Saturday, April 22, 2006

Watz in a KISS?


I know the response to that question would certainly depend upon the individual's socio-geographical background. If your next question is why am I even talking/writing about Kiss/Kissing on this blog, then I shall lead you to the source of news 'Rs500 for a Kiss' which irked me to come up with this post.

Now that you read that piece of information, how would you react to that? I really don't understand what is the fuss all about, why would you impose such hefty fine on a couple if they are seen kissing in public. Atleast for me, if a couple is kissing in a public place it really doesn't affect me, unless the kiss leads them to engage in something else.

What is the message that our authorities are trying to convey by imposing such fines on the public? Can they really deter young couples from kissing in public by imposing such fines? I would say NO they can't. As the news says,"Kissing in public has always been a taboo"; this is just one such meaningless TABOO which exists in India - the country which gave Kamasutra to the world. What I fail to understand is the double-standards which we follow @ every home in this country.

I don't know how other religions address TABOO subjects like Nudity, SEX, etc; Hinduism has given sex its due importance in the scheme of things. If you are interested in reading more about how Hinduism gave sex its due importance in the overall picture then I found this article 'The Erotic Arts of India' - by Dr. K. L. Kamat - who shares his first-hand research and information about ancient erotic art and literature of India.

So, here is my question to these authorities who are trying to be the moral police: In a land where 'Temples' have figures of loving couples in various sexual positions & nude apsaras depicted in sculptures, what is really there in a 'KISS'? After all, Kissing is most commonly an expression of affection. Here is the disturbing fact, Delhi - the capital of India - accounts the highest number of Rapes cases in India. Don't believe me, then read this TOI article, "Delhi:The Rape Capital of India". Instead of having such Draconian rules & trying to implement them, I feel the Delhi police should be more concerned about nabbing the rapists & punishing then, making Delhi more safer place for women.

BTW my friend Rags, during his last week's getaway to Somanthpur has captured few shots of the temple, check them here & you will know more about what the sculptures I have been talking about.

I tried to KISS [Keep It Small Simple] my post, hope I am not fined ;)


Update: My friend Kishore has an interesting collection of pictures from various temples, ruins and heritage sites across India. Thanks a lot for sharing the album, now the audience can relate even better as to what I am trying to convey. View the album 'Heritage India' by Kishore Murthy.

Painting Courtesy: Ibiblio.org
Source: Rediff | Times Of India | Wiki | Kamat.com | Google



18 comments:

Urban Shaman said...

Yes it boggles the mind. I don't know if this helps but I find that what people believe is true in theory is not what they believe is true in reality. I don't know what do say beyond that.

small squirrel said...

ah. good topic vivek. I have never really come to understand the very strict social and penal rules in india concerning public displays of affection.

I am italian. The way we greet each other is to embrace and kiss. We kiss each other on the cheeks, and even men greet each other this way. We are very physically affectionate with each other. It is the norm. And Italy is a very religious country.

When I come to india I have to restrain myself. I am used to hugging people. I am used to touching people that I am close to.

Now, OK, no matter where I am, I am not fond of seeing two people being extremely physically intimate. Kisses lasting longer than a couple seconds, groping, that kind of thing... save it. Get a hotel room, go behind a building...something. But a short kiss?

You are right, India is the original home of sensuality, of the art and science of sexuality. The original courtesans were from India. So then how has Indian society become so draconian that only recently has bollywood begun to show a kiss on screen.

Does the viewing of intimacy corrupt the minds of people? What is the Indian government afraid of? And this country with some of the most stringent rules applied to public displays of affection has the highest birthrate in the world. So, people are obviously not deterred from their end goal. Hee. Well, maybe the end goal of every kiss is not sex, but you know what I mean.

I simply do not get it. Imposing a 500 INR fine doesn't stop sexuality. It represses it. And whenever something is repressed it comes out stranger in the end. You make something taboo and immediately people want to do it.

Lots to ponder!

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey! Urban Shaman,

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I agree with what you had to say, it applies to all of us @ certain times. Atleast in India I have come across many such scenarios/incidents where things are very different in reality.

Vivek

Vasu the terrible said...

People kissing on the road is an act on the public space.

What would you consider as indecent if it is done on the road ? fornication ? masturbation ? mutual pleasuring ?

why is kissing benign while the rest of it is indecent ?

Kissing has never been the social norm of India even during the days of erotica. Its an act of sex and sexuality. Kissing is a way of greeting popularised in the west and I dont think India is west. The last I checked the lattitude and longitude hasnt changed.

The main point is if kissing should not be considered indecent, and kissing is a sexual act and not social act (In general indian sensibilities), how far are we willing to go, where do you draw the line and why ?

vasu

small squirrel said...

vasu, dude.... there is a middle ground and you know it. There is a vast space between kissing and sexual intercourse.

I also do not like this whole east/west thing. There are cultures in the east where kissing in public IS permissible.

Please do not make this about hyperbole. Your point that "Kissing has never been the social norm of India even during the days of erotica..." is more on point.

Rags said...

>authorities are try to convey
typo there

In somnathpur temple (and other temples) its not apsaras that are nude - its the godesses themselves. Looks like just 800 years ago all the only thing that people wore was jewellery that covered almost nothing - no clothes (we dont need no clothes in this weather do we?). They had less inhibitions about sex/nudity - infact it was considered to be spiritual why else would you find sculptures of various sexual positions (like 69!!! check out those fotos) on temple walls?

i think it is west thing to wear clothes that we eventually adopted (or is it that we moved away to a more cultured society from a primitive one? if that is indeed the case whatever happens to our rich culture/heritage that we brag about)

Vivek Kondur said...

Squirrel, there may be numerous such laws in India concerning public displays of affection which I am not aware of & nor do I understand them.

>>>I am italian. The way we greet each other is to embrace and kiss. We kiss each other on the cheeks, and even men greet each other this way. We are very physically affectionate with each other. It is the norm. And Italy is a very religious country.

Politically you are an American-Italian ;). I have observed the physical affectionate b/w Italians in the movie The God Father – sometimes movies give a lot of insight into the culture of a nation, doesn't it?

>>When I come to india I have to restrain myself. I am used to hugging people. I am used to touching people that I am close to.

You don't have to restrain yourself, I would rather say be yourself no matter where u go.

>>Now, OK, no matter where I am, I am not fond of seeing two people being extremely physically intimate. Kisses lasting longer than a couple seconds, groping, that kind of thing... save it. Get a hotel room, go behind a building...something. But a short kiss?

Totally agree with u, can't fine ppl for a kiss, thats absurd.

>>You are right; India is the original home of sensuality, of the art and science of sexuality. The original courtesans were from India. So then how has Indian society become so draconian that only recently has bollywood begun to show a kiss on screen.

I really have no clue how Indian society became so closed.

>>And this country with some of the most stringent rules applied to public displays of affection has the highest birthrate in the world.

You have raised a good point; should put this across to the health Dept. & wait for their response :)

>>I simply do not get it. Imposing a 500 INR fine doesn't stop sexuality. It represses it. And whenever something is repressed it comes out stranger in the end. You make something taboo and immediately people want to do it.

Making such draconian laws in the first place doesn’t make any sense, forget about imposing fine. I feel vast section of the society doesn't understand *repression*, the more u try to repress a taboo; people find innovative ways to beat them.

Vivek Kondur said...

Vasu, agreed people kissing on the road is an act on the public space, but it’s an act of affection & nothing else.

>>>What would you consider as indecent if it is done on the road ? fornication ? masturbation ? mutual pleasuring ?

Apart from fornication, masturbation, mutual pleasuring, there is also exhibitionism, mooning and candaulism, all of them qualify as indecent for me.

>>>why is kissing benign while the rest of it is indecent?

For me kissing is just a form of expressing affection to your loved ones –parents, children, siblings, girlfriend or boyfriend.

>>>Kissing has never been the social norm of India even during the days of erotica. Its an act of sex and sexuality. Kissing is a way of greeting popularised in the west and I dont think India is west. The last I checked the lattitude and longitude hasnt changed.

Dude, I never expected you would equate kissing to an act of sex. Don’t u think there is a thin line between kissing & sexuality? Agreed kissing may have never been the social norm of India & has been popularized in the WEST. There are many things which we have borrowed from the WEST, which we have adopted over the years.

>>>how far are we willing to go, where do you draw the line?

I would echo the same as Squirrel,” Kisses lasting longer than a couple seconds, groping, that kind of thing... save it. Get a hotel room, go behind a building...something.”

Moreover I wrote this post to highlight the double standards of our society @ times. Also the fact that the Delhi Police have to prioritize their work, rather than go harass couples who are sitting in parks & kissing.

Vivek Kondur said...

Rags, Thanks! for finding the typo will correct it.

>>>In somnathpur temple (and other temples) its not apsaras that are nude - its the godesses themselves. Looks like just 800 years ago all the only thing that people wore was jewellery that covered almost nothing - no clothes (we dont need no clothes in this weather do we?). They had less inhibitions about sex/nudity - infact it was considered to be spiritual why else would you find sculptures of various sexual positions (like 69!!! check out those fotos) on temple walls?

I didn’t know they were goddesses, cldn’t really differentiate between them in yours snaps. Wish you had zoomed on them :D

On inhibitions, I agree with the fact that people then where less apprehensive about sex/nudity.

d.K.m said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
d.K.m said...

Here is a pic contribution from me on the topic

I think its the Victorian/British influence that made people into being closet perverts while going about moral policing on the outside.

ps: Blogger is screwing with my comments. It garbled one and ate up another.

Vivek Kondur said...

Kishore, Thanks! for the pic, I shall link up your album on Flickr titled 'Heritage India' on this post.

>>I think its the Victorian/British influence that made people into being closet perverts while going about moral policing on the outside.

I had similar thots y'day night, but didn't want to bring in the Birts and debate over East Vs West.

Vasu the terrible said...

I dont see this big hullaboo about saying hey, "In India kissing is considered sexual behaviour". I think on the contrary closed minds are the ones which dont try and understand cultures. "Should kissing be allowed ?" You can argue passionately about it and I have no issues.

But If I find chinks in the argument, I am going to ask questions. This whole business of labeling arguments as extreme or conservative or communist is an old habit, difficult to lose. Last I heard McCarthyism doesent work in India.

Its factually incorrect to say that kissing is normal social behaviour and should be viewed as normal social behaviour in all parts of the world because it is so in the west. And that kissing has no sexual connotations attached to it all across the world. That to me is a sweepingly wrong statement.

Italians kiss openly in the public and even hug each other. Many other eastern civilisations dont. Almost all except for catholic south korea and catholic phillipinos. none in the arab and muslim world kiss each other as a mark of non-sexual affection. none in India, non, in tibbetian culture. Not in japan and traditional chinese culture. Kissing openly is an urban phenomena and urban is not everything.

I see this as moral imperialism. When India was under the british victorian imperialism decimated many of the inherant social behaviour in the guise of civilising a dark country. Its the same thing now. Anything non-christian is unacceptable. Why dont you hug and grab the ass as acceptable social greeting ? Whats wrong with that ? The church has no problems with kissing so everyone should have no problems with kissing.

Apart from just 2 of the semtic relegions none of the other relegions openly practice kssing. I dont know if judaism accepts kissing, If it doesent, then its just one major relegion.

Actually I am for sexually open conduct in public. Why just kissing and why not some ass grab ? Whats so unacceptable about ass grabbing ? Afterall the people who lived in the erotic past did all that openly. Dint they ? they shared partners, and they had many many public orgies. Sex was considered a way of worshipping the gods and they would have no qualms about it. Now would that be practical in 2006 ??

I think its grossly unfair to put the spotlight on what is democratic than what is unilateral and totally draconian. The western medical science which considers masturbation as deviant human behaviour. I was shocked. Imagine all guys are deviant because we jack off.. that really makes me laugh.

The pope kisses his desciples. The temple priests / Maulanas / budist monks / the shamans dont. In the west Brothers kiss sisters in the mouth. In india, we dont. Physical contact esp, kissing is to us is sexual. I have never kissed a girl who dint have sexual desire.

Should kissing be allowed ? Depends on the local laws. I think every society has a right to determine by democratic means what levels of public decency its citizen's desire. I think we should learn to respect that even if our own views are different.

Why such a big deal, cant you close your doors and do all that, instead of giving your friendly neighbourhood spiderman a sneek peek ?

While in rome, live like a roman.

vasu

Vasu the terrible said...

@ vivek - I think you are drawing the line at kissing beyond 2 seconds and someone else would draw the line at no kissing and personally I would like to see some hot XXX action. I would love that kind of liberalism. no I am not being sarcastic. I really really like to see. Why is one extreme, retrograde or conservative and why is it that the other thing is considered stupid.

Do brothers kiss sisters as an affection thing ? If so, its the urban western influenced society. Not in my home man. None of my cousins or aunts or anyone else is into kissing..

This is what we call as the "Friends syndrome".. Does the brother guy in "Friends", kiss his sister in the mouth ? "Rachel isnt it ?"

Its another matter about moral policing. I am aginst policing. But policing presupposes people are unruly and have to be disciplined. I am aginst that but I am not going to be stupid in using that as an excuse to say lets all kiss. Hell, I would love to go all the way... Why is the dividing line just for kissing beyond 2 seconds and why should it be that ? Iwould love exhibitionism, fornication, mutual pleasuring and all of that. I would so love that on my streets.

As it is my streets are so empty and no one visits the parks, lets have some action and make our parks and streets more safe and secure for amorous couples.

:)

vasu

d.K.m said...

*The boundary for social as well as sexual deviance is largely determined by cultural and historical context. As such, sexual disorders once considered paraphilias (e.g., homosexuality) are now regarded as variants of normal sexuality; so too, sexual behaviors currently considered normal (e.g., masturbation) were once culturally proscribed*
-Source Psychiatric Times

-Here is another read for the interested

Sach said...

hi there magga .
wassup. This is nitin here.
well dude i totally agree with you. i don't give a squat if some is kissing in public. they do their thing , we go and do ours. what is anybody else's fuckin problem. what these dum fuks don't realise is that nobody gives a flying fuk bout it. all this will get on my nerves only if sombody was fucking when we're working at office in the next cubicle. really the concentration flies away..
i mean these commisioners, politians, and all those guys won't go around kissing but they all will rape moleste and all these fuckers will get away without even a ticket or a whistle..
These rules mean nothing.....
SACHu.

Thik Skin said...

Mama First tell me if the kiss is on forehead or on the lips .... or else where ?
now if people kiss each other on the hands or on forehead (of course you have a big one..) then its ok
but if people start lip kissing or any indecent places it becomes difficult to explain our future generation. or for young stags like us it is very difficult to resist as we don’t have girl friends.

so kissing is ok if its in its limits beyond which it becomes a social nuisance what do you say...?

Rags said...

broke the somnathpur link while refactoring stuff on flick
working link http://www.flickr.com/photos/65055518@N00/tags/somnathpur/