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Thursday, 18 December 2014

PRE-MARITAL SEX IN INDIA: A NATIONAL TSUNAMI ON THE RISE!

In a line if I had to give my answer to the question on "Yes or No to Pre-marital sex" then my answer to it without batting an eye-lid would be a resounding and an emphatic, No! Now as you go on to read this article you'd know why I think so and what are my views on this subject.

It was some time back when I first watched the film,Fiddler On The Roof and I remember Tevye,the protagonist and father of three girls of marriageable age emphasizing on tradition even as the girls go on to make their own choices when it comes to marriage.That was the tradition back then (and still continues to be) where marriage is the responsibility of the parents right from deciding the match to marrying her off and seeing her settled in her new home.

Today look at how times have changed.Cut to the 21st century and everything has reversed.The moments couple shared post-marriage are all happening prior to the culmination of the marital bond.And before you even know it,the boy and girl have already split-up!!That's how fickle relationships have become today.You could attribute this shift to our prolonged exposure to the Western culture which is so predominant in our lives especially with the influx of satellite television channels together with the internet age that it has made us vulnerable to the trappings and newer "concepts" it has to offer thus leaving an indelible impression in our minds that momentarily yet gradually we are setting adrift from our roots.We are incapable of sifting good from the bad and right from the wrong.We ape fashion blindly because that style/cut/clothing is popular in the West so we jump into the bandwagon.Likewise we bring home concepts of live-in,pre-marital sex,prenuptial agreements because the West does it,so why not us!Bottom-line here is where is our identity?Have we lost it?Are we even prepared for this change in the first place?We oft forget that it is the roots that make a tree strong for without the roots a tree ceases to stand up straight neither does it have a firm foundation on the ground it stands.

Likewise are the concepts of live-in relationships and pre-marital sex in the sub-text of Indian culture.Of course today if I were to hold a discussion with an Indian audience on the subject on Yay or Nay to pre-marital sex,they would have lambasted me for my ancient views and many would have even dismissed me as irrelevant.For some I would even be tagged as "uncool", "old fashioned", "orthodox", "traditional" or become a "social pariah".But I am fine with those tags for they do not represent even an iota of the person I am and these concepts hold no ground to me for they are nothing more than a Western import in my view. 

So how would I defend this line of argument on this widely debated subject that has become a common phenomenon?Then here's how I would go about it...

It took just two event to change our lives and thinking!With satellite television penetrating into every household and the dawn of the internet age in India where social medias would eventually come to govern our lives;the concepts of live-in relationship and pre-marital sex until then were alien to us.It was inconceivable that a boy and girl would even hold hands in public let aside even live-in together or indulge in pre-marital sex for it would defeat the whole purpose,tradition and sanctity of the institution we know as "marriage".In fact it was those who went against these societal norms that became the "social pariahs" (and not the reverse trend that we observe today).So why is this hypocrisy on our part to admit that these "concepts" were innate when in fact were "borrowed" in the first place?Then what was the foundation and basis of the concepts?Thus I reiterate my point when I say that it was the coming of satellite television channels in the 1990's and the IT revolution in the new millennium that could have well been the reasons for this flurry of change that swept the mindset of young Indians like a wave of tsunami. 

My next line of argument here is that an average Indian boy and girl does not even have the maturity and understanding to start with when it comes to dealing with all that pre-marital sex entails.Now let's take the repercussions of this act when as a result of consensual sex,a girl gets pregnant-there could be two reactions to it; one is she would pop a contraceptive and end the relationship or secondly she would spew vendetta against the boy for jilting her or panic under moral pressure,be it her own inner-conscience or the societal implications driving her to guilt where she would end up blaming the boy for having tricked her into it,even though both the boy and girl were clearly at fault i.e. if you were to term this whole episode as a mistake.And then we would expect the government to frame laws to protect the woman in the eventuality of such a situation-where the girl would allege that she was cheated by the boy with the promise of marriage or if she was a minor at the time of it,then it would constitute rape. And it does not end there.Then we would have the boy's version as well who would cast aspersions on the girl's character or cite compatibility issues to get away from it.When you talk of pre-marital sex then one of the eventualities is also about having a child out of wed-lock...but then unfortunately for the child's destiny,he would only be known as a ba@#&%% child! That's the society we live in!

If we are sure aping our Western counterparts,then the general line of conduct would have been that the boy and girl amicably part ways,the girl would go on to give birth to the child (since abortion is illegal) and work her way through high-school as a single mom.

So you see the world of difference in our psyche, perception and maturity of us dealing with the issue of pre-marital sex from the West.Are we really prepared for pre-marital sex or live-in relationship so to speak of?Then how can we even go the West way when we are not mentally conditioned to think of a physical relationship before marriage because of the environment we are brought up in which are bound by traditions,culture and societal obligations?Neither is the Indian man and woman financially empowered and independent at a young age unlike our Western counterparts where school-going boys and girls work their way to college to pay their fees and manage their own expenses.

So my basic question here is-How did pre-marital sex or a live-in relationship do any good to both the boy and the girl in the first place?The implication and consequences of this act far outweighed everything else.

To elucidate my point, I shall take the example popular Hindi films from the past and present which everyone has loved and would relate to on the subject of pre-marital sex.

A still from the film - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Since Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge celebrates 1000 weeks of it's successful run at a theatre in Mumbai,in the context of this topic I am oft reminded of the scene when on a fun jaunt an inebriated Simran (Kajol) finds herself the following morning on Raj's (Shah Rukh Khan's) bed with his clothes on.And her instant reaction are-tears,panic and fear before it turns to joy when she realizes that it was just one of Raj's pranks.Take the other side of the same situation,even Raj for that matter is responsible enough to know his limits (in Hindi,"maryada'') and what the modesty of a woman meant to an Indian woman particularly as he reassures her that even though he was raised abroad but in his heart he was always an Indian (a "Hindustani") and he would never do anything against the Indian culture and traditions.Further on in the film even though Simran wants to elope with him but he doesn't comply with her line of action and approach towards their relationship.In fact he endures all the thrashings of her relatives,till Simran's father finally accepts her choice that culminates into marriage.

Stills from the film - Salaam Namaste & Kya Kehna
This was way back in 1994 and two decades later we have a Salaam Namaste and Kya Kehna!While both films dealt with the issue of pre-marital sex at different levels,but the positive point to note here is that they talk of empowered Indian men and women who are either independent enough to make their own decisions or bold enough to take a stand even if it meant going against the set societal norms.

Just imagine,it is the concept of pre-marital sex alone that triggers a heated debate each time as it has so many dimensions to it and the cycle of repercussions it has on our bearing and being that puts us in a moral dilemma on whether to do or not to do!

Finally...

Though my thoughts on the subject are echoed,evident and well articulated above...however I'd like to conclude this post on a positive reassuring note.

According to me,if a man and woman so love one another then pre-marital sex is not the barometer nor the test of a long lasting relationship to come!

For those who seek it as an experiment or get a delirious pleasure out of it,then as mature individuals one must be prepared for the bouquets and brick-bats that each relationship and experience brings along.

On one hand you have the firm roots of tradition,culture and laws to protect and hold you up when you tie the nuptial knot and take the holy vows while on the other you have the shallow weeds of satellite television,internet,peer-pressure and sheer curiosity to influence your minds and sway you off your feet...now it's time for you to introspect on the above and decide on whether pre-marital sex is really what your heart desires and mind wants....or not!
Regards,
Sonaal

This post was written for the '#YesOrNoToPre-maritalSex' contest at Indiblogger in association with Poonaam Uppal's True Love - A Mystical True Love Story




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