The Indian Male

'Evidence is, the urban Indian male hasn’t really changed. He is cocooned as he has always been in a sort of prolonged infantilism – a hatchery protected by doting mothers, fathers, sisters, girlfriends, and society itself. As Mukul Kesavan, author of the The Ugliness Of The Indian Male And Other Propositions says, “The Indian male’s bullet-proof unselfconsciousness comes from a sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household.”

Turn to the men in the lives of People Like Us — fathers, husbands, brothers, lovers, colleagues and friends — and Kesavan’s prognosis looms everywhere. They seem innocuous, but beneath the surface, the twitchy, occasionally grubby person with a collegiate sense of humour milling everywhere around you is perhaps only a milder version of the raving beast in the news clips.

This innocuous man never makes the news because what he does is not news. He leverages power so casually it seems to be his by natural right. To him and to others around him — us — it is legitimate for him to exert measured but highly effective violence to protect his way of life. He is the man who is impeccably well-behaved everywhere but at home, where he throws plates if meals are late. The man who finds it difficult to deal with his girlfriend’s higher income. Who assumes all young women are interns or secretaries or have slept their way up the professional ladder. Who assumes his teenage sister-in-law does not mind his copping a feel as long as she stays under his roof. Who discusses the difference between analytic and synthetic philosophy with his students while forgetting to introduce the wife who brings in tray after tray of coffee. He is the one who tells his much loved and high-powered daughter that if she comes home later than 7pm after work, she is without morals. The one who wearing designer shirts, drinks in designer bars but does not flinch from casually slapping his designer wife in spaghetti straps. He is the one who brings the attitude of the thwarted child to any zone of conflict: an accident on the road, a difference of opinion with a spouse or child, an employee not subservient enough. The hushed whisper families maintain around the tyrant of the house is uncannily similar to the ones that surround a colicky baby.'

- Nisha Susan, 'Why Indian Men Are Still Boys'.


supriya said…
I couldn't agree more. Indian men will always remain chauvinists.From Kushwant Singh to the Bajrang Dal they are the same breed. But i must say (or rather its my secret hope) that with every generation they are getting slightly better.Mind you, slightly!Am keeping my fingers crossed though, because in all probability i might end up with one for life!
Ray Titus said…
Why am I squirming..? :) Hey, but there's some light at the end of the tunnel, isn't there, Supriya?

Keeping fingers crossed for you. :)
supriya said…
But the tunnel is too dreadful. not really worth the light at the end!! But i guess Indian women are hopeless optimistists.Nothing will stop them from hoping for better days (should i say, men?) to come their way? :)

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