It was funny sitting in a class where the topic of presentation was: Are fashion shows and new year parties a threat to the Indian culture? The presentation was followed by a Q&A.
Suddenly, most of the class decided to play the role of ‘Guardians of Indian Culture’ and the presenter was immediately attacked with questions related to showing off too much skin by women during fashion shows, and therefore, declaring it against the Indian culture. I wish I could ask them – What is Indian culture? But I decided to keep mum. I knew that going against the ‘Indian culture’ will result in at least 3 new enemies. Instantly!
After the class, I asked myself – What is Indian culture? And rather than giving an answer that might bore you, I would say that it is at least not just about women covering themselves up! It was not always that women were as much covered as we see them today. In many parts of India, women used to remain topless due to climatic conditions and being that way was not such a crime. Example of Khajuraho temples always comes up when we talk about nudity. Indian culture was never against nudity. After all, it is just a body. It is natural. A gift of God. One of the fellow students asked, how would we feel going out with our parents to a nude beach? I ask him, don’t you go to all these temples where nude sculptors are displayed? Why this hypocrisy?
I just can’t stand this hypocrisy! It scares me. The very same people who were playing the moral police for Indian culture never mind having a Pamela Anderson wallpaper on their iPod. Isn’t it morally degrading? Let us get it right. Sex has always been a taboo, especially in Indian families. We don’t have any sex education in India. Even though we all know everything about it, we have a hard time speaking openly about it in the public. We try to act morally correct but we end up being a pervert. Sex and nudity is nothing to be ashamed of and just because our parents didn’t talk about it freely, it does not mean that we have to deprive our future generations from it.
And, to avoid hypocrisy, we must ask ourselves what is correct and relevant to our times rather than going by what we have always been taught. If we do something and don’t find anything wrong about it, we must have the guts to support it in public rather than being a two-faced loser!