In a country that gave the world the ancient and intricate guide to lovemaking known as the Kamasutra, it seems that talking about sex still raises eyebrows and leads to public scoldings. Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcased this paradox when he publicly reprimanded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for discussing family planning measures in the presence of "mothers and sisters". It was as if Kumar had committed a heinous crime by daring to speak about a practice as old as humanity itself. The crux of the matter was Kumar's explanation of coitus interruptus, a method by which a man withdraws just before ejaculation to prevent conception. While the medical community debates its effectiveness, it's clear that in a country with over a billion people, where millions remain illiterate, discussions about contraception need to be paramount.
Ironically, despite being the birthplace of the Kamasutra, India maintains a rigid taboo around sex education. Even when the New Education Policy included provisions for sex education in higher classes, it was swiftly removed due to opposition from certain quarters. This incident highlights the stark dichotomy between India's past and present when it comes to matters of the bedroom. Lacking comprehensive sexual education, many youths remain ignorant about natural bodily functions like menstruation and night emissions, often misconstruing them as ailments.
If we do not provide them with clear knowledge, they may grow up with misconceptions, much like Mahatma Gandhi who believed that night emissions had harmful consequences for the body. India's obsession with tradition, coupled with its massive illiterate population, creates the perfect breeding ground for such controversies. Perhaps it's time for the nation to embrace its historical legacy of knowledge and sensuality, recognising that open conversations about sex and responsible family planning are essential for a healthier, more informed society. So, next time someone jokes, "No sex please, we are Indians," we can laugh, knowing that our nation's heritage is far more complex and intriguing than the punchline suggests.