In this strange world that we live in, there are times where one finds differences among things which are seemingly similar and at times finds similarities among things which are seemingly different. Two of the past weeks headlines, happen to be an instance of the latter. On the surface, Pramod Muthalik’s war Against V-day in India and baby-faced Alfie Patton becoming a father at 13 are two news stories which couldn’t be any more dissimilar. But if one takes a closer look, it soon becomes apparent that the two balance each other out in almost a Yin and Yang sort of way.
Both Muthalik and Alfie have caused national outrages in matters related to sex and modernity – Muthalik with his warped sense of right and wrong and Alfie with, to quote a conservative MP from England, ‘a total collapse of any sense of what is right and wrong’. Muthalik exemplifies how over-conservatism can turn ugly while Alfie’s case shows how a policy of non-intervention can sometimes lead to less than desirable results. Muthalik, nearly as old as Independent India, refuses walk shoulder to shoulder with a generation that has moved far ahead of him and instead wants to once again impose the restrictions of a by-gone era, while Alfie has moved too fast for even a country that considers itself ‘forward’.
The last similarity between the two, however, is the most important, yet the least obvious of them all. Both Muthalik and Alfie do not stand for what they seem to stand for. Despite what the Sri Ram Sene would like you to believe they DO NOT stand for all that is glorious about Indian culture, and tempting as it may be for Muthalik and his ilk to think so, Alfie Patton does not stand for the modern generation.
What the two stand for is a lack of understanding of sex – a colourless concept which has existed since time immemorial and will continue to do so until the day a stray asteroid bumps into our little blue planet. An education about the abovementioned should go a long way in teaching Muthalik and his men that, people can and will always fall in love and express it physically, and that there’s nothing ‘immoral’ or ‘perverse’ about it and would also show Alfies all over the world that though it’s okay to do so, one cannot completely abandon all forms of caution.
Maybe Muthalik and Alfie should meet and have a little chat. What say you?