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Thought showcase - exhibit #1

Modern Indian norms on morality and sexuality are eerily similar to those from Victorian England. In contrast, ancient Indian cultural records are replete with references to an open-minded, permissive society. (For example, Khajuraho, and Kama Sutra - can you imagine the controversy if someone put figures of naked men and women on their front gate today?) Could it be that we're holding on to a colonial legacy and not aware of it?

~ so said ameet on somebody's blog.

12 Responses to “Thought showcase - exhibit #1”

  1. # Anonymous deruda

    Who the hell is Ameet?

    Anyways, this is from much before the British times, though the first instinct is to lay the blame for all our follies on the Brits...

    Remember the Mughals???

    We have been dominated from so long back that sadly, today it becomes difficult to offhand point a finger at when/where things went wrong...  

  2. # Blogger sou

    who the hell ameet is doesn't matter.. just like it doesn't matter who the hell you are..

    what does is the thought..

    "We have been dominated from so long back that sadly, today it becomes difficult to offhand point a finger at when/where things went wrong... "

    .. and i agree with yours.

    Still.. mughal culture (apart from religious and very slightly social) wasn't so different from indian culture.. the victorian england culture however certainly was ..

    a lot changed in our society in the name of becoming more 'civilized'.  

  3. # Anonymous deruda

    i thought u wld think deeper than that...

    you think 200 years is enough to change attitudes and mindsets of people, especially 200 years a priori...???

    well who the hell someone is certainly does matter when you proclaim the name like he was the literary giant of yesterday...

    :-)

    and u do have a good right hand always up...fending off...:-)  

  4. # Blogger sou

    yabbah!

    I really don't like being rude but..

    1. I hate people who don't understand what i'm saying and argue with me as if they do.

    2. I really hate people who give vague footballer names but no identity (not even a virtual one..)

    3. I really hate people who use boxing analogies repeatedly.

    in other words (just so i'm clear) I don't like you.

    that said...

    ofcourse I did NOT mean the brits came when we were in Khajuraho age and they alone managed to change us overnight into the repressed society that we are today. What i did mean to do was compare the impact of mughal invasion on indian morality and that of the brit.

    and..

    just because u perceived i proclaimed him a lit genius doesn't really mean anything.. so hush and shoo..  

  5. # Blogger phreakv6

    hahaha.. whoz this dog thats getting shooed ?
    ..tired of awful flamers who think they are smart.
    grow up kiddie.. kiddie got a blog where i can flame ?  

  6. # Blogger Trauma Queen

    oooh!
    nice to know ur blog is becoming the flame-bouyant one ;)

    meooooooww...get those retractable claws out

    as for the issue...its a good q, but i dont have any proper answers..I can faff about the emergence of prudery in the wasp (white anglo-saxon protetsant) society waaay before the victorian age....but im not so sure if the brits or mughals r entirely to blame...it would help to read sum history n philosophy books to get real answers

    psst: saw shrek 2 yesterday for the nth time and dying to see ice-age 2..thus the cat analogy  

  7. # Anonymous deruda

    Business before pleasure...

    the mughals ruled us for from 1526 to 1857. the brits ruled from 1857, when bahadur shahzafar was overthrown as the last emperor (mughal) of india. before the mughals, the last hindu ruler of delhi was prithviraj chauhan in the 11th century... u do the analysis and do let me know the results...

    1. well...u sound like the wannabe film crit that says...i really don't know much about films, but this is what i think...n rip some poor director/actor apart...

    2. u don't seem to have got over the fact that i was probably the only bloke that said broaden ur perspective... which isn't too bad a thing really, unless u revel in shallowness and think tunnel vision shows the light...

    3. The lil sergeant is not some vague analogy thrown up by urs truly, but an actual existing syndrome.

    4. and perception...well that's relative...

    5. and hey! u don't like me doesn't really make a difference to me.

    6. And lastly, err... deruda, a footballer name? that was socrates, the brazilian superstar of yesteryears. Deruda... de rudamentary deconstructionist... a pun on the original derrida. But then...

    Also, anonymity is an evil only for people that love posturing...
    :-)  

  8. # Blogger sou

    *sigh* ok buddy... here we go again..

    for the last time.. i was not and never was talking about who ruled us for how long. i was talking abt the impact of brits on indian morality. i don't think just because mughals ruled us longer they had more of an impact on our morality... as i pointed out earlier their culture was not so very diff from ours when you compare our culture with that of the brit culture.

    Ofcourse it is speculation. i never pretended to "know" coz that's damn dumb.. even the best historian/anthropology/culture studies prof can only "speculate". If that makes me sound like a wanna be film critic.. then you sound like a very judgemental person.

    You are trying to broaden my perpective?! ok tell you what.. with the Deruda-Derrida bit .. you actually did.. but maybe i'd respect you and ur comments a li'l more if you didn't write in such a patronizing tone and if u didn't diagnose me with syndromes based on two posts.

    i welcome differences in thought and perception but please not in an impolite manner.

    i cannot see beyond the cowardly nature of anonymous comments. If it makes you label me shallow for thinking it..so be it coward.  

  9. # Anonymous anonymous coward

    i thot u derived deruda from devuda..
    :p  

  10. # Blogger Ameet

    Since I am the subject of so much controversy, I thought I'd add my two paise.

    Yeah - I agree that the Islamic invasions (not just Mughals) were a factor too. Any civilization that gets threatened by external forces, reacts by turning more conservative. Case in point - the United States post 9/11. In addition, the moral values of the conquerers also permeate through the society.

    I cringe when I hear someone condemn progressive attitudes as being 'against our culture'. What culture exactly are we referring to?

    There's a famous quote by Thomas Jefferson, the architect of the one of the most liberal nations on the planet.

    "... laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."  

  11. # Anonymous deruda

    you just said it, sou ... here we go again...

    the point I was trying to make was not who ruled us for how long. I was trying, in vain of course, to point out that the longer someone dominates someone else, the more impact that person has on the dominated... So the point that I was trying to make would be - it would not be right to assume that the Brits could have caused more moral damage to us in the time they sat on our heads, than the ones that came before them... that the Brits may have had an impact on Indian morality, but that the damage was done much before the Brits came to rule. Capisce?

    Besides you seem to have drifted way off the coast here... earlier statement - Still.. mughal culture (apart from religious and very slightly social) wasn't so different from indian culture.. the victorian england culture however certainly was ...
    to which i'd say that morality, especially in a multicultural pluralistic society is as much religion-based as culture. Indeed the two are intertwined. One of the things that could have happened was to tighten the screws of morality so as to shield the women from the lusty eyes of the oppressor...British or Mughal or Neptunian, it doesn't really matter. There is also the tendency to portray ours as better than theirs - so the tightening of morals, which tragically was just on the surface...this is what i think caused a seething undercurrent of perverted morality and sexuality, which grew worse with the passage of time (How else would you account for figures like one in 3 or 5 indian abused as a child?). the placing of moral strictures on the outside made people look inwards, unfortunately... agreed that the radically different and apparently 'liberal' brits added their bit, but the damage had already been done by years of domination by all and sundry. We may just find it easier to lay the blame at the door of people closest to our generation, the last of the dominators, that is all.

    That my dear Sou, was what I was trying to say.

    About gaining your respect, I don't need it, thanks, since it is not pivotal to my existence and well-being. I have a daughter who is doing her Masters currently, and I have her respect and my wife's - that is integral to my existence and well-being...

    You call me patronizing. I don't deny that. But so will you be, in your own time...:-))

    I think you are a current day teenager searching for a cause, and with a strong dislike of people that can be as rude as you. More likely a twenty-something whom your peers feel has 'good fundas' and stuff inside. You sound like one, you write like one.

    And I don't think you are shallow, I think you posture a lot, and tend to think that hurling insults and being rude, basically browbeating people, will get you by most confrontations. It won't. You though have a thinking brain, which is a lot nowadays. So read more, assimilate more, LISTEN more (not necessarily my crap...:-)), helps you understand what people are trying to say, better.  

  12. # Blogger autogato

    Omigosh, it's like you've traveled backward in time! That's so very interesting.

    I'm not very familiar with the particulars of Indian culture, but I can address this from the viewpoint of American culture. Even here, our culture goes through cycles in which we swing from extreme conservatism to more liberal views. These cycles usually occur every generation or so. Politically, there will be swings toward conservative parties and political leaders, only to gravitate toward the opposite spectrum in a few decades. It's like we are trying to find some sort of value equilibrium, but keep overshooting the point of moderation and making it to the extremes.

    I wonder if that is what is happening in your culture.  

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