Last month when ‘The Dirty Picture’ opened at the box office on Friday, it made a grossing 8 crores on the first day. It is said that in India only two ‘S’ sells- one is Shahrukh Khan and the other is Sex-the three letter word with which this country shares a very juvenile relationship. Anything that is connected with this word has found some objection in one form or the other. Sometimes it is the extremity of a ban or at times censorship. This kind of treatment is quite unbelievable in the land of Kamasutra- an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behaviour in Sanskrit literature.
There has been a sudden growth of a section of people who believe that it is their divine right to ‘clean up’ this society. They can do anything from beating up women to humiliating couples in the name of ‘moral policing’. Today when the need of the hour is proper implementation of sex education, it has become a hush-hush word. It seems like the slightest mention of this word is enough to cause the deadly HIV/AIDS!
So when last month the movie boomed the box office where was the morale police? Have they taken an off or even better, retired? With the rise of movies that show gritty sexual encounters, annual gay parades, homosexual couples in mainstream hindi movies – this country has come a long way and so has the moral police. Every occasion, they come up with some innovative ideas to dress the public up like putting a dupatta over Kareena’s bare back in Kurban or censoring Delhi Belly’s song. But this time there not a whimper of protest. This kind of acceptance may kindle some hope that there has been a shift in perception of the aam janta (read the moral police). Maybe the notorious Indian hypocrisy is tired of its own weight.
But we can’t get away with the contradictions. There are still policemen who hit couples in parks or marry them off if spotted together on Valentine’s Day. There can’t be the slightest mention of the word sex in any programme meant for family viewing or else the censor scissors are ready to gnaw the word down. Hypocrisy rules when it comes to India’s relationship with the forbidden three letter word. When will the people grow up and behave maturely? Is it the same land of Kamasutra or did it happen in some distant land? A question to ponder upon.