KKK – Karunanidhi-ji, Kushboo-ji and Kalaviyal April 1, 2010Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Desi Indian, General, Love and Life, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Uncategorized, Women and Children.
Tags: AIDs, HIV, Kalaviyal, Karunanidhi, KKK, Kushboo, Life, Love, morality, Nalamdana, safe sex, Sangam literature, supreme court, women, young
If this sounds like the Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK, a far right hate group, then let me explain. The KKK I am talking about, is just the anti-thesis of the white American KKK, in this blog entry.
The Dravidian KKK stands for the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Kalaignar Karunanidhi, the actress Kushboo who was brave enough to face eggs and tomatoes for her statement on pre-marital sex, and Kalaviyal, a literary treatise on pre-marital sex, that is part of the Classical Tamil Literature. If this sounds a bit like Greek and Latin, let me try to help – No, this is not Greek and Latin, this is Tamil – a Dravidian language that boasts of being the oldest living language, and one which is highly conventionalized. The subject matter of Classical Tamil literature is often highly complex for the uninitiated, but if you talk to a master, like our Chief Minister, Kalaignar Karunanidhi, he would probably simplify the poetry of the first three centuries of the Christian era. Now why ‘am I beginning to sound like a history teacher – for a reason !
Isn’t all history and related literature a reflection of the times and its people? So, if the early Christian era Tamilians, spoke of Kalaviyal, even eulogized it from an earlier era, does that mean that we can take a trip down the memory lane or even better, go on a time warp and believe that pre-marital sex is fine by 20th century Tamil standards – Maybe, unless this blog finds its place in the next modernized-Sangam Tamil literature, after I am dead and gone! And the background to this blog entry will not be the Chera genology and Nakkirar’s commentary, but Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s statement and Kushboo’s stance on it, and the Supreme Court’s observations.
But, the real question is, does the current Tamil society believe that anything that is “technically and grammatically correct, as per Tamil literature” is acceptable to us, now? Aren’t our young people getting into all kinds of personal and health-related issues because of indulgent behavior with their bodies, and the concept of love and sex?
Many young people who come to Chennai, considered the business capital and hub of Tamil Nadu – probably New York to those who are away from their conventional home towns – get their first fat salaries from IT and ITES jobs, go ahead and experiment with “being modern.” If you are part of the IT clan, there are plenty of one-evening stands and live-in relationships that you get to know, and begin to accept, as changing times of the society.
If someone, especially the political class, who are supposed to represent the people and their aspirations, make such completely disconnected statements about references to pre-marital sex being a slur on Indian women, stage walk-outs, pick on public personalities as their eggnog targets, drag the issue for more than 5 years, get media mileage out of it, then wait for an erudite scholarly Chief Minister to make a passing remark about Kalaviyal, then pick the threads from there again to begin moral policing on the younger generation, adding one more vociferous and meaningless statement to the public domain…phew, it beats me!
Where are we today? While Kushboo’s statement was only meant to showcase the need for women to take care of themselves, while Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s statement was only meant to highlight the fact that these issues tantamount to much ado about nothing and while the Supreme Court’s judgment is an acceptance of the reality of times, I wonder why isn’t anybody talking about supporting data?
Not-for-profit organizations like Nalamdana conduct outreach programs to educate young adults on protecting themselves, from HIV and AIDs. Jeeva and Nithya Balaji, key personnel at Nalamdama share from their experience that, while reaching out to more than 6000 college students, mostly young women, they were surprised by how little our younger generation understands about safe sex.
Moralities apart, there is enough supporting data in this country to show that educating young people on HIV, AIDs and safe sex, is a must, and it has to be done on a war footing. Why would our democratically elected representatives, waste their time talking about values of a bygone era – which in any case seems to be only a colonial perception. Why wouldn’t traditional media talk about the need to protect our young people, and cite the KKK connections to create positive interest in these subjects? Why wouldn’t the learned men of our judiciary make pointed, clear judgments and not make oblique can-also-be-read-the-other-way kind of judgments, skirting real issues?
Why do we wait for others to lead us into living our lives?