Sex and Indian television
It is an essay on how television has Indian society to be more liberal towards fair-sex.It analyses the causes that finally Indian society has opened up towards more liberal and procreative attitudes towards women.
Sex and Indian television
Sex is so far considered a taboo in the context of Indian living. Yet, there are prevailing pseudonyms or symbolic projections of it in innumerable forms. One of such pseudonyms is the word “beauty”, which we, Indians have so far treated as an alternative meaning for “sexy”. We dare not call a well developed physique of a beautiful girl “sexy”, which would invite slaps and kicks from the bourgeoisie.
But at the most sacred places of worships in ancient temples, we find magnificent engravings of erotica. Even the places having place in the wonders of world have sculpted images of sex. Someone had commented interestingly that we Indians never kiss outside but behind the shut doors and for this we have the second largest population in the world.
So sex subsisted in delicate, artistic projection, in which prying eyes and creative minds sought to feast their senses looking for satisfaction. Our society moved on the tracks of time, caught up in the frenzy of modern living and struggles to keep the traditions alive. Critics say we aped west as though monkeys peeping in the mirrors to know their beautiful countenances. In other words, we forgot to trim our waistlines before pushing legs unto the western jeans. The result is a clumsy yet suffocating nausea of getting sandwiched between traditions and modernity. Yet due to pressures in old age, mavericks in the bourgeoisies gave their nods to sit on the commodes in stead of traditional latrines from east.
Like the pressure to free bowels, we have not effectively learned to handle our sexual urges. Ethics from the scriptures prescribe sex only once in a month. Those say sex for enjoyment is a gross sin, but for progeny you can pull out all the stops. Generations lived with this misconception, while our population soared, leaps and bounds. There was a time; the first cry from the birth of the child was interpreted as direct grace from God. But as the population figure went swelling, a new projection showed it as a bomb with a timer ticking towards explosion.
Pundits say the post-independence time in India shaped up feminists to keep paces with the winds of liberty. What changed the women in this sub-continent is debatable. But the length and breath across this nation were teeming with millions, mesmerized with the appearance of television and cable net work. In the nineties, when cable television network made its appearance, it had a magnetic attraction for the young minds. Ere long, it captured the imagination of people who discarded the programs from state-owned television channels. Reminiscences tell us that while kids cried for watching television and mothers gave the permissions, we were literally shocked with the first glance of the small-screen. Private channels had perfectly mapped the brains and made the presentations of semi-nudity and sexy swishing of lasses with selective collection of Hindi songs in the song items to bind the attention.
Television brought to the fore the innumerable beauty and talent contests. It taught the blondes to transform as per the demands of the television shows. Constant marketing blitzes from the fashion and apparel industry changed the tastes of women.
Private channels transformed the once “idiot-box” epithet of television. Bored to stiff with the programs on agriculture and age-old movies from government television, the viewers were enthralled with the new television channels.
Television redefined sexuality of Indian women-. The first noticeable change was in dressing. Television programs engendered a new sense of dressing for women. We watched successive generations contravening the traditional outfits in colleges. Skirt is an instance that grew smaller when fair-sex had competition in looking good. With the increase in female toppers in every field of competition, women broke inhibitions in fashions. It went on till colleges and educational institutions banned wearing anything except uniforms. But once outside the college premises, girls have begun wearing whatever has been denied to them.
Television discovered true facts abolishing the myths about women’s’ sensuality- For instance, the televised shows not only thrived on traditional issues on women’s emancipation but discussions in private channels revealed more on the myths about women. In one such discussion on myths about prostitution, opinions differed about coercing women in the flesh trade. Real prostitutes said that they took this up because it offered more than the usual income from ordinary jobs. Women spoke vociferously about their rights for extra-marital relationships. One famous actress even went to the extent of saying that one woman could enjoy relationship with two men. Such shows exploded the myths about type-cast roles of film artistes. From televised shows, producers came to know that off-beat projections of women’s sensuality. New generations of women in Indian cinema went for newer images, breaking free from the traditional coy image of fair-sex in the traditional roles.
Television helped women for a new makeover- Middle-class and lower middle-class women now opted for careers in fashion, beauticians and modeling. Women found new maturity in dress-codes, even at the risk of giving ethics the backseat. It was for the first time, girls were getting conscious about walking on ramp and casting-couch for the movies. Literally speaking, women were educated as per the standards set by the television shows. Parents, who so far took interest in studies of their children, agreed to send their children (read girls) for coaching in dressing, dance, acting and singing. Women began taking active interest in body fitness. It was in the early nineties, successive Indian blondes won world beauty pageants.
The new “sexy” image was born.
HIG-1/60, BDA Colony, Kapila