Sexual Health: How is it undermined in India & what are its effects?

Arjun, resident of a remote city in Haryana, while making attempts to discover his innate self in the young stage of adulthood came across Monica, of the same age, at a dating site. Although she was from Delhi, the young couple was indifferent to such trivial impediments and, unsurprisingly, within few days they were blessed by being inflicted with cupid’s arrow.

Days passed by, so as weeks, months and years, and their relationship culminated in an inalienable bond. The couple found each other’s company as their safe haven which provided them security, intimacy and a unified recognition. But, as fate would have it: this was found unacceptable to the “wise and learned” of the society i.e. their parents, and elderly members of their clan and community.
unfortunately, when the couple dissented and defied these social forces being enforced upon them — they were burnt alive in order to stifle their voices/opposing choices!

I urge you to look around and observe the existence of various such Arjuns and Monica’s around you who are struggling routinely for their dignity. It’s appalling as to how the society that is still shackled from the orthodox dogmas of morality and decency is penetrating into the private life of the others in a way that it is robbing others of their sexual autonomy/rights which forms as an incumbent portion of one’s mental health. Our society has not only remained privy to the notion of sexual health of an Individual, but it has rather pushed it out of the contours of permissible talks. The concern of sexual health in India and its relation vis-a-vis Mental health is sadly not an issue which has surpassed the taboo behind such conversations.

But, before delving into its effects, let us understand what does it means to have sexual autonomy? Sexual autonomy means having a right to practice sex, in whatever form, with a partner of one’s choice to the highest attainable standards of pleasure without any fear of coercion, and violence. Especially in consideration of the position of sexual health in India, I would like to state that it also encompasses engaging in sexual activities without fearing any discrimination, like in case of LGTBQ community, and in addition, having autonomy over reproduction and pregnancy issues for women.

The rationale behind ensuring the enjoyment of such rights is that they are salient and fundamental for every Individual, and such choices are very much a part of one’s dignity and liberty. Thus, robbing an individual from these choices is akin to stripping him off his dignity which will directly affect his state of mind as no individual can live a peaceful life devoid of his right to live with dignity and sans his liberty. Any act otherwise to this is simply overpowering and regulating him as a puppet.

It’s high time that we should understand that merely because one’s actions/conducts are contrary to our moral expectations, we have no right regulate their lives irrespective of our social position, and the most we can do of that situation is to cut off relationship ties from them. But please – LET THEM LIVE WITH DIGNITY.

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