No sex please, we’re sanskari

The booklet, Mother and Child Care, recommended for pregnant women and released by a Union Minister, underlines the fact that Hindutva is a perverted form of Hinduism. It is yet another endeavor to programme a sanskari populace in the country.

“Don’t eat meat, say no to sex after conception, avoid bad company, have spiritual thoughts and hang some good and beautiful pictures in your room to have a healthy baby,” Hindustan Times reported on June 13. “This is Ministry of Ayush’s prescription for pregnant women in India, where 26 million babies are born each year.”

What makes the recommendations more objectionable is the fact that the booklet has been compiled by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) under the Ayush Ministry. The CCRYN was set up in 2014 to promote Indian traditional healing and wellness practices.

The HT report quoted several senior doctors who trashed the CCRYN recommendations. In fact, these could be dangerous for pregnant women. “The advice [about meat] is unscientific. Protein-deficiency malnutrition and anemia are health concerns for pregnant women and meats are a great source of both protein and iron, which is better absorbed from animal sources than plant sources,” senior gynecologist and obstetrician Malavika Sabharwal of the Apollo Healthcare Group was quoted as saying.

The despicable suggestions are part and parcel of the saffron dispensation’s jihad against pleasure—that is, pleasure as commonly understood, not any of its esoteric meanings. I quote at length from a book, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology, by Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963), a British novelist, poet, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, academic, and Christian apologist: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

We, the people of India, suffer such tyrannies—a million of them (And often we are complicit in the tyrannies, which is a sadder story). All manner of activists want to cure us of our vices, be it smoking, drinking, gluttony, promiscuity, irresponsibility, or any other sin they deem fit to be abolished; they want to save us from us. And since, in their scheme of things, the victim is his own enemy, the victim and the villain being one and the same person, his consent for his own redemption is neither necessary nor desirable; indeed his consent is immaterial, for he has anyway not come of age, nor will ever.

Notice the moral hierarchy that the “omnipotent moral busybodies” have created. They themselves are omniscient, wise, moral beings who know what is right and wrong, good and bad, beneficial and malevolent in the world; they are the good shepherds divinely ordained to guide others. The others are the lesser mortals “who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

In this moral universe, there is nothing wrong if the shepherd sometimes chastises his flock to stick to the prescribed course; it is the prerogative as well as the duty of the moral guardian to do so. This is the reason that the conscience of our moral busybodies or moral cops is always clear. The prevalent public discourse, whose defining features are hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness, offers a perfect ecosystem for moral cops to wage their jihad.

Pleasure is a big problem, not only for saffron zealots but also Leftists. I like’s definition of ‘pleasure’ the best: ‘the state or feeling of being pleased.’ It’s very simple and very accurate. When one is pleased, one feels exhilarated, as while enjoying music, painting, or sex. From the moral cop’s perspective, the big danger is that the enjoyer may further get elated, feel joy, or even attain fulfillment.

The defining feature of man is transcendence; to become what he is not: becoming is his being. The moral cop, being committed to his theology is, doesn’t want anybody to become anything other than he (the moral cop) prescribes him to become. The rest is folly, to be resisted, violently if required.

Like the Puritan, who hated bear baiting not because it caused pain to the bear but because it gave pleasure to the viewer (Macaulay), the moral cop wants to proscribe smoking, drinking, promiscuity, even sex within marriage, not because such activities may lead to physical and psychological harm because many people find them pleasurable.

The saffron zealots who prepared and endorsed the obnoxious booklet for pregnant woman are the ideological descendants of the Puritan.

  • Kalpana Sharma

    It is so surprising and also very sad that we tend to interpret everything that is being said in people’s welfare as perverted form of of Hindutva.
    If you do not want to follow, DON’T !!! Is anyone forcing you? Is anyone burning you at the stake for not complying? Then what is the problem and where is the harm in suggesting good things to people and leaving the decision on them?
    These are mere suggestions….not diktats unlike in other religions and countries!!!
    Please stop misinterpretation of things.
    And even doctors say to keep good thoughts in your mind and heart when you are pregnant and being a woman myself, you bet it’s true! Would you argue or fight with the doctors who say so?
    Doesn’t science say that that the babies in the womb can hear and feel everything? Why are we so hell bent in negating everything that this country has stood for and has advocated for centuries. It is sad that the generations of now have forgotten so many things which, had they followed, would have resulted in a better nation.
    I want to ask:
    Why do doctors advise women to be happy and calm when they are pregnant?
    Why are they advised to be stress free?
    Why are they advised to take care of their food and watch what they eat?
    Why are we not against anyone when these advise are given in general tobacco, for smoking , for drinking.
    Let us not be a hypocrite.
    Analyse with a logical, free, intelligent & a discerning mind
    Observe from different angles
    Understand with empathy
    And take you own decision!
    People who want to follow may do so!
    Others can make merry! Nobody is being forced…isn’t it?
    Do not mislead people into believing as if this emanates from hinduism or hindutva.
    And even if it does so….it is not a bad advise.
    It is just a good and sound advise.

    Do not please…I request…do not decry your very own rich and full of wisdom traditions just for the heck of having an opinion on anything and everything.