It’s taken three justices of the Supreme Court to try and make sure that one of the many dark corners of the Indian psyche gets a little light. About two dozen cases were filed against Tamil film star Khushboo for having the temerity to suggest that sex before marriage wasn’t exactly unheard of in this country— precisely the sort of thing that can get you into trouble in a repressed society which demands that all girls should be virgins on their wedding night.
This twisted morality is of a piece with the careless savagery with which a woman’s reputation was butchered in some sections of the media recently for being part of an Indian Premier League cricket franchise. Bad men are merely venal; bad women are—sharp intake of breath—promiscuous.
Some of these attitudes are reflected in the coverage of a woman alleged to be a spy for Pakistan—words such as spinster and honey trap are bandied about in the dispatches. Given such circumstances, the dismissal of the charges against Khushboo is to be wholly welcomed.