The shuddering New Year eve Bengaluru mass molestation deservedly earned all round condemnation. This in fact mirrored abject debasement of India’s moral and human values. But even as there was no dearth of explanations for this dastardly happening, they were patchy and hardly scratched the surface.
From the skimpy dresses that modern girls prefer these days to lacunae in law-enforcement; from women’s excessive carefree attitude towards social life to the need for social education for men; from pitching freedom and equality to allegations of provocative behavior… all sorts of explanations, justifications and analyses have been floated as exegeses of this horrendous happening. But all this amounts to nothing more than the proverbial blind men broaching the elephant to find its true form. For, such attempts are not only piece meal, but also betray a lack of understanding of the very nature of sexual emotion that has a determinant effect on man-woman relation.
Indeed, the same kind of non-understanding seems to characterize our social policies, since independence, setting the country on a degenerate path! The Bengaluru incident thus provides an occasion to take stock of the cumulative effect of the country’s policies and vision that lead apparently to a dastardly moral degeneration. The modernity itch, and a sense of awe in which the West’s social ideologies are held by our intellectuals and legal pundits seems to have set the country on the path of collective depravity.
It is generally expected that Independence, after nearly two centuries of slavery, would find National pride in a return to native cultural and ethical prescriptions. More so, as those are the time tested socio-cultural references which sustained the Indian society since centuries. While it is no body’s case that such models should not be improved upon, what Indian intellectuals have done, as early as 1950’s and 60’s, is to import word-by-word our Constitution, penal code… etc. from the Westminster! This in itself is a testimony as to how little we cared for our own socio-ethical values. Be it a lack of understanding of fragile Western commitment to their professed values or a moral lassitude degenerating into subordination, our intellectuals and legal pundits thought they were modernizing (upgrading?) the country’s social attitudes and cultural ethos in grafting the 1860 British Law, substantially unchanged, to the country’s traditional socio-ethical structures. And worse, there has not been, since then, any attempt to reassess, much less rectify, this aberration in favor of a more India-centered social vision.
This hasty and defective approach cost the country dearly as it is the very antithesis of strong moral character which is a sine qua non for healthy and mutual human respect. For, sexual emotion is the most intimate locus at which man-woman relation is implacably takes root. Thus, when this relation is not honest and dignified, commensurate with human stature, not only would it result in debasement, but also in a corrupt mindset in that it constrains inventing all sorts of falsehood to justify the sub-human behavior in the scramble for carnal indulgence. That is the beginning of moral degradation permeating, in course of time, all sectors of human activity in which one involved, crumbling thereby the entire characterial back-bone so necessary for civilized and sensitive social behavior instilling instead, in one’s mindset, as a permanent feature, a strong undercurrent of self-serving and wayward instinct constraining maintenance of an everlasting protective shield, thereby instituting a dual, schizophrenic life. Indeed, our post-independence choices in social sector had only lead to moral degeneration and contempt for native Indian ethical precepts.
The Causative: The British Law recognizes consensual sex, between participant individuals, as legitimate. This would mean that for the British and the West sex is an individual’s affair. The adult individual is thus the sole arbiter of his actions. The British Law seems to presume that at 18 the individual has enough maturity to assess consequences – malefic or otherwise – of his action. The Law is also starkly insensitive to devastating influences that an overpowering urge like sex can unleash on an individual. In other words, the British legal system places a non-sanitized, morally flexible tool in the hands of the individual. It does not see it as one of its responsibilities to prepare the individual in view of an enlightened use of this raw tool, for, such wisdom alone would mold individual citizens into a society endowed both with a civilized sense and human sensitivity. But in the event, the British Law neither seems to incorporate guidelines or restrictions by way of sub-laws towards this end. This lacuna leaves it to individual discretion without realizing that human nature is basically ego-centric and overlooks the fact that human instincts are not always rationally controllable. The British law simply limits itself to intervening only in the event of overt social conflicts.
In other words, the British Law does not really address the problematic of waywardness and consequent debasement. What it does is crowd-management as do security forces and not, one of instilling a sense of crowd-discipline as visionaries and policy makers envisage. This is where lies the difference between India’s ethical thought and the British legal provisions. India’s socio-ethical thought goes much beyond the short-shrift British Law in that the former finds antidotes for the uncontrollable human instincts at several levels: familial, social, and politico-legal.
Thrust of family values and consequent restrictions, fear of social stigma and opprobrium, and finally, humiliation of enduring politico-legal sanctions… all this invokes serious dialectic, within the individual, about the righteousness of an act or a conduct. It is therefore necessary that one retains a socio-familial structure in matters such as sexual morality. Thus, family, not the individual, that should be taken as a unit in formulating our social laws. Yet giving into the Western infatuation, our intellectuals snapped this umbilical protection by conferring legal sanctity to the vagaries of doubtful individual discretion thereby, elevating individual’s subjective judgments over other considerations. Thus, having been deprived of strong ethical bonds, family is reduced to a mere structural unit divested of its considerable functional influences over the individual.
Fragility: While elevating uncertain individual discretion over and above socio-familial wisdom constitutes a surest way of destroying this latter, the principle of consensus itself seems to derive more out of expediency rather than from rigorous socio-legal considerations. For one thing, a statement or a testament, even in legal terms, is valid only when the individual does it in full possession of his/her conscious self. For another, consent is a highly malleable entity.
Given the irrepressible and largely unmanageable nature of carnal instinct, we shall only be deluding ourselves, if we were to believe we are making fair and balanced judgments in matters concerning sex. More so, such emotions so constantly unleash pressures that make the urge for instant fulfillment irresistible. Again, consent can be obtained by cajoling, enticing, threats, blackmailing, incentivizing…and any of a thousand other ways of making one accept, all of which may not ethically (even, legally) pass muster. Given this nature of sex, it is no wonder that, more often than not, it clouds our faculties of judgment and discrimination.
Degeneration: The flaw innate to such laws, based solely on individual freedom, is the conspicuous lack of regulation. It is like removing all traffic signals and all traffic police and still expect the traffic to be disciplined! Or, to give another example, it is like expecting our body and its physiological processes to self-regulate without the individual paying even an iota of attention towards body’s needs and vulnerabilities. The greatest flaw in the British Law is it does not make a distinction between sexual practices commensurate with human dignity and ones that are mere by-products of biological need. That is, what the law does is to uncannily conflate the bestial instinct with what should be – given the presumption that human is a highly evolved species endowed with intelligence – enlightened forms of practices wherein sex is not an end in itself, but is enriched with higher human values.
Failure to draw this distinction renders the Law a mere social cover for carrying out the long proscribed institution of prostitution (in various forms in various countries). This latter, it is obvious, is proscribed precisely for preventing a slide into mere carnal indulgence (this point is vividly illustrated by the present dilemma over abrogation of Section 377 in view of legalizing Homosexuality as a conscious, consent-based choice of sexual practice!) and to protect women’s dignity.
The primacy accorded to the individual, absence of any kind of regulation to check slide towards carnal indulgences, and the uncontrollable nature of sex… all this cannot but turn the innately pleasure-seeking human being into a lusting sex-predator. In fact, the preponderant and unregulated boost given to sexual indulgence is so devastating that the barriers of age, family relations, and other traditional restrictions are broken away so much so that the individual is left without the protection of closely bound-up socio-familial regulative barriers. In other words, behind the smoke-screen of social etiquette, a sexually anarchic ‘order’ is created.
Bereft of any attempt whatsoever to raise sex-relation to dignified human levels, the British Law, if unwittingly, reduces them to a mere biologic, that is, bestial state. It thus becomes imperative that the human, who sees the self to be an intelligent and superior being ward off this stigma generated by his perennial sub-human indulgences in terms of upholding of the supreme value of human dignity by conflating this latter with what basically is the self-seeking notion of freedom. In this process of de-stigmatization, it is obvious, the individual acquires a duplicitous mindset that seeks to pursue and legitimize every self-serving objective in terms of lofty ideals and pursue the same in all possible amoral ways as long as this can be legitimized through any decent-looking subterfuge. As such a mindset permeates all sectors of human activity, an individual’s character that should ideally infuse in him a sense to discriminate between the good and the bad, gets fully overshadowed.
Again, while the British Law encourages liberal sex, it fails to cater to the enhanced demands of the urge its provisions create. For one thing, sex-urge is irrepressible while consent need not be easy and universal. For the other, the desire is always for that which is difficult to attain. Thus are in premium celebrities, beauty queens, fashion icons, fair-skins, good looks, smartness and handsomeness, power and leadership qualities… etc. That is, despite all its emphasis on freedom, the British Law’s liberating act fails to fully satisfy the individuals, thereby generating emotional frustration, apt to create conditions for the advent of drastic and asocial phenomena. In short, the British social views are just a recipe for ethical degeneration and geared to breed an innate anarchical mindset.
Direct Intervention: It is not as if the West is not aware of this kind of corrupting influence exercised by their social laws, or more correctly, social ethos. That is why, the first thing that happens in what is euphemistically called cultural imperialism, widely practiced in the West, is imposition of sexual waywardness on the foreign residents. To know the abysmal depths to which such conversions could sink, refer to my article, “Annihilationism, the Causative Terrorism” in this website (indiaopines.com; use search box). After all, waywardness breeds self-serving simultaneously exposing chinks in an individual’s character and social conduct. And such individuals are also die-hard apologists of the corrupt order willing to go to any lengths to defend and legitimize this latter order. They thus offer the right mix of ingredients for fashioning, as Macaulay dreamt, a transnational community sporting native skin over a Europeanized soul.
Besides this kind of exploitation by the West, this breed of transnationals suffers from a deep-seated stigma generated by constant and wanton sub-human practices. That this kind of practices, even in Europe and the West, are stealthy – for they never openly discuss and justify them as features of dignified human behavior except perhaps in select academic contexts and in highly abstract terms – points to the internalized burden of guilt that they carry. The only way this community finds to ward off this stigma is through what can be called infective stigmatization of the others, if necessary through collective orchestration.
The mindset thus developed as a result of West’s social laws internalizes the following character traits: (i) Western loyalty (ii) sexual predation, and (iii) highly convoluted, self-serving approach to life. Indeed, one of the unstated objectives of the West’s exchange or cooperation programs with the developing world is precisely this. This is so whether the beneficiaries integrate with the foreign societies or remain in league with the latter even if they return to their native countries. And when they do return their agenda would be to strengthen, within the country, their transnational clan by striving to facilitate, to the extent they can, appointments to various socio-economic positions to those who share the transnational ideology; influence policies, at all levels they can, that strengthen transnational objectives… Such an action, over the years, would not only significantly permeate the society, but also build an impervious protective shield for themselves – for, instances across the society apply adherence to transnational ideology as the arbitrational criterion -but also instill in the collective conscious this despotic principle as the arbiter of career-building and social-respect.
That today, the Indian society caught in a whirlpool of despicable liberal sex practices is explained by a combination of above factors. This should demonstrably show the abysmal corrupting influence of the British Law. The steadfast Western interference by way of such orchestrations in its favor, within the country, since decades (perhaps centuries for British rule in India lasted for nearly 200 years) and the injudicious adoption of those social ideologies has only destroyed any kind of moral character and uprightness that this country internalized from its age-old social ethos.
Freedom & Equality: The evil unleashed by the British laws is only further worsened by the virtually deified Western principles of freedom and equality. As seen above, freedom is just a principle of equal access, not one enabling ethical discrimination leading to enlightened judgments.
That absolute freedom is possible only in anarchy points to its potential to undoing any system established for regulating human activities. Further, self-serving human agendas can easily be justified under the emotional appeal of freedom of action! For, while claims for individual freedom are conceptually undeniable, like any other right, it needs to be tempered in view of contextual imports. Thus, it is irresponsible on the part of a girl student to attend the University wearing short-jeans exposing half of her thighs, for, whether she wills it or not, it constitutes an inappropriate action as it constitutes a distracting feature. So is the case with the feminists who hoarsely assert their right to dress any manner they like.
It is indeed ludicrous that they do not realize that the manner a woman dresses could be provocative, and may even communicate, if unwittingly, that she is a liberated woman… This certainly does not amount to an invitation to grope, molest or rape, but certainly add to the prevailing sexual laxity of the societal mindset.
Likewise, equality cannot again be absolute. For, men and women may both be human, but they are separated by a host of different properties that they do not share. That makes them social beings belonging to different orders. Not only do they attitudinally and behaviorally differ, they differ physically as well emotionally. They are, so to say, two distinct sub-species of homo sapiens and feel each other differently. The law takes up essentially one feature that of physical vulnerability of women, to devise measures to undo this natural inequality.
Equality is thus conceptual and aspirational. This does not however mean that the innate and real-time differences can be wished away nor their consequences set aside. Simply said what applies to one applies to other only mutatis mutandi, that is, with appropriate changes. This is so because while equality is a symmetrical notion, the entities to which it is applied (men and women) are not so completely symmetrical. Thus while both men and women can have, in principle, equal rights to move around at the dead of the night, sheer physical vulnerability and feminine charm make it an altogether a different empirical experience for women from the men who are physically stronger but vulnerable to feminine charm.
The 1860 British law is therefore a sham. Under the cover of freedom and equality, it actually promotes unbridled sexual voracity. With no regulatory or moderating mechanism in place, this may actually lead to a lust-related medical condition that can be dubbed infigamous sex syndrome wherein, just as certain congenital conditions compel people into homosexuality, here, in heterosexuality, people are made to internalize a condition that defines their sex activity in terms of compulsive inclusion of fresh sex partners! That is, they may not feel their sex experience to be entirely satisfactory unless it were not with a fresh partner. Notice that, the spread of Western hegemonic designs are inseparable from the promotion and maintenance of such a condition (cf. section under ‘Direct Intervention’). In addition, the stigma attached to such activities makes it exceedingly delicate to renege from such practices, and also not to incur the wrath of the rest of the community. What an ingenious (and insidious!) way to promote hegemony!
It comes as no surprise that a people that are stripped off of character, infected with what can be called an ‘infigamous’ virus that divests one of one’s discriminatory judgment, seethes under the influence of invisible hegemony that only aggravates carnal indulgence and arousal… acted as they did at Bengaluru’s new year eve. India, with its candid and holistic culture cannot be expected to uniformly display the dual behavioral norm of the West which assiduously promotes a clean social image distinct from its real self. Add to this, various stages of literacy, sophistication, exposure, economic status, social situations in which variegated people of this country find to be able to present themselves with decorum and decency even as they are under the onslaught of provocative and aggravating sex urge.
In the face of the mammoth hegemonic assault mounted by the West heinously exploiting the delicate domain of man-woman relationship, what happened in Bengaluru are just internal skirmishes, by products of our naïve surrender to West’s social ‘ethos’. That is why the answer to such incidents can be found only in replacing the present borrowed (imposed?) social laws with the precepts inspired by Indian cultural ethos – could very well be as long and arduous a mission as our struggle for Independence has been.
Some of the readers may well be offended by this much too forthright a demonstration. But do understand that nation’s dignity and sovereignty are far too serious imperatives to be compromised over the issues of individual reputations and humiliations.