Thursday, September 29, 2005

Back to the Past

Saw on Kaps’ blog that it is Kushboo’s birthday today and boy does she need some good wishes! Whoever thought that simply speaking one’s mind would land someone in such hot water?!

Kushboo, in an interview to the Tamil edition of India Today, apparently said that most Tamil girls today indulge in pre-marital sex and that that was OK as long as they protected themselves against pregnancy and diseases. Even before she could take her foot out of her mouth, she became the target of the self-appointed protectors of Tamil culture (you know, the same ones who think having English titles to Tamil movies destroys our culture).

The actress cut short her Singapore trip and hurried back and has since apologized both in print and on TV (very tearfully, I read somewhere). But the politicians and activists are just not willing to let it go. With a zeal rarely shown by our politicians, they have lodged a case against the actress in court. And at the risk of having dusty floors in their own houses, women have carried their brooms (I swear, this is true. I actually saw this on the news on Sun TV) and laid siege to her house demanding that she apologize. If not, she would be sent back to Mumbai, they proclaimed. Last I heard, she has to appear in court on 14th.

So we've now reached the stage where we can't even say what we think. An individual cannot express his/her own opinion on a topic without fear of repercussion from a few narrow-minded people who, through brute force, are able to act on their threats. Isn't this exactly what happens in an autocracy?

I can understand the politicians making an issue out of her statements just for some cheap publicity. That seems to be all most of them do these days anyway. But what about the others? Shouldn’t the judiciary simply throw their case out? Why is Kushboo being asked to show up in court? Shouldn’t the lawyers thrust the “Freedom of Speech” act in the politicians’ faces and/or read it to them? The film fraternity, which usually prides itself on its unity, has let Kushboo down too. The nadigar sangam has washed its hands off the issue, calling it her ‘personal’ issue. Yeah right! I'm guessing that with Vijayakanth now in politics, he just doesn't want to be seen as anti-Tamil culture. I haven’t seen any other organizations(women's or otherwise) express their support for Kushboo either. And where the hell is Sundar.C?

Is it possible that Tamils, as a society, are actually moving backwards? We have filmmakers being dragged to court for making sex comedies. We have boys and girls being separated in colleges. We have people being dragged to court for merely expressing their opinions. And we have hotel owners being arrested for hosting parties on their premises. Such trivial issues are what the politicians are expending all their energy on while issues like water scarcity, crime and corruption take a backseat. If this isn't the sign of a regressive society, I’m not sure what is.

21 Comments:

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I was wondering why you havent written anything on this.

It sucks doesnt it. I feel bad for the poor thing.

 
At 11:53 PM, Blogger Nithya Swaminathan said...

yeah, even i saw that on sun tv... and sun tv is running this news in the headlines for the past full week, coz Kushboo anchors shows in jaya tv and she is in sun-tc's enemy camp!!! I hate sun tv... SJ Suryah looks attractive in comparison!

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous ram said...

freedom of expression is an alien concept to our politicians...and in the last cpl of years, tamil cinema has bore the brunt of their attempts to gain some quick, cheap publicity...the problem is, cinema can never be expected to conform to certain ethics or moralities...cinema is just a form of expression...its up to us as sane individuals to take the good and leave out the evil (of course, that is after they've gotten past the censors!)...and, i love movies and filmmakers too much to see them have to address these silly issues such as english titles, smoking on screen, etc...and kushboo's case is even worse...what she said is entirely her opinion even if it might not be within the so-called set of values espoused by these filthy politicians whose holier than thou attitude is irritating, to say the very least...
i am not going to give my take on what kushboo has said in her interview...instead let me just say that if she was willing to apologize for any hurt it may have caused, then the ppl who accuse her should just take that with dignity and put the matter to rest...it would be a shame if it causes her more problems...moodittu summa irungada dey!

 
At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Raju said...

I read about the proceedings.. feels really terrible.. Kushboo issue has been blown big by the Producers' forum after her parade against Thangar. Now he is using this opportunity to take revenge on her. The media just want some sensational issue...

 
At 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kushboo should never have said what she said...

I fully understand the protests...

WE have a Tamil culture. Let Mumbai ppl (like Kushboo herself) do that... is the catchcry

She may believe that it's OK for women to do that but a hell of a lot of Tamil ppl aren't willing to accept it. Rightfully so, too IMO

 
At 6:32 AM, Blogger Rajesh said...

Our Culture does not allow girls
to have sex before marriage. that
is for what we have been respected
for ..in the western countries.

I respect Kushboo's perspective as an Individual comment.

But she should not have given in an
interview for a magazine that is read by lakhs of families in tamil nadu...

Imagine the impact that this interview would have on our upcoming generations. Won't they
take these words as their mantra and follow it in thier life..

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

Much ado about nothing. As someone said, why make an issue out of a piece of tissue ;-)

Seriously, freedom of expression is in big trouble. What is democracy if we can't speak out our mind. And most of the people who are making a big ruckus out of this, actually don't know what she really said. Misinformation media at work. It is indeed sad that we are not hearing from sane people.

This, and the other hotel trouble seems like we are regressing back.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Ms Ch said...

As an non-TN person, looking from the outside, I have always got a very tight feeling from TN. The "culture" which TN is so proud off, is actually preventing the people from moving forward. At the cost of being flamed, I must say, I have always felt TN was the sounth Indian Bihar! Sorry!

 
At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is that women take all the blame for pre-marital sex? isn't it
ironical that some of the same men that would willingly seek for it, would go out and lash against it publicly?!!

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Jagz said...

I wake up everyday and the world makes less sense than it did the day before! Have these "politicians" nothing better to do than harass a woman for expressing her opinions? What, if anything, is so wrong about what she said anyway? All she suggested was that if you are going to have sex before marriage, then please take the necessary precautions. Pretty sensible, I'd say. But yet again the tamil people would rather bury their heads in the sand than actually address the issues facing teenagers and young adults today. If opinions of inconsequential, past film stars are the sort of trivial things politicians are going to obssess over, then India is in bigger trouble than I thought!

 
At 7:40 AM, Blogger Me too said...

I guess, the politicians are so mad at the entertainment industry for showing them as villians and at the same time trying to use its popularity to criss-cross into their territory that they pounce upon every small chance to make a scene.

Poor Kushbu, she is learning how people who built her temple can somersault and show brooms at her too!!

 
At 7:40 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

nithya, i was wondering why sun tv kept harping on this. i assumed it was because the the ones making all this fuss were DMK allies or something. but what u said makes sense too.

ram, "...what she said is entirely her opinion " - thats my point exactly! she might've been completely off the mark but that simply reveals her ignorance. she is entitled to her opinion.

raju, another interesting take. hmmm... could be true

anon, maybe she should, maybe she shouldnt. if u notice, i didnt go into the right or wrong of what she said. its the reaction of the politicians i have a problem with. right or wrong, people should have the right to express their opinion. and if these guys don't like what she said, let them give an interview and say that what she said was wrong and why premarital sex is wrong... thats their right. its their mode of expressing their protest that i am complaining about...

rajesh, she simply expressed her opinion right? she didnt say "i had premarital sex" or "everyone should go out and have premarital sex". from what i've read she said something along the lines of "most gals today r having premarital sex. if thats the case, they should do so with protection".

and even if we consider the impact, don't we have all these movies and magazines and posters that reach a far wider audience than the tamil edition of 'india today'? so do we have to ban anything that goes against our culture just because the younger generation will c it?

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Balaji,
Had poor Kushboo not given a damn to ppl's reaction, she need not have succumbed. She tried to be Roman in Rome.. and in that process she din't be herself, its her decision to do so.

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

jagz, i think the women took offence to the part where she said "most tamil women today have premarital sex". something like "husbands of tamil girls today understand that their wives have had sex". thats supposed to have maligned the name of Tamil women.
and thats exactly the kind of issues tamil politicians today are obsessing over.

me too, well said. there's probably a huge resentment at film stars cos of the exact same reasons u've said!

zero, but the ppl's reactions have not been expressed in the right way. as i mentioned earlier, if they'd just given another interview criticizing her, she need not have succumbed. but the partymen of guys like thirumalavan and ramadoss have been known to become more violent as things escalate(remember 'baba'?). so she could'nt have been silent hoping that it would pass. so she did the next best thing - apologize. but they still don't wanna let it go...

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Prakash said...

And what's with the "would be sent back to Mumbai"?! Who decides where somebody would be sent! Morons.

My parents are from Karnataka, but I was born and brought up in Chennai. At the height of the Cauvery dispute (10-12 years back), my father's business used to get threat calls! We did notify the cops, but dismissed it as some idiot with too much time on his hands.

But when Indira Gandhi was assasinated, Sikhs with turbans couldn't step outside without getting in trouble. When Rajiv Gandhi was assasinated, I heard Tamilians were given a hard time in the North.

I keep hoping we are changing for the better ...

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous ram said...

off topic, did u see that pic of aravind swamy on lazygeek?????????? shockkkkking transformation...almost feel bad for the guy...
how many times have i heard female friends say that they would want to marry someone like their "handsome aravind"...enna aacho...got to be something health-related...

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous takakia said...

If we were to blame tamil cinema for defaming tamil society, then every one should be brought to court.

I can't find a single movie which hasn't implict remarks to premarital sex, infedility and vulguar exposures.

The political parties involed only want to get fame by defaming a tamil actress.

 
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At 9:49 PM, Blogger krystal said...

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At 5:50 AM, Blogger Vinayak said...

Results of the controversy : Kushboo and company


1. Pre Marital sex is here!. That's the truth. There is no denying it. That's the gist of what Kushboo said (not me!) Its NOT just metros or Mumbai or Delhi that the "pre marital sex" is happening. There are also extra maritals going on all over India

2. *Tamil Nadu is NO exception*. There are surveys that show that approx 40% of college students have had sex before marriage !!! Now please don't come back and tell me ONLY MEN had sex, and that too all by themselves...

3. Tamil movies have as much sex portrayed in them as bollywood movies. In fact there is a great competition there in showing more sex

4. What happens in Indian cities gets noticed and has a multiplier effect. It's soon followed by others in smaller towns and villages

5. The dress, the dance, the music... the cinema ... these have always moved from cities to towns to villages

6. So would this "sex" thing move to every place

7. Womens lib is calling this "freedom of expression" and *supporting Kushboo*
http://www.hindu.com/2005/11/18/stories/2005111817091400.htm

8. So to me it looks like Kushboo has a point. *Men who expect their wife to be a virgin are fools*

Vinayak
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At 6:23 AM, Blogger Vinayak said...

I've blogged Kushboo's original comments in Tamil. You can see them on the following URL

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-Y2MTaSA0RLDVTunp3KQgKh0-?p=78
http://www.livejournal.com/users/e_vinayak/1959.html
http://batteredmale.blogspot.com/2005/11/kushboo-interview-from-india-today-sex.html

A free translation with no recourse follows. If there are other Tamils, you are welcome to provide alternate / better translations. This translation may also be blogged / posted with some credit to me... but with no copyrights.. :

========= start kushboo's comments with some notes from me ==========

*From Sep 28 2005 India Today*

"Kushboo : ..Chennai *was* behind Bangalore with regard to women expressing sexual matters ...."
(Note : I've used "matters" here as her Tamil word does not exactly translate to desires).

Kushboo : ".....Now women in Chennai are also crossing these mental taboos on sexual matters. We get to see a lot of women (girls? ) in Pubs and discos (at Chennai). (These days) Women can talk freely on matters regarding sex. Slowly the woman is opening her wings and has started flying out in this restricted society. Still, accidents to women like Stephany raises some questions about how healthy this trend is?. Sex education is very essential in schools. Even if sex education is not provided in schools, parents have to teach their children about sex....."

Kushboo : "...For me sex is not just a physical thing. Its mental too. I can't understand how women can change their boy friends every week..."
(Note : Kushboo says that she can't accept this habit of changing boy friends per week.... NOT that this does NOT happen !!. That means there are many girls who have weekly boyfriends and Kushboo who is aware of pubs and discos must have a good overview of this.
Note : Its quite possible that after a few years, meaning 52 x 4 = 208 boyfriends when these new age women get married, they would get rather tired of men and soon seek the 498A route :-()

Kushboo : "....If a girl is going strong with her boyfriend, she can go out with him after informing her parents..."
(Note : No issue of seeking permission here. I've carefully read the Tamil word / words. It just says inform. Not seek permission)

Kushboo : "...If a girl has a Strong relationship, the parents have to allow that...."
Note : all about relationships BEFORE marriage. Social acceptance of the same etc... and then comes the clincher)

Kushboo : "...Our society has to be liberated from thoughts like "a woman has to be a virgin at the time of marriage". No educated man would expect his wife to be a virgin. However, women have to safeguard themselves from pregnancy or other disease, while having pre - marital sex....."
Note : So the issues are just physiological and economic at the maximum. don't get pregnant before marriage and don't be left holding the baby !!. The issue is NOT about chastity..

Kushboo : "...I married the man I was in love with. Since we were sure about our relationships, we had sex before marriage. Its now six years since marriage. Since we have two children, our responsibilities have grown. Since the children sleep in the same room as we do we need to find other private times (/moments) for us. Still we have a happy married life. Married people should know how to satisfy their spouse's physical needs. There would be no problems, if desires are understood mutually. ..."
(Note : She has had pre marital sex. She says she married the same person. She was an actress BEFORE she was married.)

Kushboo : "...Some increase gratification by using sex books, photos etc. One cannot say that is wrong. At the same time At the same time, one should understand the other's likes, dislikes and comforts, discomforts. Men who mistake women talking about sex should change their views. Mutual consent is essential for sex. ..."
(Note : Last para is some general whitewash .. The whole interview speaks tons about pre marital sex, sex between partners, safe sex and so on. At one point she cautions women *not* to get pregnant by Pre marital sex !!)


========= end of Translation and comments =================

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