamelessness is paraded as Modern
by R Vaidyanathan on 13 Sep 2009 7 Comments

There has been an explosion of Modernism or, to quote a TV anchor, “the sublime assertion of modern thinking” in the last few weeks. One was the celebration by homosexuals after a Delhi high court ruled that homosexuality is not a criminal activity. As if society anytime considered it criminal. Society considered it a mental case or perversion, but never criminal.

But the queer crowd had their parades; they re-christened themselves as LGTB [Lesbian – Gay – Trans-Gender and Bi-sexual, dragging in even the bi-sexual as fellow travellers. They claimed to belong to a minority and demanded human rights. Our 24 hour ‘breaking news’ TV mafias and main stream media [MSM] jumped into the fray. Incidentally, gays are called MSM, Men having Sex with Men, the same abbreviation for our incredible main stream media.

For a few weeks, it was made to appear that being gay is the most virtuous thing, and if a girl is not lesbian she is missing out on something profound. I do not know how many TV anchors or MSM of the news variety editors would encourage their children to belong to that exalted category of LGTB.

Enter the dim-witted Celina baby, who positioned herself as an equal to the great yoga guru Ramdev, and had the audacity to suggest debate with him. Her claim to fame is the amount of skin she can reveal; her two minute bytes were peddled by 24 hour non-news channels since for them it was hot copy and might enhance their TRP’s. One anchor even suggested that she is a “graduate,” implying that she is “highly educated.” That perennial rebel without a pause with zero intelligence Mahesh Bhatt was conspicuous by the inane inconsequentials he mouthed on “freedom.”

It was bizarre to the core and revealed the slow but sure development of putting shamelessness on a pedestal and worshipping it. Shyness is a virtue and shamelessness is Adharma; it is completely turned upside down by our mindless media.

Homosexuals were always present in India even before Macaulay made them criminals by Section 377. But who cared? People may giggle, but nobody was arrested for being gay. Society treated them with the indulgence appropriate to such a category.

Shyness prevented society from castigating them. Nor did it punish them. Christopher Isherwood was alleged to have been a homosexual. He was not berated for it. One of his friends in Calcutta reputedly jocularly commented to him not to entice young Bengali boys. Christopher was an erudite scholar associated with the Ramakrishna Mission; his works on the Upanishads are highly rated. The point is that he was neither glorified for his sexual orientation nor berated.

Savita Bhabhi

The second case is more bizarre. There was a cartoon pornographic portal which portrayed a lustful and ever sexually indulgent lady called Savita bhabhi. She was always having sex with assorted groups like door to door salesmen to neighbourhood kids to fashion show referees; the site was located in London. Its owner came out from his assumed name of Deshmukh to the real name of Puneet Agarwal. When his real identity became known, his family and community were aghast and he was forced to stop it.

Pritish Nandy, writer and film producer, wrote in a national daily that “Savita Bhabhi is a symbol of freedom, of empowerment, of the sexuality our women can wield if they are allowed to escape the sham world we Indian men trap them in because of our own fears of sexual inadequacy masquerading as machismo.”

Adman and TV commentator Suhel Seth added that “the fact that she was called ‘bhabhi’ indicates a perverseness that always existed [in India] but we were in denial about.” This is the level of our mental bankruptcy and moronic approach to any social issue. There are many more of this type parading as intellectuals and social activists. These vultures are for the philosophy of anything goes. It is for the TRP and not for any value system.

An assorted group of “freedom fighters” jumped into the fray to defend the right to pornography, when the family of Puneet Agarwal itself felt that he cannot do just any business just to get a return on investment. That man was shamed by his family and community, but the TRP crowd was in a nauseating brawl with government, regulators and all types of societal values, oblivious that they were shaming themselves.

This trend started with the former Minister of Child Welfare [Renuka Chowdhary] starting a movement to fill up pubs with young girls as some girls were attacked in a pub in Mangalore by some fringe elements. The print media and TV, particularly the MSM variety, made a big issue of it and encouraged young boys and girls to go to pubs and drink. Drinking was made a virtue in the name of freedom and right.

Page 3 has taken over the papers. It is time that all pages be numbered Page 3, perhaps as Page 3a, 3b etc. These whiners who hardly pay for their drinks - they are freedom fighters since they always want things free - have the audacity to suggest what is good for the women of this society. They are arrogant, abrasive, and absurdly self-indulgent.

Indian society is accommodative and understands the complexities of human nature. It does not insist on linear behaviour. But the wretched and the crooked among our media want to pitch a war between modernism and antediluvians, and between rights and suppression. They have made a grave error of superimposing Western debate on Indian society.

We think that when shamelessness is equated with freedom and modernity, there is a need for transparency and full disclosure. The denizens, anchors, editors, and correspondents who parade such shamelessness as sacred should disclose whether they belong to such category? Whether they are from happily married families or from broken families? Whether they will encourage their wives and Bhabhis to behave in such fashion since it is a symbol of freedom?

They should also disclose their love life, family life and children who go to school. And provide information if such “freedoms” are encouraged and provided to them. If not, others will put it in the public domain. These anchors and editors cannot get away from personal responsibility and personal behaviour when they speak of societal norms.

It is high time some sections of our media at least expose these vermin who are out to peddle poison as freedom, and perversion as sacred. Let us understand the importance of shyness in some situations, and appreciate silence in many situations. There are still concepts of virtues and perversions, and let it not be forgotten in the TRP race.

The author is a Professor of Management; the views expressed are his own 

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