Tag Archives: prudishness

Permissible

A comment on IMDb:

I watched Death Sentence while it was playing on TV on the channel FX. I found it almost hilariously disturbing that people were getting shot and dying bloody deaths on screen, but in the meantime mofos were being edited to mother sucker and freaking. And the f word was being changed to heck, and s*** was being changed to shoot. So show as much violence on television as you want, just God forbid you drop an F bomb or show nudity, because you know, THAT will screw kids up. Not people having their brains blown out rather graphically. Then the rest of us get to watch badly dubbed gang members running around with guns screaming “What the ‘heck’ is going on!” Thank you MPAA for keeping America’s children safe from breasts and bad words, but exposing them to more wholesome things like machetes and gang wars.

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Victoria’s children

Fuck them all. Be it Yediyurappa, or Gehlot, or the Sri Ram Sene, or the KRV, or the MNS, or the Shiv Sena, or the Bajrang Dal, or the VHP, or any other pea-brained “leader” or group, they all have one thing in common. They are Victoria’s children. People who’s sense of history and culture is limited to the 19th century – the Age of Victoria. That’s why they can only see obscenity where none exists, and that’s the source of their prudishness. Given the way they go about behaving in public, one can only imagine how they treat their women. Do they cover them in jute bags, keep them in cow sheds, make them wear chastity belts, and wear it themselves? I don’t know, and I don’t want to either. All these practitioners of Victorian Hinduism should go back to their native country – Britain. Or else they can go and hug their cousins – the Taleban from Afghanistan.

There is no single “Indian culture” or “Hindu culture,” and if these illiterate idiots had ever bothered to read history, or stopped rewriting it just like the Marxist historians do, they would find that everything from prostitution to pubs to drinking to gambling to beef eating is part of “Indian culture.” Sauvik has written a post on the same, and he refers to Kautilya’s (350 B.C.E.) magnum opus, “The Arthashastra”. I have read a bit of it, and given the long list of regulations prescribed in the treatise, I don’t completely agree with Sauvik’s “ancient Indian culture was closer to the Goa Model of Liberty than the Taliban.” Kautilya was no liberal, or libertarian – he was a paranoid consequentialist who saw every bit of public policy from that viewpoint. And the punishments he prescribes for some crimes (like adultery) are as brutal as those of Hammurabi. But the fact is, he didn’t declare “pub culture” as anti-Indian. And that’s why all those people I have honored above should be tied to their chairs and made to read each and every word of the Arthashastra.

In his political economy, Kautilya has a place for the “Chief Controller of Entertainers, Courtesans, Brothels, Prostitutes, and Other Entertainers.” The Kautilyan State trained and protected prostitutes, laid down rules of contractual behavior, and appointed “madams” to run brothels. There is also a provision for “independent prostitutes.” Then Kautilya writes about the “Chief Controller of Gambling and Betting.” This person is charged with “ensuring that gambling is carried out [only] in designated places under the supervision of honest gambling masters.” Then there is the “Chief Controller of Alcoholic Beverages.” It was this fellow who organized the sale of [many varieties] of alcoholic beverages and the construction of pubs for the purpose. “The drinking rooms shall be made pleasant in all seasons by providing them with perfumes, flowers and water.” And “the liquor seller employed beautiful female servants” for spying. Apparently the pubs performed a dual role.

Its obvious that these idiots have no idea of what “Hindu culture” is. I have previously written about how even the sari is a recent phenomenon – “‘for millennia’, Indian women went about bare from the waist upwards.” But then, you cannot reason with donkeys. They only understand one language – that of mob warfare – the big fat stick. Form a violent group with a thousand members ready to vandalize anything at the drop of a hat – show “brotherly love” by molesting women – and people like Yediyurappa and Gehlot will come and worship you. Talk to them in a civilized manner, and they will spit on your face and throw you in jail.

V for Victorian

Every time the VHP or some other Sangh organization, or anyone else for that matter, starts talking about the degradation of Indian culture and Hinduism, I silently curse the British. Because, along with the English language, Indian Railways, Westminster-style parliamentary democracy and associated bureaucracy – things that benefited India, they left behind the infamous Victorian-era prudishness; Indians simply changed their culture by incorporating Victorian morality. One thing the “immoral police” have no respect for is the human body. They would like people – women, rather – to cover themselves from head to toe not only in real life, but even on screen (television and cinema) and in paintings and drawings; they are fighting against “obscenity”.

In Sorry, No Sari, Arun Bhatia says “saris in the modern sense simply did not exist more than two centuries ago. In fact, ‘for millennia’, Indian women went about bare from the waist upwards.” Something supported by the origins of the sari described on Wikipedia-

One point of particular controversy is the history of the choli, or sari blouse, and the petticoat. Some researchers state that these were unknown before the British arrived in India, and that they were introduced to satisfy Victorian ideas of modesty. Previously, women only wore one draped cloth and casually exposed the upper body and breasts. Other historians point to much textual and artistic evidence for various forms of breastband and upper-body shawl.

In South India, it is indeed documented that women from many communities wore only the sari and exposed the upper part of the body till the 20th century. Poetic references from works like Shilappadikaram indicate that during the sangam period in ancient South India, a single piece of clothing served as both lower garment and head covering, leaving the bosom and midriff completely uncovered. In Kerala there are many references to women being bare-breasted, including many pictures by Raja Ravi Varma. Even today, women in some rural areas do not wear cholis.

We also had our very own Raja Ravi Varma who indulged in the “great cover up” by painting women wearing full saris (something similar to Dan Brown’s theory of “The Great Castration”), though I am not too sure if he can be accused of prudishness. Well, whatever the history, censorship – mainly of the “body” – and particularly in public, is here to stay. And so is Victorian Hinduism.