(MONOIT LAHIRI investigates this troublesome subject.)
These - and other seductive slogans - seem to have emblazoned Young India's [Gen next in the age group between 15-25] heart and soul in a fashion that spells TROUBLE! Why? Because Surveys prove that Young urban Indians consider pre-marital sex "cool" and "not a big deal", with over 20% of girls fearlessly registering pregnancy cases in Hospitals and Nursing Homes. The Survey also states that in this very same age group, every third teen is NOT a virgin! It further states that 50% of these girls lose their virginity in college and 22% in school. Both boys and girls seem pretty casual about losing their virginity with (2/5th) of the girls saying they didn't mind losing their virginity to a "casual acquaintance"! The most startling revelation of all is the fact that while 65% of the boys wanted to marry the girl they lost their virginity to, 42% of the girls DID NOT!!
What does one make of all this? Social Scientist Mansi Sabharwal offers a clear-eyed and pragmatic take "It is a clear sign of the times we live in. With rampant consumerism blitzing the country" and "westernization" perceived as progressive, hip and modern, sexual permissiveness is bound to happen since it comes with the territory. It's a part of the instant gratification times we live in, where competitiveness and peer pressure [across every conceivable facet of human life] makes every day living extremely complex. The young are both impressionable and vulnerable and without the required monitoring, remain soft targets." Mrs. Arati Dey, a conservative Bengali housewife with two college going daughters is shocked. "My God, what's the world coming to?! Virginity is an unmarried girl's most precious and prized possession - gehna - and to casually give it away - chhee! chhee! It speaks of the pathetic value systems of these kids and I lay the blame squarely on their parents. How have they brought them up, without any moral values? And the girls not wanting to marry the boys who've taken their virginity - unbelievable! Where is their sense of self-respect?" While the matronly lady was going tongs n' hammers on her tirade, she didn't notice her two pretty daughters … quietly giggling!
Maya Varde (name changed) age 18, lost her virginity in school two years ago and has no regret whatsoever. "We were buddies. The attraction grew and we had sex. Big deal. Today, I am in a relationship with someone and sex is a part of the package. Let me make one thing clear: Safe sex is perfectly acceptable, cool and great! It is an expression of both, caring and passion. Why hang on to it and lock it in your closet till you get married? How dumb! Most of my pals are non-virgins. No issues. It's a personal thing - no idiotic morality is involved. Only - make love; not babies!
Lots of urban kids [openly and privately] agree with many sitting on the fence, not quite sure which way to turn. Ratna Apte, a gyne at a hospital, believes it's a disturbing sociological phenomenon. "At one level, it completely decimates the entire body of empirical history and value systems preached and practiced across centuries and generations, without fear or remorse. The girls [especially] appear consenting partners, confident, eager and willing to go for it. If pregnant, they don't seem to be worried; abortion is one step away. Smart girls are totally clued into the new-age pills … so life is under control. As for the moral stigma, they see to it that their illicit pleasures are done discreetly so no probs. Scary, huh?"The last words, fittingly, belong to an elderly wise and benevolent Professor who's seen it all. "We live in tumultuous and turbulent times where value systems are being challenged, destroyed and re-written every day. Kids need to be given love, care, protection, guidance and sensitively nurtured to face life. Double incomes, disposable money, excessive pampering [due to guilt through lack of attention] sends out wrong signals, which frequently translates into wild aberrations. How can you blame them? Where were you - as parents - during their formative years of adolescence, when changing bodies and psyches needed your gentle and sensitive counsel? As you sow, so shall you reap! Don't blame the kids. By your selfish self-centeredness, insensitivity and negligence, YOU have deflowered them long before the deed actually happened. Look inside, people. The enemy is within!"
"Ring out the Old … Ring in the New."
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is where it's at!"
"Don't look Back - look Ahead.""You've come a long way, baby."
"Way to go, girl!""Hey, you ain't seen nothing yet!"
"Just do it!"