Author: Rita BanerjiPublisher: PenguinYear: 2008Language: EnglishPages: 417ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143064718
‘Sex underlies Human Existence. And if Human Life is Sacred, How can sex not Be?.As squeamish as India is today about sex, this is also the land where queens once copulated with dead horses at religious ceremonies, where the art of love-making was declared the revelation of the gods and recorded in elaborate detail in the kama sutras and prostitution was a form of sacred offering at temples adorned with erotic sculptures. Using India as a paradigm, Rita Banerji illustrates that sexual morality is not an absolute but a facet of living that undergoes periodic upheavals. She delineates four major periods in Indian history when there were significant shifts in the collective social perception of sex and sexuality, and the associated customs and beliefs. What causes this revision in sexual ethos? To explain this, Sex and Power proposes a modified version of Nietzsche’s slave versus master morality theory. The theory, which is tested against the dynamics of each of the four defined periods, establishes that the moral overview of any given period is determined not by a set of pre-existing ethics but by the existent power structure of the period in question. The accepted moral code actually serves the party in power. How would this theory play out in the context of India today? Banerji examines this question at length as one of extreme urgency, and concludes that the three most burning issues facing the country today – population explosion, AIDS and female genocide – are the manifestations of a collective sexual malfunctioning of society and need to be redressed in the context of an existent social and economic power hierarchy.
AcknowledgementsINTRODUCTIONThe Maligned SerpentIn Defence of SexSex: The Ultimate Power weaponOrigins of new Sins and ShameSacred Master, Sex Slave: Cycles of MoralityThe Chronicla of Sex: An Indian TalePART ITHE VEDIC PERIOD: SEX AS A SACRED DUTYHinduism’s Family TreeSex and the Creation TheoryThe Altar to VirilityDivine SemenWomen in the Vedic Sex EquationHarnessing the SlaveJung and the Penil ArchetypePART IITHE BUDDHIST PERIOD: SEX AS A PRISONThe Precipitants of a New SacrednessBreakdown of the Vedic PatriarchyThe Search for ChangeBuddha, the RevolutionaryNew, Rebellious IdeasBuddhism: The Slaves’ Civil DisobedienceThe Expulsion of SexEvolution of the Collective ConsciousnessWhy Buddhism Failed in IndiaThe Mind at Odds with the BodyPART IIITHE GOLDEN PERIOD: SEX AS SALVATIONWhen the Slave Became MasterLove: The People’s MovementThe Resurrection of the Love GodRepositioning Sex in SocietySex as Art and ScienceSex and the Creative DriveThe Psychological Dimension of SexWomen on the WarpathTantra: Undoing the DualityEmergence of the Lingam-YoniEmbracing the Human Expression of NirvanaPART IVTHE COLONICAL PERIOD: SEX AS SHAMEThe Arrival of IslamThe Birth of Hinduism and a New Moral IncentiveHypocrisy of the New Master ClassThe British PreludeSafeguarding the ChasteThe Indispensable SinSex in the Power EquationRedefining WomenThe Indian Woman AwakensGandhi: The Moral Architect of Modern IndiaPART VTHE DEMOCRATIC PERIOD: A SEXUAL PARADOXTwo Worlds, One NationWho Will Be Master of the Democratic World?Women as Sex objects for the PatriarchyKilling the ‘Other’The Puzzle of the Lingam –YoniIndia at a Crossroads: Which Way will It Go?Notes ReferencesIndex