“No trial and no exchange on undergarments”

Duh! I should hope not!

The question is, do stores that do not explicitly state this policy allow trials and exchange of underwear?

Interesting question, that. Adds a whole new and sinister dimension to that mild, innocuous itch, doesn’t it? 🙂

I am truly in awe of the possessors of great foresight. Of visionaries. And when the person concerned is part of the government, that awe is tinged with wonder. Because the government is the last place one expects to see any foresight or vision.

All this while, we thought that indefatigable loyalist, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was a gray, unremarkable man, remaining in the corridors of power simply by virtue of loyalty. (Lesser mortals might sneer and prefer to use the word sycophancy, but not me. As an exalted denizen of the trees, I choose to use the word loyalty.)

Mr. Azad, as part of his job as Minister for Health and Family Welfare, has gone above and beyond the call of duty – brought upon, no doubt, by the urge to top the impressive achievements of his equally brilliant predecessor – and hit upon a great idea for population control.

Late Night TV.

To ensure that we don’t breed like rabbits, ‘Watch TV Instead Of Having Sex’ seems to be his prescription.

A brilliant insight. Kill ardour, snuff out passion – and voilà, you have population control. Some may argue that marriage performs exactly the same function. But most kids I know are legitimate, so obviously marriage as a means of population-control-through-the-death-of-passion hasn’t worked very well.

The idea that the childish, convoluted crap that passes for TV programming takes away our sexual urges is not new. In fact, it might actually be borrowed from – horror of horrors – the BJP. But to actually see it as a policy instrument – that’s brilliant. And the best part is, you don’t even need new programming. Just re-run the DD archives. The Krishi Darshans, the Saptahikis, the Pragati Ke Ores….believe you me, these are lethal. Any residual sexual urges will be annihilated.

So where’s the vision, you might ask? What about that foresight you were extolling?

You see, the brilliance of the idea lies in the fact that it solves many problems.

Abstinence is always a hit with the moral brigade, regardless of religious affiliations. The fact that there are other people not having sex must make them happy. It’s like sharing their pain. Then, they’ll be pleased that the ‘new’ TV programming will be in sync with ‘our cultural values’ – meaning no racy stuff, no skin, no corrupting influences. So they’ll start behaving. Hopefully.

The biggest pay-off, however, is this: even if one assumes for a moment that most households will be able to ‘jugaado’ a TV set, they will still need electricity to watch it. If this scheme is implemented, 60 years of gross mismanagement and sheer incompetence in the power sector get knocked off. Let the H&FW ministry have a go at power generation. They really can’t do any worse than what we have already seen. And they just might surprise us all.

The cynics and sceptics might feel it would be easier and more cost-effective to educate people about the various methods and benefits of contraception, to incentivise birth control and to efficiently ensure free access to condoms, pills and diaphragms. To them, all one can say is, Shoo! Go away. We don’t need your negativity to dampen this kind of enthusiasm and out-of-the-idiot-box thinking. You’re the same lot that believes in Sex Education, you dirty sods.

We, the people, will have a new trade-off: Electricity in lieu of Sex. I think most Indian couples will jump (no pun intended) at this choice. Sex is not that electrifying, anyway. More power to the people. Besides, as true Indians, if we don’t keep our part of the bargain, and indulge in a safe-tumble-in-the-hay after we have been granted access to electricity, who’s to know, eh?

* Electricity Or Sex?

Jenny and Dave, of Our Delhi Struggle, are running a fund-raising project with the objective of bringing sanitary pads to poor women in rural India who risk vaginal and urinary tract infections (and thus illness, incontinence, and infertility) during every period from puberty to menopause. Please check it out at http://ragstopads.com/ and spread the word.

Since writing my last post, The Government as Moral Guardian, which talked about how the government tends to focus on ridiculous stuff, while critical matters are given short shrift, I came across this related bit of information: India has the highest number of children under five years of age who don’t receive proper health care. The annual “state of the world’s mothers” report pegs the figure at 67 million, which adds up to 53 per cent of the total population of under-five children in the country. Read the full article here.