THE BLOG

The Naked Truth About India

While I am not credentialed to comment on the appropriateness of the strip and cavity search of India's deputy consul general in New York, I can comment upon the ambiguity and confusion in the collective "Indian" imagination about nudity and sexuality.

While the juxtaposition of opposing concepts in Hindu literature and elsewhere is intriguing and mystical, it is merely mystifying in the context of everyday life in India.

How can a geographic region, which has produced some of the most sensual art in the world, be so tremendously confused about displaying human sensuality?

How can the Indian public be so angered and surprised about the objectification of women when the front page of the online Times of India always has a section of videos and photos of scantily clad women?

How can the Indian public be so enraged about human sexuality when many Bollywood movies are no more than soft-porn displays that utilize trees instead of strip poles?

How can fundamentalist Hindus accept and defend sexuality in Puranic myths, in poetry and plays, and in the Epics but not elsewhere? Just how many marriages in these stories were arranged? Did Shakuntala see Dushyanta's bio before agreeing to wed him (in the forest)?

So as I see it, if we strip the Devyani Khobragade issue of the diplomatic and legal complexities, the naked truth is that there is an enormous ambiguity and confusion in the collective "Indian" imagination about nudity and sexuality.

What do you think?