I will never understand hindus. No, I do not speak as a general statement. There are a lot of things that I do not understand about my religion. On the one hand it is the most openly varied religion that is, and the other hand it holds all the sanctions and constraints that I can think of. But the issue that bothers me most, is the refusal of contemporary civilized humans to accept nudity in its natural form.As though we are so ugly that it is shameful. Why should we be ashamed of ourselves?? If I got a chance I’d walk around naked through the city…Maybe not. But we’ll get to that later.
Man is such a hypocritical being. We all accept the fact that there is no other means of creation possible, other than the method of ‘Original Sin’, if I may use that term. Adam needs an eve, so why condemn it as a sin? Another thing that bothers me is the snobbishness regarding nudity. More so Hindus objecting to this in works of art.. Gimme a break!!! If you were to condemn nudity, we wouldn’t have a Hindu culture. They are the people who worship a male phallus embedded within the cervix ( the Shiva linga). Oh, but that is okay. OF course it is okay!! I remember one of my tours to the elephanta where a foreigner was asking a tour guide what the linga was. The guide just left at the fact that it is lord Shiva. Why are we so ashamed of ourselves? If ‘God’ wanted us to be civilized and ‘decent’ he would have sent us with clothes!!! How many works of art would you vandalize to ban nudity? Michelangelo’s ‘David’, “the Venus De Milo’. Go ahead, destroy a few Davincis and Raphael’s on the way. You might as well consider banning the ‘Ramayana’ by Valmiki, where he describes Rama in his entire ‘fullness’.
And what about ‘Lord Shiva’? I like him. He is a rock star. Long hair, no clothes(do not believe those deerskin clad pics) happy forever. HE drinks when he wants, smokes cannabis and dances to the music of the dead. He does not care for society, not for money or the well being of other gods. He lives in a graveyard, or in the most arid places. No wonder then that among the Hindu trinity, he is the only one bestowed with the artistic qualities of song and dance. Nataraja!!!
Art is different. It raises human thought and passions to another level. To see beyond what is and to portray what could be. Nothing is more pure than truth itself to be portrayed. And truth never comes clad in Ralph Lauren suits and Gucci shoes. It is stark naked. There is a sense of vulnerability in nakedness. A consciousness’ of our tender skin and temporal body. A constant awareness of death. Maybe that is why we are afraid. And to show our ‘gods’ naked would be to bring them down to the same plane. But aren’t they all trying to show us the same. That the images we create for them are temporal. They’ll change as ages progress.
I like MF Hussein. The guy is a star. When he wins plaudits abroad, he is an “Indian Artist’. So why can’t he portray Hindu gods and goddesses as they are in the
As Adam early in the morning,
Walking forth from the bower refresh'd with sleep,
Behold me where I pass, hear my voice, approach,
Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,
Be not afraid of my body.