My recent posts drew a lot of questions from my friends:
Would you kiss and fondle in public?
Would you like your sister or daughter doing it?
Isnt there something called culture? Is anarchy better than organised society?
My answer would be a uniform NO. Except for the one about culture. I do think there is culture.
Western, American individualistic culture has not increased happiness levels in the US for the past 50 years. If at all, it has deteriorated. They have benefitted from science and technology, and stupendous amounts of material wealth. They have been able to free themselves from hunger and abject misery. But we probably should not ape them mindlessly.
I love Indian culture. I benefitted from a secure family. I love my community and a sense of belonging. I long for a continuation of the same life for my children.
Kissing and fondling in public, getting naked or copulating in the open just for the shock value of it, or to promote anarchy, I don’t have any sympathy.
But as a form of protest, it is absolutely fabulous. I studied in a government school. I have lost at least quarter to half of my working days to protests and strikes. I have had classmates killed in college. I have had my car with two toddler girls kept in traffic for six hours as part of one protest or the other.
I had a doctor colleague who dared to come to hospital in his car on a hartal day have his head split open by rock till the brain poured out. He was out of work for two years as a result.
O, what is the harm in harmless protest by kissing? Especially when it is against the same forces that are trying to hold on to whatever is worst that was there in the status quo?
Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come.
The idea has come that all human beings are equal, and can interbreed with one another.
The idea has come that there are rights, and women and children can have them.
The idea has come that people should have a say in governance.
The idea has come that violence is bad, though it is not always possible to avoid it.
The idea has come that there can be no basis in the superiority of one race, colour or caste against another.
These ideas are here to stay. The status quo is very comforting, to some fortunate individuals like me. But it is beyond me or very foolish of me to defend it, cock, hilt and spanner, or whatever. We don’t know where we are going. But the ride should be interesting.