The Kinsey reports that came out in 1948 and 1953 on the sexual orientation of the American males and females well and truly set the cat among the pigeons and shred to pieces notions about what was normal sexual behaviour in the US. A good 70 years later, if one part of the world deserves a similar effort by a worthy descendant of Alfred Kinsey, it surely would be Kerala.
Unlike the authors of the Kinsey report who had to struggle to pin down men and women into various behavioural categories, those who decide to research the libido of the present-day Malayali would face a far easier task.
The data has already been put out by many newspapers and TV channels in the State over the past many months and all that needs to be done is come out with a few gripping Freudian, neo-Freudian and post-Freudian hypotheses and then go on to classify under each head the manifold sexual perversions that have tied up Malayalis in multiple knots.
Earlier, Malayalis had to wait long to come across a meaty sex scam. And when it finally came their way, the effort was to pin the scam down to a few known names, including politicians. The net quotient by way of a takeaway from the whole exercise was that such sex escapades were the sole domain of the privileged class, who alone were villains and at the receiving end were some hapless young girls who got ensnared by these villains.
But as we track these lurid journeys, for want of a better benchmark, right from the days of the Suryanelli scam in 1996, through the ice-cream parlour case that gave a ridiculously sinful nuance to even plain vanilla ice-cream, not to mention the flavoured ones, and then a parade of scams over the ensuing years, strangely, it always came with a political angle. For the outsider, looking in, it was as if Malayalis couldn’t indulge in any activity without bringing in which political side he was on.
Try for size the Kothamangalam scam, followed a while later by Kiliroor, then by Varappuzha and Paravoor. Of course, the solar scam that began sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of people about the mandate they gave to the UDF government came with generous helpings of alleged sexual liaisons. It was as if an entire government was dancing to the tune of a libidinous orchestra.
And nobody can ignore how the balance at the hustings was tilted that little bit by the till then unsolved Perumbavoor case. Though the culprit came from the migrant labour, it did not stop the rumour mills from dishing out stories linking political leaders.
Over the past few months, the floodgates have been opened; what was till now a trickle, is now a virtual downpour. It’s as if we now live in the la la land of perversion. Horrifying cases of sexual assaults from within the family, arraying father against daughter, grandfather against granddaughter, uncles against nieces and so on keep pouring out with sickening regularity. Some cases are so sick that the aggrieved parties withdraw cases against the culprits as they are either siblings or one’s own progeny.
Speak to some of our leading psychiatrists and the refrain is singular in terms of identifying the major source of all evil — it is without doubt the free access to online pornography that’s floating around, waiting for those with smartphones and sufficient Internet connectivity to tap down. Therefore, this transformation from the days of watching ‘Adult’ content, along with others, in all probability in a cinema hall to a personalised viewing is without the knowledge of your near ones. Today, it is a dangerous cocktail where drugs and alcohol feed sexual perverts who crave to imitate the activities they see on screen.
When a 60-year-old man rapes a 90-year-old woman and when a 12-year-old boy fathers a child with a 17-year-old girl, the writing is clearly on the wall — there is something seriously wrong going on here. Each and every unit of society, starting with the family, needs to introspect on what our priorities are. And it certainly does not help when the rogue’s gallery is adorned by a fair share of priests, with a sprinkling of moulavis and poojaris thrown in, then the die has been cast. The very fact that priests expect the church to defend them speaks volumes. From Kottiyur to Muzhakunnu to Idukki, it is a relentless march of depravity that has descended on Kerala.
Now, a bit of statistics and a close look at a conspiracy theory that’s been quietly doing the rounds for a while now. It is being argued that the spurt in child sexual abuse cases is not recent and that it goes back to 2013. The police certainly believe they are being given a raw deal by warring interest groups who want to settle scores using the Home Department, which is handled by the chief minister. For the last three years, at least three sexual abuse cases were being registered in the State each day, say top sources in the police. They can’t digest why the media is suddenly going hyper with it.
Data with police reveals that the number of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) cases has been on the rise, though. The number of cases registered stood at 1,002 in 2013, 1,380 in 2014, 1,569 in 2015 and 2,093 in 2016. At a micro-level, they say the month of January has always been bad. If there were 149 POCSO cases in January 2017, it was 174 in January 2016, 103 in January 2015 and 120 in January 2014. Yes numbers do matter. But there is a larger truth that goes beyond the numbers.
Just as one thought sex scandals had come off the VIP perch and had gravitated down to the level of your next door neighbour, comes Sunday’s shocker from Kerala transport minister A K Saseendran — a sleaze call between him and an unidentified lady, being aired by a TV channel. For a change, the accused politician paid the price as Saseendran quit office with immediate effect. Clearly, the time is rife for the people to wake up to this harsh reality. That it will spare nobody, unless you are on the guard. Always.
Resident Editor, Kerala