By Dhruv Arora:
Over the past few days, thanks to our Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the internet has been discussing in hushed tones, the problem with sex in contrast with the Indian culture; and let me be honest: there are problems with sex in contrast with the Indian Culture. The fact is that we have deviated from our culture and simply do not wish to follow it anymore. There is a reason our culture talks about sex and sexuality in a certain way and there is absolutely no need for us, as Indians, to deviate from that norm.
The fact is that our Indian culture has always celebrated sex, and the right to pleasure; and western influences have completely ruined the revelries that every sexual encounter heralded in. To come from a place where pleasure and sex (including same-sex relationships) were discussed openly and boldly in our biggest epics that are widely celebrated as a one-stop-shop for everything to do with Indian Culture, to a place where homophobia, a western concept, has become the flag-bearing-concept for Indian Culture, and false suggestions of “illicit sexual relationships” (loosely definable as those outside of a legal marriage, a concept that is far separated from our aforementioned Indian Culture) somehow being outside the purview of Indian Culture have taken over the public discourse on our roots.
Our love for our Culture can sometimes go so far that we start downplaying the importance of necessary protection real-life worldwide concerns like HIV, in the worry that it will somehow end up in a world where sex becomes our primary currency and one will not be able to open their own living room door without finding an orgy of illicit sexual partners in compromising positions. One could say that such concerns may not be completely grounded in facts, but then one would still be working on an assumption.
Of course, one can say that what is written in our books and vedas doesn’t have to necessarily be followed as-is, because as it would be, it has a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but in that case my primary argument would be that lets not worry about what is written in our vedas and culture and celebrate it, not enforce it, and leave it to people and their choices. To the culture-heavy folk, I am not suggesting we have no laws or rules, that we have a free-for-all in all places at all times where people do whatever they want wherever they want without consequence, but the primary word I’m going to leave you all with is one that I feel can answer most of those concerns (albeit some more complex discussions that will require some more introspection into the implementation of the word): consent. Meanwhile, let’s try and not let our western influence undermine the importance of condoms in sexual relationships, whether illicit or not. What say, Doc?
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