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Dear Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Indian Culture Won’t Prevent AIDS, Condoms Will!

Posted on June 24, 2014 in Politics

By Nishant Chhinkwani:

I write these words out of bewilderment and a sense of misplaced amusement triggered by your latest comment that I happened to read on the New York Times. You have been quoted as saying “The thrust of the AIDS campaign should not only be on the use of condoms. This sends the wrong message that you can have any kind of illicit sexual relationship, but as long as you’re using a condom, it’s fine.”

You stress about how preserving the Indian culture and the ‘moral fabric’ of the Indian society would help the prevention and spread of HIV/AIDS.

Surely you’re joking Dr. Harshvardhan!

The last I checked, Indian Culture also included some interesting imagery that is pretty graphic, to say the least.


So, by your logic, shouldn’t we indulge in more of what is pictorially represented above, for the sake of ‘preserving the Indian culture’ and the ‘moral fabric’ of our society?

Ah, yes, I see your concerns, dear sir. Sexually transmitted diseases and overpopulation seem to top the list if my incredible mind reading abilities are working at their full capacity.


Don’t we have an effective, almost fail proof (90% may not be enough to get you admitted in a top DU college, but it should make do in this case) plan for preventing these problems?

That’s right, sir. I’ll spell it out clearly.


That, right there, is a Eureka moment. Or at least, it ought to be. But alas, we don’t need to stress enough on them to prevent HIV/AIDS and others STDs, because abstinence and faithfulness does the trick. Who needs condoms? We all just need to adhere to our ‘culture’ and all the pieces would fall in the right places.

The rest of us, who aren’t/don’t want to get married should either live the life of chastity and wear those fashionable belts they hand out at Opus Dei or we should resort to full time onanism as a way of gratification. After all, there’s no love like self love, and I think you, dear sir, might be inclined to agree.

I don’t know what’s more alarming, the sheer number of people blindly hanging on to your every word or the fact that you are a certified Doctor, a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and a Master of Surgery in Otolaryngology (ENT specialist for us laymen).

Even a 16 year old student with basic idea in biology knows that sex has nothing to with culture. It’s just a basic urge that is intrinsic in us. How this fact seemed to have slipped an esteemed and extremely qualified individual like you is almost as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle.

Sir, I have immense respect for the work you have done in eradicating polio from our country and I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally saw a qualified medical practitioner at the helm of the Ministry of Health of the nation. But, I’m afraid, this time, I am at odds with you. I cannot give up my freedom to choose a willing sexual partner, and I cannot put both of us at risk of disease, just for the sake of preserving a superimposed side of our ‘culture’ that seems to eat away at my right to choose what’s good for me.

I implore you to think logically, as a human being and a doctor first, and then as a Cabinet Minister toeing the party line. And I sincerely hope good sense prevails. For if it doesn’t, many of us are looking at dark days where the Government might poke its nose right in our bedrooms and raise hell at even the smell of chocolate (or strawberry or coffee, whatever catches your fancy) wafting around.

Sincerely Yours,
A concerned, unmarried, sexually active citizen