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A bishop franco in all of us

By Prem Chandran SEX IS God-given. Sex is a celebration. Sex is life-giver. Sex, the ultimate in human pleasure, is .....




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09-28-2018
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Thumbs up A bishop franco in all of us


By Prem Chandran

SEX IS God-given. Sex is a celebration. Sex is life-giver. Sex, the ultimate in human pleasure, is also forbidden; and no sense of logic explains why it's so. Everyone who's someone, and more so those in the media, are baying for the blood of Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal. As his arrest happened the other day, it's not just the bishop who faced embarrassment. Christianity in India, reputed for its humanitarian, educational and health services, took a hit. Its sacred value systems and code of ecclesiastical conduct came in for scrutiny. The Indian media made a celebration out of the misdeed or misfortune of a bishop. Fact, however, is that there is a Franco in all of us. Human beings are programmed so. We may derive some vicarious pleasure by going overboard and targeting a Bishop Franco today. But he?s not alone in the dark world of reality.

To err, as the saying goes, is human. Bishop Franco has exceeded his brief. He went against the tenets of the faith; rather, he quietly rebelled against it. The human in him had the better of the priest in him. It happens. God might forgive him; but the Indian media and the society would not.

A nun exposed his unholy deeds. She?s projected as the victim of the bishop's animal passion. The bishop, even in his hour of disgrace, is silent like a tomb-stone. He's smiling though; and those who watched him being paraded around by uniformed cops, his face lit with a smile, were stunned. The bishop obviously thinks he?s being human ? and yet more sinned against than sinning. Vultures are hovering over his head, baying for his blood. A motor-mouth legislator, Christian himself, was not enthused. He was exercised over the perceived harm the whole scandal is brought to bear upon the sacred institution of Church. He posed the question, "If the nun willingly engaged in sex with the bishop for 13 times in a matter of four years, as she claimed, what was her provocation for the 14th time" For the media, this is time for celebration. It is providing a daily fare of what the readers/viewers in sex-starved India are keen on lapping up.

What should essentially have been a matter for the Church to look into and resolve without any fuss has been turned into India?s most celebrated witch-hunt. Politicians are what they are. They are secretly helping the bishop, so as to keep themselves on the right side of the Church; and openly siding with the nun, in order to please the womenfolk and win their votes. They are here to fish in troubled waters, not to guide the society on the right lines.

Christianity is not like the rudderless Hinduism. It has a hierarchy. It has an organisational set-up that functions better than that of most established governance systems. But, we the moral crusaders are not willing to give the Church a chance to resolve the matter in the best manner possible. We need to sit in judgment; we need to see the bishop languishing in jail.

We do not want to see reality. Hypocrisy is inbuilt in the Indian psyche. If there's no hypocrisy, there's no Indian.

This society was not like this in the distant past. We celebrated sex; and evidence is also to be seen in the temples of Konark and Khajuraho. That was the India of yore; landmasses ruled by the royals; long before desi netas made their ugly presence; and long before the British came calling on us and imported the Victorian era morals upon the hapless people here. Today, in the era after Sonia Gandhi, and after the Delhi gang-rape, a simple look a woman can land a man in jail. That's vote bank politics. No one is complaining, though. We are being made to be one up ono the fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia. Sonia Gandhi and her party still didn't win the next parliamentary polls. Rather, they are in retreat mode.

But, the Hindu fundamentalists running the government from the front now are keen on making things worse. Narendra Modi might be looking at newer ways to woo the women voters. Men and women with feet of clay can be rulers but they leave behind a bitter taste in our mouth. The Christian nun who made a hue and cry in public would not have gone this length, had it not been for the new laws that claimed to empower women against the "evil designs" of men. A partner in a sexual act suddenly turns victim.

The media has reason to celebrate and take up cudgels against the errant bishop. But, there's a limit. A Daily Mail or The Sun in the UK -- or the CNN or Sky News -- would not black out such news. They would come up with lurid details of what has happened. But, they would not go on and on. As days pass, they move on to other subjects. They have a fertile mind; unlike the morons in India who keep up the same campaign/crusade for ages. This writer happened to turn to some Malayalam TV channels for news one evening this past week. All the five news channels were engaged in the same trash at prime time -- what should be done with Bishop Franco.

India as a society has this problem. Hinduism, the dominant religion, increasingly advocates abstinence, prefers inaction rather than action; it sets itself against all acts of pleasure. Restraint and renunciation are what it advocates. This is not just in matters of sex but in life as a whole too.

I travel through cities at night. When I see a crowd of youths milling around in the late hour, I take it that there existed a railway station, or that it is an area inhabited by Muslims. Muslim youths remain active till around midnight; they swarm restaurants, shops, eat, and make merry in simple ways. Then they kick-start their mobikes and screech past streets. Hindu youths, as I know, dutifully retire to sleep by 10 at night. They are a more disciplined lot. The reason is also that, fed on a vegetarian diet, they have low energy levels. Part of our energy is spent on spiting others. The mental growth of the youths in other societies, be it in the east or the west, is far more high as this writer has often noticed -- be it in the societies in China, the South East Asia, Japan, Taiwan, or the Arabian land mass. Their energy levels are high. It is unlikely they waste their time spiting each other.

For India to grow, the first requirement is for its society -- and the overzealous hypocrites in the media -- is to change its mind-set. There has to be life for them beyond Bishop Franco. premcee@gmail.com

The writer is a former Editor of Khaleej Times and an activist of India Against Corruption

Last edited by Premchandran; 09-28-2018 at 10:56 AM
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