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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

And in other news…

Picture this scenario in a school corridor.

Boy: Happy Birthday, Preeti. Girl: Thanks, Arjun.

They shake hands. Suddenly, red lights flash overhead and uniformed guards burst onto the scene. One of them blares through a megaphone, “Put your hands where I can see them and get on the floor, punk!” Half the guards quickly form a protective shield around the girl, taking her into custody, while the other half jump on the boy, pinning him down to the floor.

The one with the megaphone proceeds to frogmarch the hapless kids to the Principal’s office, where they’re told that they have the right to remain silent and anything they say can and will be used against them, so they should shut the hell up, while their parents are being informed that frankly, sex perverts like their children have no place in a respectable school like St. Soandso.

It could happen. Actually, it’s pretty much going to happen if a renowned school in Bombay has its way – the school authorities have decided to ban all physical contact between its male and female students.

And in related news, Mumbai Mirror carried an article a few weeks ago on how sex ed is going to be called “health education” by the Ministry of Education. Apparently, this is to appease parents.

I have one question to all Mumbai parents: HAVE YOU ALL COLLECTIVELY LOST YOUR MINDS?

Are you actually that mind-numbingly stupid that you believe that 14-year-olds don’t know what sex is? Or did you just jump from being a pre-pubescent moron to a 40-something moron without going through the whole hormonal overdrive phase in the middle?

You live in Mumbai, dammit. It is the home of Bollywood, the co-capital of the fashion industry and the Mecca of the Mass Media. Do you really want to pretend that none of these have anything to do with sex?

Sure, you want to protect your kids from growing up too soon. That’s understandable. That’s also bloody impossible. If you want your kids growing up without being barraged by the S-word, you’re going to have to stop them from reading newspapers (Britney caught without her panties on! Exclusive photos inside!), watching the news (Lindsay Lohan denies rumours of hot threesome) or watching any television at all (Of course it’s not silicone, says Rakhi).

Not that you haven’t tried. In fact, you tried so hard, you got cable TV banned in Mumbai for a few months. It was the obvious solution. After all, why bother using the remote control and switching to a “family channel”, when you can just file a PIL in the court and stop everyone from watching corrupting shows like F*R*I*E*N*D*S? And you didn’t just stop at that, did ya? You claimed that sex ed textbooks were actually sex manuals, encouraging teenagers to go at it like Casanova on viagra.

But banning physical contact between students is the icing on this relatively bizarre cake. What next? Blinkers as part of the school uniform, to stop lascivious glances across the classroom?

So be it. Who am I to question honest, upright citizens of the society, right? Please, by all means, encourage celibacy amongst teenagers using the most ridiculous solutions possible. And while you’re at it, maybe you can introduce birth-control among bunny rabbits too.

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