Friday, January 30, 2009

Pub, Club or a Temple ??

In the western world, kissing and cuddling between couples of opposite sex, at public places like trains and parks, is a common sight. The locals there are so used to such scenes that no one pays any attention to these love birds. In one such incident a young couple boarded a train and occupied their seats in a remote corner of the compartment. Soon they started hugging and fondling each other and gradually went into a more compromising posture. The co-passengers, though, having known about what was going on in the corner of the train, turned a blind eye and kept busy with their normal activity, reading books, chatting or looking out of the windows. No one in the train seemed to have paid any special attention to them unless the couple, after the act, lighted a cigarette and started smoking. It was at this point of time that almost every one around them got up in protest and forced them to put off the cigarette. The couple apologised and complied immediately. Well, it was the act of smoking which posed a threat to the health of the passengers and to the fire safety of the train.

In our country it is the other way round. People would smoke, spit, pee and even defaecate in public with impunity and no one seems to bother. But at the same time, try holding hand of your man/woman/spouse in a public place and you will find all the eyes ogling at you alone. And God forbid if you proceed further in your act of love for your partner, like kissing or hugging, you are in for a harsher treatment at the hands of our self styled moral policemen.

Those who oppose such acts, keep harping upon saving the ethos and values of our culture and heritage. I have published a picture below which i took at one of the most famous ancient heritage sites of India, the Sun Temple at Konark. This and many more such poses, sculpted out of stone, adorn the outer walls of the temple. These sculptures not only show the act of sexual pleasure between men and women but also reflect polygamy, polyandry, extra marital relationships and different poses and postures to enjoy sensual pleasures.

After a closer look at the walls of the temple, embellished with many more such stone idols of men and women, i could only conclude that either such a display in a temple was not considered vulgar, or else this was not a temple. Or was it a club, or a pub ? If some one argues that no worship takes place at Konark and Khajuraho, then please go and visit Shri Jagan Nath Temple at Puri, which is one of our four 'Dhams' swarmed by hundreds of greedy 'Pandas' ready to fleece you on one pretext or the other. There again such sculptures are a plenty all over the outer most walls of the temple. Only one can't take a photograph there. Go take a round of the outer periphery of the temple (if at all you are released by the attending 'Panda' to do so) and figure out for yourselves.

Here i am not trying to find any fault with any religion as such, nor i have an intention to hurt any religious feelings (please forgive me if i have done so) but i am only wondering that why such acts, which were considered so pious that they were chiseled in stone and were preserved to be displayed on the outer walls of the world famous structures, standing over centuries as sentinels of religious and cultural heritage of our country, are stamped today as vulgar if seen in public in flesh and blood by the followers of the same religion.

Sun Temple , Konark, Orissa, India
Initially i was a little hesitant to up load this image here, but then this post would have been incomplete without it. Then i tried to edit it by erasing the vital parts but again decided against it because i do not want to join the group of the same hypocrites whom i am targetting here.


Indyeah said...

Balvinder Sir...a brilliant way to show the contrasts with the examples of the cigarettes and the contrast here where evrythings acceptable except that which ahs been part of our ancient past...

What is happening in India is hypocrisy at its best...

wait for a few years ..we may yet see the smashing of these temples by our neo -talibanis....ala the bamiyan Buddhas...destroying our culture all in the name of preserving our culture of course

then we'll have nothing left to point at and show the double standards...

Balvinder Singh said...

Abhilasha, you are right. If the incidents like that of Mangalore happen more often, the courage of the our self styled moral policemen will increase further and the day is not far when the rich heritage of our country would be destroyed only because it does not match their 'frog in a well' mentality.

Thanks for the bold response.

Usha Pisharody said...

Have been trying to post a comment since yesterday, but it would seem that blogger has a problem.. :(

First of all, Balvinder, this is indeed a fine post, especially in today's context of the double standards our very own protectors of Indian Heritage and Culture practice!

While such common sense prevails in most other parts of the world where they know how to prioritize their needs in life, health and then to more luxuries of life :) here in India we are now witnessing a regression.

Just yesterday the hoodlums of Mangalore were released, in full view, live coverage, with an impromptu press conference as well! When the media knew how they had violated the modesty of the girls and induldged in such an act of horror, why had they gone to cover the episode of their release? Shun them. Do not give publicity to them...!

And as Abhilasha says, definitely, there could be a time, when these guardians of cultural and moral ethics will systematically decimate these beautiful sculptures! Sad thought but then it is something one can anticipate if they are allowed to go rampant on and on in this manner!

Kudos to you Sir, this post should hammer home a lot of facts and feelings!! Thank you!!!

Balvinder Singh said...

Usha, yes, while our media does help in exposing the culprits involved in such mindlessness, which otherwise would have gone un-reported hence un-noticed, they have to draw a line as to when they should stop reporting a news and what should be covered and what is to blacked out. Some times an act of violence is meant for bringing mere publicity to its perpitrators and the media exactly does that by over reporting the news.

Usha,thanks for your regular and valuable response for my posts.

Usha Pisharody said...

Tagged you :)When you can!

Z@ki-R said...

God save us from our very own Talibans (be it Hindu / Muslim associated). Wonder what administration is doing. I think these idiots derive caurage from the fact that our govt machineries usually try to ignore such incidence unless there is a hue and cry.

Balvinder Singh said...

Z@ki, i think for every such incident the stupid common man (in the words of Nasirudin Shah in 'A Wednesday') has to come out and do something to shake our administration out of the deep slumber that they seem to be enjoying.

Indian Home Maker said...

Awesome post!!!!
You are in my blogroll but somehow this post did not show, I was wondering why you aren't writing! I have come here via Indyeah's blog.

I agree with everything in this brilliant post.
The Mangalore attacks have been deeply disturbing and every time I read a post against such hypocrisy I feel we still have hope ...

These people will ruin our tolerant and liberal culture, and take us to some weird dark ages where you can be killed for dancing and applauded for killing.

Hats off to this post.

Nagesh said...

Dear Sir,

Nice Post, kudos :)

Man should be a rational being ,and let them be spiritual and not religious one.

let me close by saying marx quote. "Religion is Opium of the people" isn't ?

Solilo said...

This is my first visit here.

Nice contrast. We are least bothered about the things which could actually pose a threat to us but we go around moral policing on things which are in no way affecting us.

I don't know why women have to be the culture bearers and all this happens in the land of Kamasutra. No! I am not saying that we need follow it in broad day light but simple things like holding hands is a big crime now.

The picture you posted is apt because you can find similar depictions in many old temples. There are even depictions of homosexual acts.

So I don't know what culture these vultures are talking about and why it has to always start with moral policing women. What if we object to the pan-chaboying Netas in flimsy dhotis? Now that ought to be stopped.

roop said...

u make such an excellent point!!!! only if your target audience understood it. i don't think they'd care even if they understood ... their agenda is not any culture restoration but corruption and power. they'll use any means they find they can use.

Khushi said...

Very well said!
I liked the contrast you have pointed...people would spit, smoke, waste natural resources and what not and no one would point a finger or even be bothered. But when it comes to public display of affection, it becomes a taboo.
Marking you post to other friends who mite like to read it :)

Balvinder Singh said...

IHM, just too appropriate a comment ""These people will ruin our tolerant and liberal culture, and take us to some weird dark ages where you can be killed for dancing and applauded for killing "" Thank you !

Balvinder Singh said...

Nagesh, yes, it is the religion which corrupts the sprituality. And our religious and cultural 'thekedars' (arbitrators) are the mother of all bigotry. Thanks for the response.

Balvinder Singh said...

Solilo, you have rightly called them cultural vultures. Their aim is not to bring any improvement in the society as such but they just look for some issue to attain cheap publicity for tjeir organisations and what a pity that they make use of violence against innocent women for doing so.

Thanks for the visit and keep coming.

Balvinder Singh said...

Roop, you are right that my target audience would not even read, leave apart understading it. Had they the brains to read and understand the psych of today's prgressive Indian, they won't indulge in such mindless acts of violence.

Balvinder Singh said...

Khushi, thanks for encouraging response and also for marking the post to the right thinking people. I visited your blog. I liked the title "Pink and Blue" both my fav colours.
Keep in touch.

Monika said...

very good post.... i mean this is the problem with these guys who claim to guard our culture... they hardly know it

Damnit this is the land Kamasutra was born in

PS: here thru IHM's post... u have a nice blog

shail said...

Simply awesome post.

Balvinder Singh said...

Thank you Monika

Thank you Shail

Reflections said...

A superb post Sir, I seriously think u shd get this published in some newspaper.
People have to be shaken out of this apathetic life they are living on a day to day basis.....our conscience & mental make-up has to be pricked again & again, only then will we wake up.

Balvinder Singh said...

Nancy, yes i will try to send to some newspaper also. Whether or not they will publish is uncertain. In fact i was not expecting much response to this post. But i find the response is overwhelming. Thanks.

J P Joshi said...

A very excellent post. Ever since the Mangalore pub incident, I have been wondering, as to what is wrong with us... the CM does nothing, actually sympathises, and he is the head of the state govt.

Rama Sene now threatens people for Valentine's day.....have we gone mad? I may not agree with what some young people do, but donot have the right to stop them from doing something that does not harm anyone else.

Your example and the photograph are absolutely apt. God help us, as our elected reps. would not, and they would not also let the executive branch do their job.

Mampi said...

I wish this post were read by the So called Ram seniks and shiv seniks. They sure go ahead to pee and spit in public, but say that any couple found in a romantic togetherness on valentine's day would be married off promptly.
written well in time.

Balvinder Singh said...

Manpreet and Joshi. Thanks for the response. I had gone to Bombay to attend a conference and opened my blog today after a gap of four days.

At the entrance to Bombay airport the big posters of all the Thakreys (Bala Saheb, Udhav and Raj) greet you with evil grins on their faces and their arms raised as if saying that you better follow their dictats otherwise leave this city. They are destroying the cosmopolitan fabric of a great city.

And these people even tarnish the names of our Gods like Ram, Shiv and Bajrang Bali by associating their organisations with these names.

Cess said...

wow that was a great post, it is interesting to see the opinion of people coming from different countries/background regarding that matter. Public display of affection in Europe specially in France is a normality people don t care and as u said about the train incident as long as their health is not in danger it s fine, but lightening a cigarette then it s a different matter :) We obviously not gonna have any disease by sitting next to a couple kissing.
Now as for India, I learned recently and I was a bit shocked that India invented the Kamasutra!!!!! The most known 'pleasure bible' and when u look at the pic u posted !!!! omg! how come a country can be so different? Was the public display of affection, at the time where the kamasutra was invented, too much and people decided to cut it off?
It was a very interesting post and to be honest I was not expecting it from u :) i am surprised in a very good way, hat s off!

Balvinder Singh said...

Cess, nice to have your valuable opinion. Coming from a French national it is likely to be independent and unbiased. And you have rightly pointed out that

"the public display of affection, at the time where the kamasutra was invented, .....and people decided to cut it off?"

And Cess, why this post by me came as a surprise to you, i would like you to elaborate please.

Cess said...

++And Cess, why this post by me came as a surprise to you, i would like you to elaborate please.++

i was guessing u would ask me y i wrote that, i dunno i guess sometimes i m coming with some 'a priori' or statement based on what i saw/read.
By reading ur profile i m guessing u are older than me and u ve been in the army and u are indian so for what i know regarding indian culture and the way u are writing i thought u would be more strict or more traditional, maybe not completely opposed to PDA but mostly not in favor. That s y I was a bit surprised by this last post, but again it was a nice surprise.
I mean i m not indian so obviously I don t understand everything around ur background/culture/tradition but when i read that some dudes beat women because they are drinkin in a bar, it makes me angry really because i don t think it s fair. And having an Indian man talking about it or PDA make me believe that not ALL the indian men are like these idiots who have nothing better to do that hitting women.
Hope my explanation is not too confusing :)

Balvinder Singh said...

Cess, you are absolutely right in guessing that i am older than many of my blogger friends with whom i am interacting here. But let me share with you that though older in age, i can still connect with a twenty five year old youngster and can understand his/her feelings. The age group of my friends ranges between twenty five and fifty five.

My blog may be giving impression that being former Army officer i am strict and traditional, but no, to the contrary i am a little rebel in my own sense of the term. Please read my posts -- "Hair Cut", "Faith or Superstition??", "Head Gear" and some more like those where i have tried to bring out the double standards followed in our society.

As i have mentioned in my post that i was a little hesitant to post this image here but then after hearing about the Mangalore pub incident, where innocent girls were beaten up mercilessly by self styled moral policemen, the outrage in side me like lava of a volcano oozed out in the form of this post.

How can a handful of maniacs decide what is wrong or right for the majority of the citizens that too by resorting to violence themselves.

How can a group of goons who don't know what Ram and Krishna stood for, wrongly preach about the culture of more than a five thousand years old civilisation by using these great names.

And Cess, thanks for the response.

Ashwani Saini said...

Sir,..a very thought provoking post indeed. In my opinion the indian society is in very advance stage of decay. We lay claim to be independent in our thoughts and actions yet most of our responses are pre-calculated; often trying to callibrate or measure up to the west.(West itself has metamorphised to this stage from the victorian age).
Further,it also depends on how we interpret the situation. For example, why our government/media interprets them as moral policemen when the correct course of action should be to book these elements under eve-teasing/mob-violence/causing nuisance at public place.How many people have been booked for such acts in last 10 years?..and BTW who are these people?certainly not the common man who does'nt have time off from his daily grind. These hooligans are the people having party affiliations and having the tacit support of the ruling class.

Balvinder Singh said...

Ashwani, you are very right. these goons who attack the innocent men, women and children in the name of religion or moral values should be treated at par with notorious criminals. And if any political party supports them, the same should be banned.

ves21 said...

good post.
somewhere i heard or read, forgotten now, that erotic sculptures on temple walls were there to remind ordinary mortals, what they should leave out of their minds when they step into the pure atmosphere of the temple.
correct or wrong? and then whose interpretation?
our very own t's would go for the above interpretation.
and i hope the t's don't follow the example of buddha smashing

Balvinder Singh said...

Ves 21 -- I think if we Indians start following the culture of our country as displayed at our heritage sites the moral brigades will have tough time.

Thanks for the response.

Lakshmi said...

My first time here, came over from IHM's post.

A very good example of the depth of our society's wrong focus. I think it is usually people who do have lot of time in their life and want to get attention go over debating about unnecessary issues. They do not take the time to think about genuine issues. Rather they are not able to think on their own and are following age old mistakes our society has been carrying all through.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes Lakshami, our so called leaders in the political and social arena are completely devoid of independent thinking. They are rather victims of their myopic vision and can't see beyond vote banks. They look to grab limelight at slightest pretext, regardless of the fact that by doing so they are taking the country back towards the dark ages. The best way out of it is to ignore them.