Education Crisis

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It was three years ago, when the DPS Dhamaka tapes finally opened our eyes to the licentiousness among today’s kids, that I wrote:

When I sing “Nanhe Munhe Bacche Teri Mutthi Main Kya Hain?” (Innocent Kiddie, what’s in your hand?”) and our innocent kiddies wink back and show us contraceptives (thanks to what they have learnt in school)………….well that my friends would be the end of civilization as I know it.

Well now it is time to take back our heritage from these titillated tykes. In a development that gladdens my heart, the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have disallowed sex education in their schools thus taking a stance against the tide of decadence that seeks to sweep the nation.

Sex education in schools ! What is the world coming to? Soon children will definitively know that little brother was not picked up from a temple, that auto-manipulation will not make them go blind and that they should not get close to that uncle who insists on exploring them as they sit on his knee.

Needless to say, such knowledge cannot be allowed.

After all they should grow up, as we grew up. With shame, guilt and ignorance, where the closest we came to formally knowing about birds and bees was the two pages detailing the reproductive system of a toad that was followed by a page about the human reproductive system, which was not taught in class and was kept out of syllabus (Such was the case in West Bengal Secondary when I was a kid). Needless to say, there was a reason for why the toad was chosen — after seeing the internals of the toad’s reproductive system, you would want to stay celibate for life.

Some people tell me that one of the aims of sex education is to inform students about AIDs and STDs. Why they need to learn about AIDS in schools is something I do not understand. They should just be told that AIDs is a dirty disease —like diarrhoea. And that good kids are not supposed to know or talk about it. Then they can discuss, in hushed whispers, whether AIDs could be transmitted by kissing or through touching or through mosquito bites.

Just like we did. But we belonged to the age of innocence. Wonderful it was. I remember a few of my friends arguing,after seeing ads about “flavoured” condoms on TV, whether naughty macho men (we understood condoms were for people doing dirty things) chew it like gum while performing the act (of which most of us had a very vague idea).

And now? These newfangled kids are being taught contraception and what not. In schools. Just like we were taught the length of the Nile. And the value of Pi.

The most alarming thing is that, according to some, these are not being taught in a medical, boring style, with the same detached monotonicity with which our work education sir used to teach us how the screw goes into the nut, our biology “aunty” used to inform us of aerobic organisms and our physics sir used to teach us about capacitors discharging.

As Mr.U.R.Rao (Side PJ: When you refer to him he is “U.R.” Rao and when he speaks he is “I.M.’ Rao) says:

Rao said his problem was with the fact that the illustrations and graphics in the textbook are unnecessarily erotic.

“I have gone through the text. It is supposed to be prepared on the advise of WHO, but I don’t think WHO or anybody would have said anything about what should be written. But it is very explicit and the drawings are horrible. It talks about the actually enactment,” he said.

[In the video, and this is not in the transcript, U.R.Rao also objects to 'group' discussion]

Enactment? Such has been the moral derailment of our generation that instead of dissecting a toad and preparing a N/10 acid solution, students are doing practicals in sex through “enactment” and role-playing. And without any workbook even !

Vidya Chauhan, a sagacious NCP activist puts the crisis in plain words: (this quotation taken from the ones in this video)

Children will become curious. Nobody will want to study history, geography or math.They will want only sex education.

Yes we know. Students will be saying proudly: “Loveology main first, baki sab main fail. Maine bas sikha hain karna dil se dil ka mel”. A generation of demented souls will come out of the education system, with no life skills other than that of holding hands and going ‘Hush-a Hush-a we all ‘go down’”.

Vidya Chauhan is not alone in her realization. SIMI, that great bulwark of the nation’s territorial and moral integrity says truly:

Sex education does not encourage good moral behaviour. It encourages AIDs.

And in a very smart analogy with terrorism (as an aside I often wonder why every mention of SIMI is always followed by the word ‘terrorism’), Pratibha Naithani, Principal, St.Xavier’s College says:

If you are telling children about terrorism,you do not actually teach them how to hold a weapon and face a terrorist. So in this sexual education program, why should they use a condom?

Echoing her words is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s basic education minister:

Nanhe munhe bacchon ko condom sikhana hain?

And again the main point, articulated with great skill here.

Reacting to the proposal, Karnataka Education Minister Basavaraj Horatti says, “In today’s world, we need moral education and not sex education.”

“Sex education as a subject was to be introduced in schools to create AIDS awareness. But, school-going children are too young to contract the disease. It will unnecessarily affected their tender minds,” he claims.

You can just see how Basavaraj Horatti is a product of more innocent times from the line in bold.

Of course, some deluded fools try to rationalize this condomization of the nation by saying that in an age when school students are exposed 24/7 to the onslaught of the hyper-sexed media, not teaching them how to wear a condom properly wont dissuade them from sexual experimentation but will just result in the engaging in of sexual behaviour without the knowledge of proper precautions. Something that has been known to have disastrous consequences. In other words, sex education does not make school-children licentious, but provides them the opportunity to make informed choices, free of myths and misconceptions.

This is echoed by imperial organizations like the WHO when they say:

Early sexual education delays the start of sexual activity, reduces sexual activity among young people and encourages safer sex.

But WHO cares?

So what should students learn instead ? Shivraj Singh Chouhan, CM, Madhya Pradesh has the answer.

We don’t need sex education. We need yoga.

Yes we really do need to do that. Just as we need to bury our head in the sands of denial and hope the pervasive horniness just blows away.

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84 thoughts on “Education Crisis

  1. “”But it is very explicit and the drawings are horrible. It talks about the actually enactment,” he said.””

    What is that Mr. Rao high on? Whatever it is …I want it for my weekend fix!!
    As usual a great on GB

  2. School going children are too young to contract the desease… pure unadulterated innocence. :)
    Surely GB, you and I have such dirty minds that we can never understand these people’s concerns and we insist on creating awareness about a dirty subject and sinful act. What a shame! I suggest that you promote yoga through your blog.

  3. Isn’t Kama Sutra originally written in India?

    Isn’t Khajuraho located somewhere in India too??? If I am not that mistaken – isn’t it Madhya Pradesh???

    Well, hypocrisy should have a limit….

  4. sex? What is that?

    all I know is that a man and a woman sing a song, dance, get close and then two flowers appear, in full bloom.

    The rest is moral corruption.

  5. awesome post this!
    reading a really hilarious one after a very very long time!

    thanks you really made my day!
    what with the start of the post “nanhe munhe” slogan and what with all ur quotes in ‘appropriate places’

    sarcasm ..top class!
    lol@the comment that says surya namaskaram cures horniness..
    india is just “sad” when it comes to sex-ed

    you go great bong! :D

  6. Brilliant. The scariest statement here is : “But, school-going children are too young to contract the disease. ” . It’s chilling indeed. If this is the level of awareness our leaders have, de-evolution is not a myth.

  7. “Loveology main first, baki sab main fail. Maine bas sikha hain karna dil se dil ka mel”. LOL awesome…

  8. Vintage Stuff, GB. A serious suggestion- why dont you make a collection of your best posts and publish them? That way, you could retain copyrights over the stuff you write. I haven’t seen many (among acclaimed writers of humor) who write as well as you do !

  9. Horrati is crazy man…first he wants kids to study mother tounge till 5 . Bans schools which teach english. Retracts on his statement ….now bans sex education….says its not good…am sure a potful of XXX dvd’s would be found in his bedroom ..what say lets put CBI on the probe…
    Maybe we can introduce these idiot CM’s and uneducated education ministers to Buladi….She could teach them a lesson or 2…and if that also doesnot work lets call MamtaDi…we would love to export her to Karnataka or Maharashtra or MP …Trust me ppl are extremely fearful of her here :) If she comes and shouts “Vee choullld hab jex educatioooon” no mai ka laal can ignore her…Any grassrooters here who can convey this message to Didi..( she must be tired of the exisiting agenda by this time )

  10. On WHO’s observation “Early sexual education delays the start of sexual activity” – Hoping this is statistically and indeed true, I wish I had this as part of my curriculum.

    On a funnier note, I wud like to mention an article from TOI few years back – Teenagers in UK were found with increased activities of oral sex and parents’ complaints rushing to schools, becoz they were taught that oral sex was safe to do and a little bit of encouraging tone on that from the teachers!!! The moral police are all not wrong, right!!

    One missing thing in this whole issue what I feel is a must, more than biological knowledge, is the knowledge of psychological effect associated with sex and perhaps a simple truth that like any addiction, sex can be a bad addiction too which can pose severe threat to achieve full potential of their career and well being.

  11. Since everyone else mentioned in the post has been identified with their post (Vidya Chauhan – NCP activist, Prathibha Naithani – St. Xavier’s principal, etc) let me correct one omission. Prof U.R. Rao is a renowned scientist and former chairman of ISRO.

  12. GB
    Again, an awesome piece!

    We need sex education as a chapter in Biology, that too for senior school students when one learns about the human anatomy and physiology. The course should be so designed that it achieves its goal of teaching the concepts and removing the misconcepts.
    However, it should not make a promiscuous lot out of the young minds. The chapter contents should be scientific and not erotic.

  13. “after seeing the internals of the toad’s reproductive system, you would want to stay celibate for life” … a class apart :)

    What else to expect from people who , in their country, have seen 75 year-old bachelors as their CMs , PMs and even President over the ages… :)

    Another explanation could be, parents feel ashamed to let their kids know where from or for that matter how they came into this world unless and until they become big enough to have kids.

    School children (well, most of them) would anyways get to know about ‘everything’. If not by a ‘formal sex-education’, then by other easy and more enjoyable means available (tiny porn booklets, internet, CDs to name a few).

  14. Excellent post GB. Though we would like to know your take on it. Isn’t it true that we ARE exposed to 24/7 hyper-sexed media onslaught. There is no innocence left in the nanhe-munne bacche anyway ….whether schools give sex-education or no. I don’t know from where but kids find out things.

  15. Awesome read & equally sad that our nation is the only one which is trying its level best to go back in time as we march in this new millenium… i just wish we had some mechanism against stupid & illogical decsions such as this…

  16. Yourfan writes:
    @GB: I have said this million times and thus it will be million plus one time more that how the hell u come up with all these mind blowing analogies!!! I must also add that I am not going to discuss the serious points associated with it as it will open up so much controversy!!!!
    By the way did u see that there are also other readers who are suggesting the same that I did a long time ago (in this post Ravi Ivaturi) and u did not pay heed to my suggestion?

    @Ravi Ivaturi: Thanks for your suggestion. I have suggested this to GB a long time back but somehow my suggestions fell on deaf ears!! Let me see whether he listens to you now – though I may feel slighted(!!!) but will definitely be happy to see him select his own best posts which will be a tough job.

  17. I was watching this hoohalla on ndtv yesterday and i just wanted to reach out and give a tight slap across the faces of all those idiots mentioned in the post. I mean how ridiculous can we get? Sex education not only teaches safe sex, but also can bea medium to make children aware to where to draw the line when anyone (even from the family) tries to become over friendly physically- the inappropriate touch.
    I hate to say this but I studied in a very famous english medium convent in Northern India and even then in class 10, the teacher refused to teach the chapter on the human reproductive organ/system! She told us to read it at home! and that too it was an “all girls” school! This is the level of maturity that are so-called teachers have- then need I talk about our politicians?

  18. I agree with lalbadshah..’But, school-going children are too young to contract the disease’

    An extremely scary sentence. If this is the knowledge tht our gr8 politicians have then I really dunno wht lies in store for India’s future..

  19. “Nanhe munhe bacchon ko condom sikhana hain?”
    :)

    I think Sooraj Barjatiya would be a good educaiton minister. clean cut, flowers kissing syllabus. at least he’ll get the point through.

  20. When I read about it in the newspapers, was awestruck! I mean how can the state decide curriculum in such a fashion? How the heck did these people come to such an informed decision? Total wtf eet ees man.

    I remember when we had sex education at school, it was thoroughly embarassing and total mins wot types. But I think if thought correctly it makes a large difference in how sex is understood by schoolkids.

    I hate to say the usual cliches – like Kamasutra, over population…but I mean these people are behaving like total hypocrites. Knowledge about AIDS for instance is essential and ensures that kids have safe sex. Its a dangerous disease which is killing millions of people and without proper awareness, it mite just kill the nanhe munhes of tomorrow….

  21. @Yourfan: I support your suggestion once again as I did here. All of us GB-fans would love to know whaich of his creations are his favourites.

    @Ravi Ivaturi: Thanks for making the same request once again. I hope GB will listen this time.

  22. It’s sad that the education system has regressed on this matter. I got sex ed in my school, it was a lot of fun hearing a grown old man tell us that look, masturbation is okay, it won’t make you go blind/stupid/weak/ etc.

    Of course, we being kids were highly interested in the video part of the class.

  23. forget sex education .. how about having these politicians/experts get some education to begin with .. we can add the sex part later

  24. First of all, a billion thanks Bong-da…. that “Loveology” song from Shaan’s pre-fame avatar brought tears to my eyes. Ahhhhh…. those days of tacky music-vids (sans the rare Ken Gosh ones) with your run-of-the-mill extras and all that jazz.

    Anyone seen that South Park episode “Proper Condom Use”? In my opinion the “magic” is in learning all this stuff in the hush-hush meetings at lunch-break or in a moving school bus or better thru experimentation with a member of the opposite sex (yeah right! As if…. :P ) and not from a dry old 5th std teacher who goes “…. the male genitalia, now distended due to stimuli from audio-visual-cuticular sensors triggering the closing of the blood vessels threading through….”. The fun (and the memories) is when you have anecdotes like this in your kahani;

    Boy1: “….. now thats what this SEX thing is about and thats how children are born”.
    Boy 2: “Ahhhh…… now I see why my Didi’s grew that HUGE tummy till little Kiran was born”.
    Boy3: (almost sobbing) “NONSENSE! It ain’t anything like this! My parents are GOOD PEOPLE! They WILL NOT do anything like this!”

  25. A cheap joke: A kid asking his father “How was I born?”, the father replies “Your mom and I went to a temple and worshiped in front of god for several days ans so on, and then you were born.” The kid replies in surprise .. “Oh! I thought you had sex”

    On a serious note, the WHO’s observation says “Early sexual education delays the start of sexual activity” – As far as I believe, for average Indians, the start of actual sexual activity is already delayed. I am just referring to the voluntary sexual activity of same aged people – not sexual exploitation of children.

    Moreover, under Indian scenario, kids are much more attached to their parents and family members, than western society (father teaching, mother doing HWs) – so direct sexual references may be embarrassing.

  26. @GB
    Your post brought back to me my memories of the school days. I think it was in our ninth standard that we had to study the human M/F reproductive system. Our biology teacher did not overlook the chapter but instead she gave a full class lecture on the topic and after the class she wanted to know in her regular style whether everything is clear or not and from the girls side the answer came that we did not understand the male reproductive system and from the boys side the answer came that they did not understand the female system. I still remember the look on my teacher’s face. I am sure, we genuinely did not understand the topic and not actually wanted to pull a prank on our teacher.

    Yes in western countries sex education is compulsory but what should be taught and how it should be taught is still a matter of controversy. The person who has to teach sex education has to be trained well to give a complete and accurate knowledge about why this education is important so that the teenagers learn to hold responsible views about sex and not take it as license (with condoms in hand) to have sex .

    Sex education has to be started early on so that it appears to a child that it is a normal educational information. It does not help much if sex education is suddenly imposed on a child when he or she just turns fourteen years old because by then the child’s head is already filled with information from media and friends which by all means is not complete and to a great extent inaccurate ( just like GB’s flavoured chewing condoms).

    Like I said, it would entirely depend on the teacher on how he or she is handling the issue because the class will comprise of all sorts of kids, some might think that they are being educated to explore the adult world and others might shy away from hearing attentively because their family values might make them feel guilty about it. Yes the education should focus on the issue of teenage pregnancy, STD and ofcourse about the fact that they may encounter a big bad uncle or a neighbour or some stray stranger who might try to get into illegal sexual activities and how to handle such situations.

  27. Great post GB. Wish the concerned ministers too had the necessary ‘education’ to read and understand your post..

    Regards,
    Ganga

  28. To all the people who are putting the onus on the syllabus and/or the school

    Can YOU talk to your child about sex to bring out the following facts?

    1. The structure of the reproductive system
    2. The actual things which happen during a sexual intercourse
    3. The psychological aspects of this act
    4. How to avoid pregnancy, the pros and cons of the methods available
    5. That you will respect the sexual inclinations of your child and NOT get scandalized if the child decides that he/she is a homo/bi sexual or lesbian.
    6. Sex is a natural act, and that it may lead to internal ferlitisation and the best place for a baby to form and develop is the mother’s womb
    7. Lastly, that sex is a JOYOUS ACT with the right person, at the right time at the right place.

    Sex education, like all true education, best begins at home.

  29. and oh!
    not only human beings, but also toads and bluewhales, to say nothing about the snails and psephalopodes, we all do IT!

  30. “…..our work education sir used to teach us how the screw goes into the nut, our biology “aunty” used to inform us of aerobic organisms and our physics sir used to teach us about capacitors discharging.”.

    I never looked at Physics and Biology in such an interesting way. I swear. And I am way past the age of innocence. Thanks GB.

  31. We don’t need sex education. We need yoga.

    Yes we really do need to do that. Just as we need to bury our head in the sand of denial and hope the pervasive horniness just blows away.

    You summed it up in the best way possible. It is really saddening to see the shallowness of thought in majority of us. All seem to have lost the capability to think out of the box, to come out of the structured and rigid thought process handed down to them by our heritage or their preprogrammed ‘samskars’.

    To hell with tradition and heritage. The philosophy prevalent in the society during Pala empire(say) about a millenium ago wasn’t handed down to them by any tradition. Goddamn, we had no tradition of democraticlly electing the governement at the basic level. Only when someone had an ‘Eureka’ moment did this come into force. What if they still stuck to tradition?

    To deny something and sit on it is the easiest way to make oneself feel good that he has control over something. But what people don’t realize that after sometime that very thing may topple the chair.

    Be water, my friend

  32. Anomit wrote:
    Goddamn, we had no tradition of democraticlly electing the governement at the basic level. Only when someone had an ‘Eureka’ moment did this come into force.

    Rishi:
    Speaking of no tradition of democratically electing local governments and “Eureka” moments,
    you might want to look back another 1000 years before your (said) Pala empire to study the “Janapada” and the “Mahajanapada” system.

    Just might make your water a wee bit more buoyant…

  33. GB, plz post this one to all the major english newspapers in Inda, am sure someone out there will print it. Great writing.

    Actually, i quite agree with the ban of sex education in schools, it should first be imparted to the ministers, state and national level. Otherwise, why would cases like Madhumita (UP) ever happen, if the minister concered never knew how to use it?

    This also reminds me of ur previous post about the ministorial teams visit to Thailand to understand AIDS programme. But ministers ko bhi to AIDS nahin hotaa!!

    And , who is Bula-di?

  34. Exactly my words! Instead of emphasising on the importance of abstinence, sex educators actually get kids all worked up about sex by pumping information they really don’t need as long as they stick to the straight and narrow. At a certain age, it’s alright to know that the stork didn’t bring the baby in, but a practical demonstration about how to put a condom on with the help of a test tube (this happens in UK schools) at the age of 13? Thank God we are still prudes in India.

  35. heh. Reminds me of when in my ninth standard we had the human reproductive system class, and the teacher told us “if you have any questions please come to me and ask me privately”

    and i asked her “how does the sperm actually get into the female body?”. Honest to God, I was completely innocent!

    her answer, “Go ask your mom”

  36. GB, Kanoon bhale andha hoo, par Kanoon apne haath main nahi lena chahiye kyonki Kanoon ke haath bade lambe hothe hain ;)

    Incidentally “Let’s Talk Sex” (Channel 4 hosted by Davina…yeah Celebrity Big Brother fame) talked about this same issue.

    http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/L/lifestuff/content/up_close/letstalksex/index.html

    @Moumita, were you talking of this or do they actually teach sex in UK schools the way you described?

    Also read this (“The Dutch Model”)

    http://www.unesco.org/courier/2000_07/uk/apprend2.htm

  37. “Auto manipulation” – hahahaha!

    Ok, I may be shallow for picking up on that one term in an article brimming with serious sarcasm… but it’s just SO brilliant! :)

    Looks like these incredibly ignorant people need to be educated on sex education as being different from rampant porn. Idiots!

  38. my impressions ….

    umm .. not really sure if it should be taught from 6th grade onwards everywhere. That is kind of young …. and we are really targeting the youth not ‘nanhe munne bachche’ so it is kind of weird that we would have ads showing (do we ?) little kids holding condoms.

    The author of the article may have been taught about toads but at least I did study the human reproductive system formally in school and while it does give needed information it is very true that kids approach the subject with a certain sense of titillation … and therefore sex-ed does seem to be an appropriate follow up.

    i also have the impression that kids’ development is not something homogenous across metros, cities, towns and villages. Kids in metros are more likely to have sex in school than kids in towns. Is part of the reason that the kids are ignorant about contraceptives and thus hesitant to indulge in the act ? In which case should they not be exposed to safe sex ? That, anyway, brings us to another debate altogether, the one about pre-marital sex and whether it’s a matter of choice or should be actively discouraged.

    I do think however that everyone in the 11th or 12th standard should get proper sex-ed as I don’t think it should be something kids should have to go online for or ask the local love guru about.

    Yes we did come up with the Kamasutra and we do have Khajuraho but the ground reality of today is different form back then and it is foolish to harp upon the past ignore the present.

  39. @Rishi: You see two milleniums ago they obviously had to carry around a lesser amount of the burden called ‘tradition’…….with no pressure of having to live up to what had been done before their existence, if there was any. Even though other civilization were present around at the same time, I don’t think they had anything like the internet or telecommunication or archaelogical surveys to be aware of what other civilizations were achieving at that time or before that.

  40. Dear Anomit:

    In your response, the blanket premise of “tradition” as being a “burden”, is what I disagree with.

    There is no “pressure” to live up to what had been done before…you feel the “pressure” only when u feel the “tradition” to be a burden.

    Agree, the world is a smaller and more talkative place, but the wisdom of experience has its place that no amount of wi-fi can take that away.

    The best in us, at any scale of existence (from the self to the globe), probably flowers, in a thoughtful expression of both.

    Thats where intellect comes in play.

  41. Swati, you are absolutely right that sex education begins at home, that’s how it was when we were growing up. Our Mom told us what was right and what was wrong, may not be explicitly in so many words but we did grow up fine without sex education at our schools. Yeah! we were devoid of lot of information but we really did not need them. I also agree with anon when he/she says kids development is not homogenous and depending on the environment, sex education should be suited as it is needed. My take on the subject is it is necessary because kids grow up in two different worlds, one inside the home and their world outside the home. Sometimes parents do not really know what goes on in the outside world and may not feel it necessary to pass certain information and that’s when all these unwanted things happen. I think abstinence should be taught in the schools because at the tender age of 13yrs or 14 yrs they should be diverging there energy some where else rather than teaching them how to use condoms. Again that thaught process may be coming from my middle class Indian background. Yes, I do not see anything wrong in starting sex education from sixth standard because that might dilute the titillation part (as anon said, which is so very true) when it is suddenly taught to a 14 year old. As to what should actually be taught to a sixth standard student, I am sure there are experts in this field to decide about it, kids do not need to be over informed but staying under informed is also not good.
    Talking to the kids, be it a parent or a teacher about drugs and its abuses is so much easier than talking about sex and that’s why a process has to be set to make it easy for adults.
    @moumita
    My four year old informed me few days back that one of his friends mommy has a baby belly. The stork thing will not be working anymore very soon. I am sure he still does not understand that baby belly means that there is a real baby inside but at this rate he will not have to wait for another decade to know that there is a real baby and how the baby got in there.

  42. Priceless!!!

    “whether naughty macho men (we understood condoms were for people doing dirty things) chew it like gum while performing the act ”

    Loved it!

  43. I just saw the IBN video.

    A few points:

    1> I think sex education should be started at the onset of puberty. There may not be an international standard for this. For example an American girl starts bleeding much earlier than an Indian girl. So say a 14 year old American girl is more mature than her Indian counterpart.

    2> Sex education in my view would be incomplete if it didn’t mention gay sex and lesbian sex. India should not follow countries like America both as far as not teaching evolution and disallowing gay marriage. I recently read a book called, “American fascists : the Christian Right and the war on America” by NYT correspondent Chris Hedges. People would be mistaken if they think that its the Indian hardliners who are the only prudes in the world. You should see the evangelicals in US and their attitude to sex and their incessant proselytizing; not to mention their attitude towards gay sex.

    3> By talking about homosexuality in sexual education, 2 objectives would be achived.
    i> The future gen would be more comfortable with the notion of homosexuality.
    ii> Its all fine talking about natural sex, but if 2 young homo guys try out sex without condom just cuz they were taught that condoms is what you use only when you insert into a female could defeat the primary purpose of using condoms- AIDS.

    4> There should be no tendency to encourage abstinence at all. The people teaching sex education have no right whatsoever to impose their views and moral predilections on young children.

    5> Sex Education would be best imparted in a way Kubrick made movies or GB writes blogs. If you see Kubrick’s movies, there is always a emotional distance between the auteur and his subject, in all his carefully composed shots. Similarly GB, even when hes writing about anything, maintains that same coldness and distance which is the hallmark of a great artist. Sex Education in India should imparted with the same detached disinterestedness.

    6> Finally lets hope that empowered with this knowledge and unencumbered with the old prejudices, the next gen of young Indian girls will be more enthusiastic about sex, so that the young Indian guys have more luck with an ample amount of consensual sex and not suffer the trials or tribulations of our gen by recoursing to brothels. A boy reaches his sexual peak at 18 while a woman has it when shes 30. But the problem is that most Indian girls are married when they are 30, while the guys lament the “To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!” fact.

    Lets also hope that as a direct consequence of this will be on Bollywood, where a sexual mature audience’s demands and preferences would end the plethora of disgusting “chocolate romance” movies.

  44. @yourfan2

    “GB, even when hes writing about anything, maintains that same coldness and distance..”

    I really like this thought. Can you please be more explicit?

  45. Hi GB,

    Another scathingly insightful article.

    yourfan2 has valid points – but our archaic laws still says that anal sex is a criminal offence, punishable by law in India, so where do you talk about homosexuality ? Wouldn’t you be put behind bars trying to propagate something that only ‘perverts do’ ?

    I used to study in St. Joseph’s, Calcutta. We didn’t have sex education as such, though we did have a couple of sessions on sex/contraception/STDs while I was in class 7. And I remember making a chart, on the prevention of AIDS when I was in 6. That chart hung in our school office for the whole year. I’m really not sure how, probably a confluence of a number of reasons – very open parents, informed friends and a receptive mind – but I was aware about sex and AIDS from quite a young age. And no, I didn’t even know about the internet in 1993.

    Visiting your blog after quite sometime, whets the hunger for more quality stuff !

  46. Hi,

    In the US I have read and heard on npr that the drug awarness and smoking campaigns have resulted in increase in drug use among teenagers. In the same vein wouldnt there be finite chance that teenagers might engage in risky sexual behaviour especially when they are being told not to.

    It all goes with the rebellious nature of teenagers to do exactly opposite of what they are asked to do. Sex education I would say although should be taught in schools , the onus lies with parents to effectively communicate about AIDS and other STD… media can also help..Cyrus Brochas ‘Spread the message not the virus’ or dont F@#K with your life messages will resonate better than couple of lousy pages taught in a class with 70 students..

    -K

  47. Great post GB, wish you had mentioned the “Pssst, Chai naki” from yesteryear College street somewhere. That is included in the casualty list, right?

  48. @Raj,

    Let me give you an example. In the post, “Saluting the Departed”, GB writes:
    “One of the things that has served me well throughout my academic life has been the skill of skimming over many pages of dense text and zooming, with the alacrity of a hungry hawk, on to that part of the document relevant for me. And I owe this skill in no small measure to the works of Harold Robbins and of the lately deceased Sidney Sheldon.”

    Its quite evident as to how the above mentioned things have touched and shaped his childhood, and yet he doesn’t go ga ga or shed tears of regret. Its a sort of a measured, detached reflection down memory lane. A lesser writer would have written, ” Oh such a sad day. Immense incredulity arrives. Etc”. But not our GB. IMO, it kind of mirrors emotional distance, a characteristic of all Stanley Kubrick movies.

  49. Pingback: Auto-Manipulation « Swadeshe

  50. @Tiger007: Thanks

    @Raj: Thanks

    @Rohith: High on ignorance.

    @Yourfan2: :-)

    @SD: Thank you

    @Joy Forever: Such awareness from our elected reps.

    @Kathakali: I think it was. However our moral police will argue that kids did not read it. Or perhaps they did. We have no ways of knowing.

    @Shripriya: It is?Will try it sometime.

    @S.Pyne: Chi chi…..as someone would have said.

    @Sunil: And the butterfly..must not forget the butterfly.

    @JM: :-)

    @Sameera: :-). And with respect to your comment on the mutter with megha post, me a geek? Aww…Brainy ahem…(contented megalomaniac smile…)

    @Lalbadhshah: Their ignorance is a testament to the level of knowledge about diseases like AIDS and why we need more sex education. Even for adults.

    @Vinayak: Old Shan song.

    @Ravi: To publish I need a publisher. And what to do, they never write to me. I am always ready to get my name in print. Not that I have not tried…

    @Anirban: The image of Mamata/Bula-di out on the street shouting for sex education and blocking the streets is more than disturbing.

    @Harshad: :-)

    @Debashish:

    On a funnier note, I wud like to mention an article from TOI few years back – Teenagers in UK were found with increased activities of oral sex and parents’ complaints rushing to schools, becoz they were taught that oral sex was safe to do and a little bit of encouraging tone on that from the teachers!!!

    Mmm fun !

    @Mohan: Sorry forgot to mention that.

    @Aby: I dont think that diagrams of sexual organs drawn in a biology book can ever be erotic. Or the explanation of the sex act. It is the images of half-clad female/male bodies in the media that do the arousal.

    @deBOLiN: 75 year old bachelors does not mean 75 year old virgins. Not that I am pointing any fingers.

    @Vanessa: Indeed there is no innocence. But sex education is not about “innocence” , it is about information. The world is as it is. Given that, should not we equip children to deal with what cannot be changed?

    @RahulGhosh: Bula-di is a kind gentle soul who only aims to inform…Mamata on the other hand..

    @Joyjit: Hmm.

    @Yourfan: I would be the happiest person if I got published. However my past experiences of sending in unsolicited pieces to MSM have resulted in so many bitter rejections, that I am loathe to plead with people to publish my work. Moreover since I know, that it will possibly be futile.

    @Anu: “Sex education not only teaches safe sex, but also can bea medium to make children aware to where to draw the line when anyone (even from the family) tries to become over friendly physically- the inappropriate touch.”

    Could not agree with you more.

    @Shri: Sigh !

    @Sang.Froid: And dancing. Lot of dancing.

    @Kits: Hmm.

    @Slashgod: Politicians love to be the moral police. There is a lot of votes in it.

    @Bonatellis06: Denial is not just a river in Egypt !Sigh.

    @Puneet: Heh.

    @The Wanderer: :-)

    @DrugStore: Well compared to the West, it may be delayed but if we compare across generations, I am sure we will see that early sexual activity is more prevalent now.

    @Suzi: I agree. The person who teaches sex education has to be professional. He/she should not be embarassed by it himself/herself. In US at least the conservative right has replaced/tried to replace sex education with abstinence training for school children. But by most counts, this has had mixed results.

    @Gangadhar: :-)

    @Urmilesh: Yes saw that.

    @Swati: I dont think that sex education begins at home. If teachers are not comfortable, then how can parents, given our social context, be? Also sex educators have to be trained, have to be knowledgeable themselves —-neither of which most parents are. (I know of at least one parent who tells his/her grown-up child that homosexuals are creations of the perverted West and that they are not there in India).

    @Rishi: Mm. No I think it’s the school’s prerogative.

    @Gaga: :-)

    @Uday: :-)

    @Raj: :-)

    @Anomit: Hmm.

    @Aniket: :-)

    @Dipanwita: Would be so glad if they picked it up.

    @Moumita: I think we are talking at cross purposes here. I do not think that sex educators get children “pumped up”. The TV and movies do that for them.

    @Sudha: LOL.

    @Anon: Thanks

    @Asterix: Hmm

    @Shyam: :-)

    @Anon?: The “nanhe munhe” bacchen holding condoms was well an exaggeration…that has not been reported yet. Even in our days, boys and girls from 6th grade onwards knew what sex is. Of course they knew it vaguely but all that they knew was it was fun and they wanted it. And this was during the DD days. Information would have helped us then. Helped us a lot.

    @Aditya: hmm.

    @Indiamusing: Thank you

    @PSR: :-)

    @Yourfan2: “3> By talking about homosexuality in sexual education, 2 objectives would be achived.
    i> The future gen would be more comfortable with the notion of homosexuality.
    ii> Its all fine talking about natural sex, but if 2 young homo guys try out sex without condom just cuz they were taught that condoms is what you use only when you insert into a female could defeat the primary purpose of using condoms- AIDS”

    Absolutely. Good point.

    @Krishanu: Which is why IPC’s interpretation of unnatural acts has to be changed. However some HC struck it down…some years ago. A highly retrograde step which reflects the mindset of the people in our judiciary that even in this day and age they refuse to treat homosexuality as something “non-criminal”.

    @Keyur: In the US I have read and heard on npr that the drug awarness and smoking campaigns have resulted in increase in drug use among teenagers. In the same vein wouldnt there be finite chance that teenagers might engage in risky sexual behaviour especially when they are being told not to.

    Which is why abstinence should not be the focus. It should be a non-judgemental presenting of facts…the consequences of unprotected sex, the right way to wear a condom, awareness of STDS and the dangers of multiple partners and commercial sex workers.

    @Bhopale: :-)

  51. “When you refer to him he is “U.R.” Rao and when he speaks he is “I.M.’ Rao”

    Like A. K. De and O. K. Dhar, huh?

  52. @Sudha: I had my first sex-ed class in 6th grade at the age of 12 in an American-run school. I had asked my teacher (the school nurse, a lady of Chinese origin) the same question, and she had explained it to me using a 3-D model of the female reproductive system and asked me to deduce for myself where the sperm would go in from :)

    @GB: It’s an awesome post. People like these make me wonder how long it will be before we regress into the caveman days.

  53. @gb
    parents not qualified to impart sex education; teachers are a must

    however, no matter how good a teacher, it is the parents who give the MORALISTIC TWIST and COLOUR the opinions held by the next generation.

  54. Nanhe munhe bachche, tere mutthi me kya hai ……………..hahahahahahaha…………. i think is hud not b reading ur posts in office…….or i stand da chance of gtng fired……….:-(

  55. Very nice post by GB.

    Some intriguing contrasts emerge between the past and present if we consider the following:

    * A respected Hindu scholar like Vatsyayana went about his research in ancient India, very methodically and objectively, before compiling his magnum opus on love, the “Kama Sutra”.

    * The Hindu dynasty of Chandelas who built the four lovely temple complexes temples in Khajuraho during the 10-12th century C.E. had no qualms depicting scenes of everyday life in sculptures – that includes farmers working their fields, soldiers marching off to battle, merchants hawking their wares, babies being nursed by their mothers or couples in amorous poses.

    * The four-fold Purusharthas (Pursuits in Life) as defined in our ancient Vedic traditions are Artha (Wealth) and Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Spiritual Liberation) , all of them firmly guided by the most important Purushartha – Dharma (Righteous Path) .

    Any pursuit of Wealth or Desire in an unrighteous, illegitimate (Adharmic) manner is not considered useful towards your pursuit of Moksha. This system of checks and balances helped Hindu society from going through a ruthless or promiscuous phase while encouraging pursuit of Wealth or Desire in legitimate ways.

    Such is the Maturity displayed by Hindu society and liberal acceptance of sex as an important aspect of life. In our Vedic traditions, every aspect of life is spiritual. Sustenance of Life is Divine. So, isn’t the act of procreation itself sacred and a celebration in itself, given that it sustains life ?

    It’s obvious that sex was not considered dirty by Hindu society during a classical age where alien ideologies were not yet imposed on several regions in India.

    The widespread sexual slavery of Hindu women during several centuries of stressful Islamic occupation; combined with an Victorian-era prudishness imparted by the “civilized” British Raj on the “uncivilized natives of India” has unfortunately made us Hindus collectively ashamed of our beautiful bodies and liberal traditions, in more ways than one.

    Such rigid attitudes will change, and are changing, albeit gradually.

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