Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bikram Vohra - Dear Mahesh Sharma, it's 2015: Let women decide what they want to do with their evenings

It’s 2015 and we have a Minister of Culture who gaily announces that women should not go out and make an evening out of it. What does he suggest for the boys then? Go out with other boys? This claptrap about Indian culture and the keepers of the flame have become so regressive that it is scary. Rightwing loonies have scrambled into positions of power and this is not just sad beyond acceptance, it is downright scary.

Mahesh Sharma is the same person who is bent on creating a divide across religions in secular India and the fact that he grabs headlines with his holier than thou posturing offers him enough fuel to keep making obnoxious observations.

Women are not animals or property and they are equal to men, period. This moral policing has to end or this country is in grave danger of becoming extremist and polarised and so out of kilter with the modern world that it will fall on its face.

We are moving into the medieval age and the sheer frustration from our taboos makes sex per se a titillating obsession. We are so overwhelmed by it that our only release seems to be to talk about it incessantly in the negative. Clothes, speech, social gatherings, everything is seen through this grotesque prism as if by rejecting it totally we will get comforted that we are not missing anything worthwhile. The crippling of the Indian sexual psyche spawns these cultural bandits posing as custodians. To us anything between a man and a woman is ugly and disgusting...even going out for dinner.

Who is Mr Sharma to decide what women (girls) should and should not do? Just because he is our Minister for Culture he has the clout to set the tone and standards of our conduct and possibly save us from burning in hellfire. Why are people like Mahesh Sharma allowed to speak the way they do and face no consequences for what they say and how they say it?

We are getting so regressive. Ironically, twenty years ago India was right on track to being a progressive IT nation with intelligence and acumen and skill pouring out of our second level cities and the people looking good and feeling good about themselves.

People like Sharma make you feel dirty. In recent years we have become intolerant, petty, sexist and vicious. Now, after all the damage is done comes the inevitable denial. It is like a well-worn script. If it was said on a TV channel it is so easy to prove. Don’t blame the media, Minister, for your follies.