The south Indian sex scandal beyond belief


by Sunny
17th November, 2005 at 5:50 am    

Indians are not exactly known for their liberal views on sex, but the latest scandal in India is far-fetched by most standards.

In September, an actress by the name of Khushboo, who works in the South Indian (Tamil) film industry, said in an India Today survey that it was ok for girls to indulge in pre-marital sex as long as they took precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs. She later justified her statement by saying no educated man could expect his partner to be a virgin. Not exactly earth-shattering one might say, but this is India.

Events since went something like this: First, local political parties protested against her remarks, going as far as calling for her to be ‘deported’ from the state (wtf?). Protests mushroomed as parties tried to make political gain. Her friend Suhasini Maniratnam (wife of the famous Mani Ratnam of Bombay fame) defended her but then also faced protests. Even Miss Universe Natalie Glebova backed her but to no avail.

So what happened? Various groups filed a total of 25 defamation lawsuits against her. After an appearance in court yesterday, she was given conditional bail. The case is now adjourned for December 16th. Apparently she has severly “hurt Tamil sentiments”.

Now close your mouth and please pick up your jaw from the floor. The Indian media has unsurprisingly gone mad over the story. While they’re happy to report it, no one is willing to ask why the politicians are jumping over themselves to condemn her, or even point out that she is simply giving sensible advice that may – you know – help against India’s AIDS problem. The media there really needs a kick up the butt to challenge its politicians.


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  1. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 7:47 am  

    It seems that Times of India has been on this one since the time it started in September. This is all getting out of hand here, but Tamil nationalists are playing the politics of identity here. Tamil nationalists have been working for years to root out “Indo-Aryan corruption” in Tamil society (read liberal views). Yes most Indian still cling to those age old warped concepts of morality whether in India or here in UK but i’ve a feeling that Indian society has grown more tolerant of sexual expression over last ten years. Just five years ago you wont have dreamed of Mallika Sherawats and “Item Songs”.Sadly its seems the Indian middle class sexual revolution has given Tamil Nadu a miss.

  2. shihab — on 17th November, 2005 at 8:11 am  

    This is a good sign, believe it or not. As anyone who has recently visited any modern city in India (Mumbai naturally topping the list, but its influence reaches fun-loving young people all across the nation), will vouch that sexuality in the social scene is much closer to the west than the traditional media would have us believe.

    But as with any cultural revolution that threatens to shape popular thinking, the politicians and, in tow, the media, always make one last ditch attempt to find scapegoats to demonise. It always backfires because the scapegoats multiply as do their supporters.

    What’s more than acceptable for the kids in Mumbai today (who have long tired of shock, horror tales of the likes of Mallika) will soon become the norm among Tamil kids.

    You can’t keep a generation of horny young men and women down for long. The Indian sexual revolution has begun. Duck, the kids are shooting their load…

  3. Bikhair — on 17th November, 2005 at 8:24 am  

    Shihab,

    Shame Shame Shame!!!!….!!!!….!!!!….!!!!….!!!

  4. raz — on 17th November, 2005 at 10:03 am  

    India is going to have the biggest AIDS infected population in the world soon (if not already). Such an epidemic, if unchecked, would have grave consequences for the India’s development in the 21st century. The government needs to address this as a matter of urgency. I wonder if there is anything to be learnt from the Pakistani model (Pakistan has a very low prevalance of HIV – most HIV infected in Pak are heroin addicts infected by IV drug use not by sexual contact). Maybe first cousin marriage has its uses after all :) All joking aside, let’s hope for the sake of the Indian people that the Indian government forgets all this arguing about morality and starts addressing the core issue of reducing the spread of HIV by promoting better sexual health.

  5. rizwand — on 17th November, 2005 at 10:05 am  

    that’s a good point Sunny Jim, from the reports I have read, folk in India really put their heads in the sand when it comes to AIDS.

    Even if people don’t agree with what she is saying, they can at least acknowledge that it is happening.

  6. Siddhartha — on 17th November, 2005 at 10:16 am  

    But the media in India does a fantastic job at challenging its politicians. By far the best in Asia. Why are they being so coy now when the issue is talking sex as opposed to simulated cinema sex in a wet sari?

  7. SKye-Vee — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:10 am  

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm girls in wet sari’s. But that’s enough of my fantasy.

    Khushboo is right though. Can’t expect a girl to be a virgin these days. And don’t think it don’t happen in India. India trying emulate the west again. Remember the raid on internet cafes. Apperently some of those booths didn’t have a PC in them.

    Spent 7yrs at uni and well some of you ladies are how can I say it. A bit liberal. Far too forward for an old fashioned bloke like me. Alas all I can wish for is a lady that is faithful. She’ll need a lot of faith to put up with me.

  8. contrarymary — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:17 am  

    are we forgetting that 70% of India’s population is rural and do not live in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore?

    Granted that in these cities are the sexual revolution has started but that does not mean it’s a given in the majority of india – where for many a subsistence existence is a reality, not MTV and cable TV.

    Don’t forget that the BJP got voted out for ignoring the common man in India, and focusing too much on ‘incredible India’ and its middle classes.

    In some ways India, and the division between the urban and rural reminds me of America… the attitudes found in New York, San Fran, L.A. are in actual fact the minority and the god-fearing, states in between the east and west coast are more representative of true America than any of these cities. Otherwise how did dubya get re-elected!

  9. Jeet — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:23 am  

    Raz

    Whenever I read your comments I cant help thinking that you have a degree of glee in the fact that India has a HIV problem, and your concern that the politicians ‘wake up fast’ and do something about it is insincere.

    I deduce this from your rhetoric about how India cannot be a major and successful economy without this problem being addressed – well, for this to spring to your mind as one of the first reasons for addressing this issue shows a warped sense of priorities – it should be tackled for its own sake – for the sake of lost lives. The comparison with Pakistan was truly strange. The constant referral to India’s ‘pretensions’ to become a strong economy is a tell tale sign of bitterness from certain quarters – I think you know what I mean.

    I dont think you are a well wisher of India at all – in fact I think you are a bit of a Pakistani nationalist creep.

  10. raz — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:54 am  

    Glee? Why would anyone have ‘glee’ about the deaths of millions of poor people? You are a very sick person.

    Where did I say anything about economy? I said India’s ‘development’ – and India – if you have been paying any attention to South Asian matters – is a fast developing nation – socially and economically. It’s been estimated as many as 25 MILLION Indians will be infected with HIV by 2010 – in just five years. This is a both a human catastrophe and a significant challenge to the Indian nation as a whole. Why don’t you read what I posted (and I’ll highlight the significant part):

    “let’s hope FOR THE SAKE OF THE INDIAN PEOPLE that the Indian government forgets all this arguing about morality and starts addressing the CORE ISSUE of reducing the spread of HIV by promoting BETTER SEXUAL HEALTH”.

    As far as Pakistan goes, Pakistan has no problem accepting Indian medical expertise when needed (witness several Pakistani heart patients sent to India for treatment).There’s no reason why help can’t flow the other way as well. Given the low prevalance of HIV in Pakistan and the fact that the Pakistani government has recently been implementing health initiatives to ensure that this low rate of infection does not start to increase, perhaps Indian officials could consult with Pakistani experts in order to help them formulate their own anti-HIV strategy. We are all human beings at the end of the day.

  11. shihab — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:59 am  

    Maybe the ruddy politicians and traditional media freaks should concentrate on the solution rather than banging on about the ‘crime’.

    Condoms.

  12. Siddhartha — on 17th November, 2005 at 12:01 pm  

    Well said ContraryMary. And the much vaunted sexual revolution is not going to be happening in India’s mafasallas (provincial towns) anytime soon. Thats going to be the mainstay of the urban rich.
    Are the politicians correct in using Khushboo to align themselves with public opinion or just a cheesy attempt at buying voter points?
    Does not explain the Media’s position on this, which seems to be suck it and see. (calm down Shihab, thats not a sexual innuendo). ;-)

  13. shihab — on 17th November, 2005 at 12:22 pm  

    too late, off to the toilet

  14. Rohin — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:06 pm  

    Jeet, it’s unfair to say that Raz takes glee in India having an AIDS problem. I didn’t get that impression. The thing with Mr Raz is that he is indeed a Pakistani nationalist. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your country and I certainly wouldn’t want Raz to stop coming to PP – it’s important we have visitors from all walks of life. But I’ve come to regard Raz as a one-topic uncle. He continually goes on about Pakistan having things to teach India.

    He says India can learn from Pakistan because Pakistan has less HIV+ve people, although most of the one who are HIV+ve get it from IV heroin use.

    Does anyone else see the flaw in this argument?

  15. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:36 pm  

    I do ….
    Scroll by the troll

  16. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:41 pm  

    btw Mr.Raz has Pakistan ever had a credible census? You contradict yourself when you sermonise Indian politicians not to argue on morality whlist stating that most HIV+ Pakistanis are heroin addicts. Having sex is basic human craving… dont you guys ever look at the brighter side of life?

  17. Sunny — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:46 pm  

    Why do people get so touchy about the Indian-Pakistan issue? Really annoys me. Each country can learn from each other. Pakistan has a higher GDP on average than India still BTW, and I think a better literacy rate (though I could be wrong and can’t be asked to check the net).

    Maybe there is something in the way Pakistan deals with AIDS, who knows. Though Raz did not say exactly what that was. Either way, stop being so touchy dammit! That is what got the damn Tamils so hot and bothered in the first place.

    By the way, I lived in Madras (Chennai now) for three years and I can vouch for two things:
    1) They are incredibly conservative when it comes to outward expressions of affection or talking about sex (behind closed doors anything goes).
    2) They start a protest at the drop of a hat.

    By the way, someone mentioned about the Bollywood scene getting more steamy. Dude, you haven’t been to South India then. Their films have always been more steamy, the film posters are much more sexual… and in fact they produce the highest number of soft-porn films in the country.

    How is that for hypocrisy?

  18. blue mountain — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:53 pm  

    No Sunny .Pakistan’s per capita GDP is lower than India’s.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_gdp_cap

  19. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:54 pm  

    Pakistan has a higher GDP on average than India still BTW, and I think a better literacy rate

    Sunny u Gaddar! lol, Indian literacy rate is at about 66% Pakistans i believe is 48%

  20. blue mountain — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:54 pm  

    Both countries are poor.Desperately poor

  21. blue mountain — on 17th November, 2005 at 2:58 pm  

    Still it doesn’t prevent India and Pakistan to spend billions on arms purchases from rich western and scandinavian countries. The F-16 plant in Bushes home state Texas is likely to be revived by huge orders from India and Pakistan.

  22. Sunny — on 17th November, 2005 at 3:02 pm  

    Lol, ok so I stand somewhat corrected. Karachi also had the best performing stock market last year or this year, not sure. Anyway, I don’t see the point of a false-standoff. We’re all the same. Let’s make (l) not war. Though, err, not with you guys :|

  23. Siddharth — on 17th November, 2005 at 3:07 pm  

    looks like you stepped in at the right moment Sunny, before this thread threatened to turn into a Indo-Pak bitch-fest. People who want that kind of thing should surely be directed to the NewsGroups where this kind of perversion is still well catered for.

  24. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 3:25 pm  

    Sunny lot has changed since we shipped out. Even though I still hold Indian passport. BTW Mr.Siddharth dont you seem to notice that it is certain Mr.Raz who seems to start all this unpleasentness..

  25. contrarymary — on 17th November, 2005 at 3:35 pm  

    good job musharraf and manmahon singh can get beyond petty intersniping betwixt Indians and Pakistanis of the ‘my country’s better than your country,’ playground standard.

  26. blue mountain — on 17th November, 2005 at 3:55 pm  

    No way !! The raison detre for Pakistani Army’s role in national politics is the hostility towards India. If peace really prevails where will the Pak military go ? Musharraf never wants peace and India will never cede an inch of land to Pakistan. He is appointing top army officials in every government department from ambassadors to city planners.

    There will be no peace as long as Pakistani Army is the dominant force in the country’s politics.

    Real and long lasting peace has never come without a devastating and crushing defeat of one of the players.Germany and Japan in 1945 and Soviet Union in 1991 bears a testimony to this fact.

  27. Siddharth — on 17th November, 2005 at 4:20 pm  

    No prizes for guessing whose “devastating and crushing defeat” BlueMountain is salivating over.

  28. blue mountain — on 17th November, 2005 at 4:23 pm  

    Now it is official. Siddharth is a damn smart bloke !!

  29. Vikrant — on 17th November, 2005 at 5:00 pm  

    Theres a difference between smartness and selective amnesia.

  30. Siddharth — on 17th November, 2005 at 5:27 pm  

    Thanks big blue, you’re not so bad yerself. ;-)

  31. raz — on 17th November, 2005 at 5:48 pm  

    OK guys. Some apologies in order. Yes I am a Pakistani nationalist. Yes I do believe there is a slight pro-Indian bias at Pickled Politics, and I am not going to apologise for sticking up for Pakistan. But I have been responsible for some flame bait on here, so I’ll try and clean up my act :)

    Vikrant, chill out man, you would miss me if I wasn’t here :)

  32. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 17th November, 2005 at 5:53 pm  

    sex is taboo but violence isnt……

    urgh….

  33. Sunny — on 17th November, 2005 at 6:08 pm  

    Now let’s all hug….. and find some Tamils we can round up to boo at :|

  34. Jai Singh — on 17th November, 2005 at 6:42 pm  

    =>”Now let’s all hug….. ”

    Don’t stand too close to Shihab though, you know he only needs the slightest excuse for a fondle……

  35. Bikhair — on 17th November, 2005 at 6:48 pm  

    Speaking as an outsider, I dont know why Pakistan and India just cant get allong. I mean the people are identical and they dam near have the same religion. LOL, that was my wahhabi joke of the day.

    Peace yall!

  36. Gunjan — on 17th November, 2005 at 8:49 pm  

    The reaction of the politicians is extreme but I don’t support Khushboo.

    Ignoring my personal views on sex before marriage I would like to share my opinion from a Public Health perspective: She wasn’t being totally responsible.

    In developing countries with a high HIV/AIDS, people are encouraged to use protection AND most of the programs run by Health organisations also encourage people to have sex with one committed partner.

    A teenager is likely to be influenced by a famous personality than a Health consultant giving them a boring sex education lecture (if they get any). She probably meant well but she did not do it properly.

    Having sex before or after marriage, having one or multiple partners, casual or committed sex is a personal choice but people should be educated about it so they can make an informed decision. They should get a sex education from school, free available condoms, talks from parents and get to know the religious, cultural, and health consequences of it before deciding for themselves.

    Khushboo is not educating them but simply stating her personal opinion and influencing them because she is a public figure. Who is she to say that it is ok for girls to have sex before marriage? Obviously that would offend people.

    It would’ve been ok if she was working with the Health authorities & promoting their message, it would be acceptable if she was educating people but she isn’t doing that either.

    It would be silly to support her personal opinion just because she is talking about sex openly. Yes it’s important to talk about it but the youth shouldn’t be influenced, they should be informed.

  37. lal — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:15 pm  

    my domestic help who is from Madras herself, is much embittered by this entire episode. she thinks they are all a bunch of duffers with nothing better to do. she keeps asking “why these ‘activists’ can’t go after the jayalitha pig with such fervour and diligence as well.?apparently stealing is fine but safe sex is just plain wrong. i find it quite hysterical myself. apparently, they have managed to solve the tiny issue of poverty and rampant govt corruption. they have the right to disagree of course, but this is a tad talibanesque. am perpetually amazed by the resurgence of the ‘morality police’ in tn. they are amazingly selective though. some of the fim songs are so bloody obscene that even i with my poor grasp of the language can identify their ‘raunchiness’ to put it mildly.

  38. Fe'reeha — on 17th November, 2005 at 11:25 pm  

    Raz: Given the low prevalence of HIV in Pakistan …..
    Maybe because there are no authentic and reliable ways of having exact figures in Pakistan?

    And Aids is not just mainly the result of drugs in Pakistan.
    Hospitals’ used syringes, poor and dodgy medicines, along with ignorance about the disease are all major causes. And why be defensive about sex?
    A large number of Pakistani men do bring back AIDS to their wives. Not just that, “the maasi culture” in Pakistan is suffering majorly with this disease.

    And Sunny is right. Why does every topic have to become a comparison btw Pakistan and India? How can you expect the illiterate people of the two countries (and God knows there are many), to be at peace, when a bunch of enlightened and well-educated people, who are not even based in their countries of origin cannot carry a decent argument without bringing historical references, armed budgets and God knows what not in the debate?
    Also, same goes for Pakistan when it comes to film industry. The film actresses steamy dance numbers would bring any normal person to shame, cinema are like open prostitute houses when it comes to nudity, but God forbid, they cannot show a kissing scene.

    The poor actresses of Pakistan can never say out loud that they are proud of their sexuality. In their interviews, they give this long lecture about being “pious” and coming from a respected and Syed (family of the prophet) family and after delivering the lecture, they leave for a “private show” in some rich businessman’s domain. Can anyone give me a better example of hypocricy?

  39. gunduwhitegirl — on 18th November, 2005 at 4:51 am  

    I love how Indian women, especially in Tamil Nadu, have the freedom to express themselves. When they do the whole town comes out and bashes them. We need to ask what is wrong with the mentality of these people.

    Also, her statement was directed at premarital sex as the reason for the AIDS problem. And, excuse me, it is a huge problem facing India.

    However, that being said, the *REAL* problem is the men/husbands who can’t keep faithful to their wifes. And, society allows it. They go to the brothels/prostitutes where the disease is really spread.

    Why aren’t women respected by Indian men?

    (Not intended to be hateful, just a westerner married to an Indian who is trying to figure it *all* out)

  40. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 7:44 am  

    Raz theres nothing wrong in sticking up for your country (or your country of origin) but u have no business making unsubstanciated and prepostrous allegations against somebody else’s country.

  41. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 7:46 am  

    Btw still no Tamils here… Gundus the closest we’ve got to a Tamil.

  42. blue mountain — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:03 am  

    Why aren’t women respected by Indian men?

  43. blue mountain — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:18 am  

    Gundugirl you made a sweeping generalising stament that Indians do not respect their woman.

    If India did not respect it’s women then Padmasree Warrior of Motorola would not have dreamt to become it’s Chief Technology Officer and Indra Nooyi would never have imagined that she would be CFO and Senior VP of Pepsico.Both of them graduated from Indian colleges.

    If India did not respect it’s woman then we would never had first female woman leader of nation in Sri lanka’s Bandernaike. Similarly we would never had a charismatic leader like Indira Gandhi. If Sonia Gandhi is today world most powerful women then it is due to India.

    But unfortunately polictics in India is dominated by illiterates. Hopefully you will see a better India in the days to come.

    Actually there is a revolution going on in India. Large number of woman are getting admitted to technology,medical,law and management/accountancy colleges.Women to man ratio is 40:60 in the IT industry and soon they will be a majority in both IT and BPO industry. So lets hope for the best.

  44. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:24 am  

    3 Millenia of male domination cant be undone in 50 years.

  45. blue mountain — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:26 am  

    You can never get rid of all your ills within 50 years.Give us a little bit of time , I promise our girls will give a hell lot competetion to you western girls.

  46. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:27 am  

    well i overlloked ur remark: “Let’s make (l) not war”
    Sunny were u by chance one of those guys handing out about a dozen T-Shirts to everyone, with the message at Regent Street this April. Funnily everbody except the Asians returned the extra shirts

  47. blue mountain — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:30 am  

    3 millenias?? Forgot scholar women like Gargi and Maitrayees in the ancient texts. Show me similar instances of women in Greek and Roman texts.

  48. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:50 pm  

    BM ALL socities are basically male dominated even the fabled western culture. Ok save for a few women like Rani of Jhansi and Jijabai which other women throughout Indian history ever held positions of true power. BTW since i’ve spent most of my life in Surrey you cant really expect me to know entire Indian history.

  49. blue mountain — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:06 pm  

    Believe it or not Bodleian Library has the largest and precious stock of books on Indian history culture and what not. Indian Scholars go to London to study Indian sub continent !!!

  50. Sunny — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:11 pm  

    Lol, errr no that wasn’t me with the t-shirt! I was just making a general statement :)

    gunduwhitegil – I don’t get the origin of your name. What’s it supposed to mean?

    And by the way, let’s stop making excuses for sexism in Indian society by trotting out examples of some Indian women who have, against all odds, made it to the top. They are the exception not the rule.

    Khushboo made a valid point that if a girl wants to practice sex before marriage, then she should use protection. I see nothing wrong with a bit of sensible advice!

  51. Sunny — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:36 pm  

    GWG – I figured out your name. Wow, I think I’d need a blog too for release if I had in-laws like yours!

  52. lal — on 18th November, 2005 at 5:34 pm  

    i am tamil vickrant and am not responsible for this piece of madness. its just their occassional hyperbolic rant about the preservation of culture. am aginst such regional -ethnic chauvinism, though to be fair, it is not just a ‘tamil’ thing. plus given the mangled state of the language in tamil films these days, a strange tanglish and the age old preference for item numbers, this is nothing more than a poliical shenanigan, part of a electoral build up perhaps. it is interesting that the women are the most vociferous in their condemnation, considering how they ought to be alarmed by the threat aids is posing to indian women.

  53. gunduwhitegirl — on 18th November, 2005 at 5:54 pm  

    bluemountain:

    I did make a sweeping generalization; however, it is true. If women were truly respected her statements would not have caused such controversy. Okay, I know the cultural aspects do exsist, but as a member of society she has an opinion that she is free to express.

    I never said her statement had no merit. But, based on the cultural view in Tamil Nadu on premarital sex — it was pointless. Premarital sex is basically outlawed. I’m sure it happens in major cities like Banglore and Chennai…

    And, for those who do practice premarital sex than it should be done safely. But, doesn’t that apply to all sex? I dunno, my husband says that a married women in Tamil Nadu doesn’t have the *right* to ask her husband to wear protection. He laughed at me when I mentioned it.

    ALSO, just because you elect women into political office doesn’t mean they are respected. Maybe Ghandi’s daughter is respected. But, are the daughters of my father in law respected? Are the millions of common women respected? NO. They are property to be bought/sold/traded. However, I admit it gets better the higher caste you are, the higher your income, and the higher your education level.

    I agree with Vikrant:
    Bottom line, men treat their wifes how their father treated their mother. Fifty years is NOT enough time to reverse that chain.

    I would LOVE to see a different side of India the next time I visit. I would love to see a woman still respected even though she can not *produce* a son. Or, because dinner was running late. Or, because she didn’t have Coke for the westerner. I mean, it’s silly isn’t it?

    Why do you guys think that these things occur? From my standpoint I wonder if it’s because the marriages are arranged. And, their is a fight for power and control in the marriage instead of focusing on a common ground for the marriage.

    BTW, gunduwhitegirl is the name my father in law gave me. Nice, huh? :) ) He ALWAYS makes a point of reminding me how he protested and marched with Ghandi against the white people (ie. British), and now his son is married to one. (However, he doesn’t get the fact I am not British!) What a traitor his son turned out to be, huh? ;-P And, I’m just plain fat I guess. You should have seen it when they saw me 6 monthes preggo via on line chat!!! REMBA GUNDU!

    Sorry if I ventured off topic…

  54. gunduwhitegirl — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:00 pm  

    lal:

    You know, my nephew said that same thing last night about Tamil culture. He said there are movies that basically show everything but the act.

    Ugh @ women protestors.

    Women follow the traditons. Like when my inlaws came here my mother in law and father in law went for an evening walk every day. Every day she kept two steps behind her husband. Never allowing herself to walk by his side. She never ate with him, and served himi until he was done. Whatever was left she would eat.

    When I went to their home for our wedding reception my mother in laws mother is a widow. She had to wear a certain color sari, and was not allowed to eat with us.

    The maid, an untouchable, would sit in the foyer and speak with us. She wasn’t even allowed on a chair. But, she was good enough to clean the toilets!!! So upseting…and I got in trouble when I took my shoes off at her home by my mother in law (my mother in law rented her a small home)….

  55. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:25 pm  

    GWG megirl… You seem to come from a Tamil Brahmin family… who I can atest are the most casteist people in the world. Its shameful that untouchability exists in Tamil Nadu. Being of Rajput descent i’m indeed ashamed that my ancestors were responsible for this atrocity. Pardon me lal if i make generalistaions here, i’ve never been to Tamil Nadu, i’ve met Frecnh Tamils, Sri Lankan Tamils, Malaysian Tamils but am yet to meet an Indian Tamil, but still i know enough to see that South India even with all its fabled education revolution and it revolution is way behind other Indian states in tackling casteism. Ironically Dalits form majority in Tamil Nadu i believe.

    GWG I reckon you should speak to your mil, and explain it to her that casteism & untouchability is illegal under Indian Law and she can get jailed for it… but i bet you wont.

  56. navee — on 18th November, 2005 at 8:26 pm  

    Another of the funny incident that happened at Chennai some months ago , when they revoked a Hotel’s licence coz a couple was spotted kissing in a party .. here is a link to an interesting article

    Captures the ‘spirit’ of Chennai …

  57. gunduwhitegirl — on 18th November, 2005 at 11:08 pm  

    Vikrant:

    ROFL! No, my in laws aren’t even Brahmins!! They are Gounders, your typical farming class. IT’S ILLEGAL??? OMG, REALLY?? IN TAMIL NADU??? I had no idea, are you sure? I can’t believe my husband didn’t say anything like that.

    She knew how upset I was. And, I wish I could talk to her – about a lot of stuff. But, she doesn’t speak English and I speak very limited Tamil. I can speak Hindi, but she doesn’t speak that either.

    I am going to find out about the caste discrimination laws. I know when I went to Delhi life was so much easier! My in laws also come from a very small village on the mountainous borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerela called Bodiniakanur. So, I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.

    In a twist they admitly deny the dowry tradition. Even though they had money they never paid a dowry. And, said they would never ask a dowry for their son. Thank God, cuz I wouldda never ever agreed to that.

  58. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:49 am  

    You seem to come from a Tamil Brahmin family…

    That’s an excuse Vikrant. I lived in TN, and believe me, everyone practices the bloody caste system… everybody wants to trample on the one below them.

    GWG – I’m surprised they still do the walking behind thingy, I’ve never seen that in other parts of India other than in Rajasthan (which is much more horrificly patriarchal). Thankfully the new MTV generation is a lot more equal in their outlook…. but India moves at the pace of a snail :(

  59. Rohin — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:32 am  

    UPDATE!

    Sania Mirza, of whom I am a fan, has given me more reason to like her. Not perturbed by silly mullahs giving her a hard time, she’s come out in support of Khushboo (who is originally Muslim, by the way). She said sex should be safe, whether inside or outside marriage – and that’s about all.

    The same old goat who called her dress un-Islamic has said that she would have nothing to do with Islam if she advocated sex before marriage, adding that men and women should not even talk to each other freely before marriage.

    But those crazy Hindoos weren’t satisfied with leaving the over-the-top admonishment to the crazy Moslems, with protestors chanting “Sania down down!” and using chappals to whack posters of her. The ABVP were reported to have been setting posters of Miss Mirza on fire.

    ToI has more, featuring some bonkers views.

  60. blue mountain — on 19th November, 2005 at 5:03 am  

    Gunduwhitegirl

    For heavens sake stop misspelling Gandhi !!!

    Indira Gandhi is not the daughter of MK gandhi !!! She is not even remotely related to MK Gandhi !!!

  61. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 5:13 am  

    So what? Her point stands. Indira Gandhi became big because of her dad Nehru Gandhi. Looks like you’re getting riled up by her points. Mis-spelling Gandhi is hardly a huge crime.

  62. blue mountain — on 19th November, 2005 at 5:23 am  

    Indira Gandhi became big because of her dad Nehru Gandhi???

    Gandhi ??

    Indian National Congress split because of India Gandhi’s nomination over the top spot. She defeated all old party hacks to the top post of the country. She was called “Gungi Gudia” in the very beginning.It is unfair to pass all credits on her lineage.

  63. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:27 am  

    hmm.. Sunny your knowledge of India is indeed pitiful…
    Hell i’ll be giving my GCSE’s this year and i can say i know much more about India than u :)

    Firstly its Nehru. Not Nehru Gandhi. Intresting fact is that Indira’s husband was a Muslim (born to Parsi mother) whose actual surname was Khan. But since Indira Khan would be unpalatable to Indian electorate, She adopted her mom-in-laws maiden name.

  64. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:30 am  

    BTW Sunny i’m not apologist for caste system if you seem to think that way. Hell i’m a nastika… just dont tell my mom.

  65. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:34 am  

    @GWG: your inlaws lived in rural areas? that explains a lot.
    Oh yes we Indians generally marry within our immediate genes, i.e within our community or caste. I remember when a my cousin dared to marry a Maratha, there was no talking to her for an year.

  66. blue mountain — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:37 pm  

    Oh yes we Indians generally marry within our immediate genes, i.e within our community or caste because we had no opportunity to date beautiful girls outside of our caste and community.

    times they are a-changin’

  67. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 3:46 pm  

    Nehru Gandhi?? :o
    loool! WTF. Ok in my defence, it was past 5 in the morning, when I really should have gotten some sleep.

  68. priya — on 19th November, 2005 at 4:42 pm  

    this is the first 21st cent!!! im not implying that everyone should sleep around. but we have the freedom of speech and having premarital sex is the individuals choice not neone elses!!

  69. gunduwhitegirl — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:47 pm  

    Sorry bluemountian – I’m not a Gandhi fan – at all. So, that probably explains alot. My father in law is the fan, I think he did a lot to hinder India. But, that is a WHOLE other topic!!

    I think sometimes my thoughts get ahead of my fingers. Sorry to have offended you! However, there are bigger problems in the world…you’d be better off pointing your anger in a positive venture than at me.

    Yeah, the in laws are traditional. Which probably explains why they don’t accept me.

    Wow, is there another girl on here!!! I agree Priya – I wish everyone felt the same way. I’m just surprised at how many women don’t want Mirza or Khushboo to speak their minds.

  70. Hari Pota — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:01 pm  

    This whole thing stinks of hypocrisy. Many of these south Indian politicians have themselves been known to sleep around. The Late M G Ramachandran the Chief Minister for so many years had a wife (Janaki) and a mistress (Jaya Lalita). After MGR died, Jayalalita made an atricious statement to say that she had considered committing Sati but thought of the ‘orphaned’ subjects in Tamil Nadu and decided not to commit Sati. At that time Nani Palkhiwala put up a billboard in Nariman Point in Mumbai which said, “Jayalalita how can you commit sati, when you have no pati?” This immediately led to demonstrations by a number of women’s organisations. The point is that many of those who are throwing stones at Khusboo are themselves living in glass house, and who knows, many of their own daughters are probably sleeping around and could have done well if they had listened to Khushboo. Poor girl – she has been hung for speaking the truth about the Emperor’s New Clothes. Sigh!

  71. blue mountain — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:17 pm  

    Remember the catfight between Jayalalitha and Janaki over the inheritance of MG’s legacy.

    The people of Tamilnadu elected the mistress Jayalalitha over the wife Janaki because Jayalalitha was more beautiful and her hysterics convinced all the voters !!!

  72. Bollywood Scum — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:18 pm  

    Even Miss Universe Natalie Glebova backed her but to no avail.

    Why should the view of a beauty queen be held up as an example of why someone’s view is correct? I saw Ms Glebova on a news report. She spent a morning whilst in India visiting children in an AIDS hospital for a photo opportunity. That evening she was in a fashion show where she was presented with a $1 Million bracelet by the organisers.

    Incidentally, a number of people here have mentioned that ‘far worse’ is on display in your average Bollywood film. One of the reasons that the Indian film industry gained a worldwide following in the Middle East and Africa, is that it provided a milder alternative to these conservative cultures than the tits-out product of Hollywood. Recent films such as every half-assed erotic interlude in most Bollywood products seem not to be scoring particularly well with indiginous cinema goers, nor the established markets abroad.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4435366.stm

    Its not just religious extremeist either. In Eastern India Maoists / naxals are also increasingly critical of the images values and lifestyles idealised to cinemagoers

  73. Inquisitor — on 21st November, 2005 at 7:07 am  

    What we have here is a conflict between a culture that has the potential to see and make more of the human being and one that sees it as little more than a means to a primitive end – be it self-aggrandisement or indulgence in activities for the most base of reasons.

    Sex is not ‘base’ but the reasons for indulging in it might be. This is especially so if it leads to an undervaluation of the other aspects of the human persona that can work together with the ‘sex’ component to facilitate the dynamic development of the entirety. It is here that the personality of both and the potentials of sex is undervalued.

    India’s mindless aping of the west does not do the potentials of the core of its culture justice. In doing so, it is becoming less than it could be whilst mistaking it for the best that it can be. The north started it by monkeying just about every aspect of the west. Now, this disease has finally reached its southern shores.

    India is no more.

  74. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:16 am  

    Oh dear.

    As a Tamil (not from India though), I offer myself for castigation and stereotyped jibes. Mock the obese , inbred, caste-bound, conservative tamil thickos, please, people, all 50 million of them…all so less evolved than the rest of India.

    Until I read pickled politics this morning, I was totally unaware of the Khushboo furore.Indeed I was also blissfully unaware of the Dalit Tigers of India(btw the dalits are majority in all India, not just TN), the Tamil protection movement (who the hell them fuckers??) and only vaguely aware of the PMK, minor political party in the state with socialist affiliations. In fact, all the outraged parties.

    A quick reading around on the net and this is what I found out :

    1. The protests, lawsuits (so stupidly frivolous) are not part of some groundswell movement or genuine mass protests (which is the point at which I will say the ‘Tamils’ deserve being the butt of all the jokes) but a quite calculated political campaign against the actress by certain quarters (also from the film industry) with whom she has had a falling out.

    2. The tamil film industry has had a long, incestuous relationship with the politicos, so a verbal spat between 2 artistes becoming a major political incident is to be completely expected.

    3. All parties involved are rank hypocrites of the worst order, including our ‘feminist’ Khushboo who has since abjectly apologised for her remarks. Khushboo has mouthed the worst sort of sexist platitudes in the movies for filthy lucre, so she aint someone I look to for any sort of enlightment on any issue at any time.

    4 Lall’s maid from madras probably best encapsulates the mass (and considerably smarter) opinion of the ‘Tamils’ :
    they are all a bunch of duffers with nothing better to do

  75. sonia — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:41 pm  

    well its all about hypocrisy. if anyone thought that just cos people aren’t open about premarital sex across the indian subcontinent then it ain’t happening then they need a brain transplant. its the same whether its a city or a village.

    The problem is everyone wants to pretend a) its not happening b) we’re not like the ‘corrupt’ west.

    ha ha humans are they same everywhere. some admit what they do and some don’t.

  76. applesauce — on 13th December, 2005 at 12:34 pm  

    I’m a Tamil girl from Chennai. looking at the dates on the other posts I guess I’m a little late but thought it worthwhile to clarify a few points.

    a) I haven’t heard too many people my age supporting the protests. Basically we feel some parties wanted to whip up emotions and create issues just before the elections so they have something to make long speeches about.

    b)The reference to Tamil Brahmins being the most casteist strikes me as a sweeping generalisation totally unsubstantiated by fact. The truth is, some people strongly believe in caste, some don’t. More do in rural areas, less in urban.My mom doesn’t have any problems letting our domestic help sit on chairs , but she wouldnt like the idea of me getting married out of the caste. However that is just what I ‘m about to do and she is resigned to the fact!

    And I don’t think I ever saw even my grand mother walking two steps behind my grandfather. In fact he was the typical hen pecked husband! :)

    I can als proudly say my grandmother taught all her sons to cook well, and keep household pretty decently. My dad cooks much better than my mom, and my brother makes lovely dosas. I can’t cook to save my life!

    c) The hotel in question was the Park, and I personally feel its plain stupid to stop people kissing when thats what they do all the time on tv and in films.

    d) I wonder where Pakistan came into the equation? Weren’t we talking about a Tamil actress and protests in Tamil Nadu?

  77. SURAJ — on 20th January, 2006 at 10:04 am  

    WELL WAT KUSHBOO SAID SINT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE BUT ITS A FACT.A GIRL ISNT SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANY SEXUAL RELATION WITH ANY PERSON BEFORE MARRIAGE ACCORDING TO INDIAN TRADITION BUT NO EDUCATED PERSON COULD EXPECT HIS WIFE TO BE A VIRGIN.WHAT TO DO ITS HOW THE WORLD IS NOW.WE SHOULS THINK THAT THE SURVEY IN INDIA HAVE PROVED IT TO BE RIGHT AS THERE IS A RISING PERCENT OF YOUNG GIRLS SAYING THAT SAFE SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE IS OK

  78. Archana — on 1st February, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

    India and hypocrates! This old fashioned folks seriously have made a very natural human instict into a taboo.

    the gov might argue that Kusbhoo is giving out the message of sex before marraige and that would rise in Hiv infected cases.

    seriously I loathe Indian politicans.They all need to be kicked out and replaced by young people.

    I just read an article a blog on Ash yestreday where Indian guys where calling her everything fomr a bitch to etc cos she had few bf and she probaly slept with them.

  79. zishan khan — on 15th February, 2006 at 7:05 pm  

    my freind,
    you ppl made very clear statement that what tabu said was right. I would dis agree that completly. It is right to exercise the freedom of speach. But it would be stupidity if she dosent know how to pressent her point view to the ppl. Its her own mistake that has brought her down. Staying in chennai, She should know the mentallity of ppl because of her ignorance.

    First u ppl should what kind of ppl living in chennai. You cannot simply make statement on anyone with out knowing them. Let me tell you abt chennai, place is full of Brahmins who are more close to religion.

    Ther are muslims, chirstian and northe but muslims and christian are orthodox. And only ppl left are northe who are few.

    “No girl before mairrage is a virgin” Its very provoking statement for the ppl in chennai due to there culture and orgin. And i as cheniate can say there are more virgins in the city then any other in indian citys.

    And about sex before marriage this was not new idea or modernization my friend this was there from time of rome. If u would read histroy of civilization u will know that in times of Roman civilization it is said that a girl and i guy loses there viginity by the age of 8-14 or even less.

  80. arjun — on 28th February, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

    Have sex if u want to………..

  81. Ravi — on 17th March, 2006 at 3:20 am  

    So many indian women (not only in India – Me is from UK) are having sex with non indians so no wonder Indian men are marrying women from the village back home! and its no point stressing over virginity, once u get married you will forget the subject and concentrate on more stressfull things, like how India can win the Cricket World Cup!

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