Some time ago, I somehow landed up on a Sri Lankan forum discussing sexuality in that country, and why it is such a taboo topic.
The discussion spoke about how, at one time, physical intimacy was a serious topic, and had many educational scriptures dedicated to it, so that young men and women could obtain authentic information. They also said that this was the case until the European colonisers arrived. Here, they thought, was when the problem arose.
The Europeans apparently did not like the Islanders' sense of style in both clothing and as a society. They were used to Victorian prudishness in both dress and education, and found it unsettling to be in a country that spoke openly about sexuality, and dressed for the hot and humid local climate- in revealing attire.
The forum articulated that the people of Lanka adopted the frameworks of their colonial masters in both fashion and societal norms, and that now, many years later, they believe these conventions to be their own: that Lankans take intimacy as a taboo topic, and view any skimpy outfits as outrageous.
Well, I liked this discussions for many reasons, not least because it was open and honest. Also that the description is so true for my country as well... The only difference is that India also had the advent of Islam many years before the Europeans ever set foot on our land. This obviously affected the general systems at the time, and since we have had centuries of Muslim rule on almost the entire country, their sensibilities naturally affected their subjects.
As an Indian, I often realise that inconsistencies are an inseparable part of life. Nobody is on time, corruption and red tapism have permeated all aspects of our society, and there are so many similar subjects that drive me both to distraction and a sort of cynical amusement in equal parts.
I think the funniest, and therefore the most frustrating also, is the Indian take on sexuality and morality. Physical intimacy is mostly wrong here, and viewed with such bigoted suspicion, that it leaves most people unsure and confused.
This is a country where a major scandal occurred because a politician thought a (vibrating) condom was a sex toy, and therefore illegal, but more importantly also against our culture. This is also a country where sexual repression and female infanticide and foeticide has lead to a statistic of a rape every three minutes.
This, astonishingly, is also the country of the Kamasutra and Khajuraho. Or at least it was.