When did a kiss on the lips become un-Indian?

L'affaire Rakhi Sawant (or l'affaires Rakhi Sawant, since there is one every week) with the impossibly named Mika Singh shows that even our most liberated kind are the most hypocritical when it comes to lip-o-suction of the other kind.

Okay, maybe the complaint to the police over the alleged molestation ("Usne mera gala pakda aur bahut zor se kiss kiya") is serious and may be genuine although the unkind among us would like to see it as just a publicity ploy of the item girl.

Okay, maybe she has reason to feel aggrieved that, when all she was expecting was a gentle peck on the cheek in the grand and noble traditions of high society, Mr Singh should have had the nerve to place it with such force "Someplace Else".

Okay, maybe churumuri shouldn't bother with such trivial, frivolous, titillatory stuff when there are more pressing matters like, farmers' suicides and malnutrition of children, to worry about.

Still, since there is P. Sainath to take care of those weighty issues, we would be failing in our duties to let this pass.

(Please treat this as the appropriate time to curse journalists.)

Think of it. 

Ms Sawant, who poses half-nude in movies, doesn't think that that is an un-Indian thing to do for an Indian woman.

Ms Sawant who does her jatkas and matkas on stage, inviting charges of obscene behaviour, doesn't think that that is an un-Indian thing to do for an Indian woman.

Ms Sawant who thrusts her pelvis in our faces (and that of our sisters, mothers, wives and daughters, not to include their male halves) in itsy-bitsy clothes held up by hope, doesn't think that that is an un-Indian thing for an Indian woman to do.

But a lip-to-lip kiss ("he bit my lips twice") from someone she knows and has worked with, someone she planted a kiss on first, someone to whose party she went to upon request, is somehow not Indian. 

Really?

Sure, Ms Sawant's stage acts and cinematic actions come under professional behaviour, for which she is paid, and it would be ridiculous to expect her to behave the same way in her private life, too.

Sure, just because Ms Sawant is an item girl, she does not become easy meat for any testosterone-rich Singh or thing.

Sure, the videographed violence on the part of Mr Singh in such an act is something to be frowned upon.

But the issue is not the implicit violence alone, reprehensible as it is; the question is also the easy labelling. Is the lip-to-lip kiss really so un-Indian, as Ms Sawant—and Mr Singh's brother, the redoubtable Daler Mehendi—claim?

Listen to Sage Mehendi: "Party kissing is an unwelcome intrusion into Indian culture. It's not an Indian culture."

Since when? (Maybe not in public, not with strangers.)

By that yardstick, is a birthday party Indian? Is drink and dope at a party Indian? Is a kiss on the cheek or a welcome hug Indian? Is a slit skirt at a party Indian?

The Kama Sutra talks among other techniques, of the splitting of a bamboo, of the climbing of a tree, of the twining of a creeper, of the sporting of a sparrow.

It also says this, "When a man bites a woman forcibly, she should angrily do the same to him with double force." Doth Ms Sawant protest too much or is she just giving it a convenient Bharatiya spin in calling it un-Indian?

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Rakhi Sawant was featured in an interview on CNN-IBN over the weekend. Here is what she had to say when Anuradha SenGupta asked if, in the male-dominated film industry, men exploited women?

Rakhi Sawant: Mam, main bolti hoon ki vo zamana chala gaya ki men women ko nachate the. Aaj jo hai, women men ko nachate hai. Ye hamara zamana hai, you know. We can do anything. Sorry, guys. I am so sorry. (Gone are the days when men used to exploit women. Today, women exploit men. Women can do anything. Sorry, guys!)

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As that tall, topless, leggy Gujarati item-bhaiyya from the early 1900s would have said: "A thigh for a thigh only makes the whole world go blind."