India Today: Sex, Drugs, and Sports?

Sep 28, 2005

In a quick leaf through my Uncle's September archives of weekly India Today magazines, I spotted these headline stories:

  • Sex and the Single Woman:
    In 2003, 73% condemned pornography; now its 29%. In 2003, 57% said premarital sex is wrong; now it's 46%. In 2003, 78% were against extramarital sex; now it's 66%. For more than 72% of the populace, their first sexual experience was before the age of 21.

  • The High Rise: "With cocaine and ecstasy crowding the menus at parties, nightclubs, pubs and even coffee chains, the upper middle class is hooked to a new high. Stressful lifestyles and easy money are creating a fresh profile of drug abusers across the metros."

    "These days people don't drink at parties, they don't even want sex. Designer nights today are all about chilled water, energy drinks, senseless humour, trance music, and shooters. And shooters are no swipes of Vodka laced with flavours; they are shots of cocaine and heroine taken intravenously."

  • Sania Mania: "the plucky 18-year old with her attitude, aggression and ambition electrifies the world, wins handsome endorsements and emerges as India's hottest new sporting icon." The story shows photos of some of the tennis phenom's t-shirts: "I'm cute. No S***", "Whatever", "You can either agree with me or be wrong." It also proceeds to mention that "Brand Sania is now worth 1.5 crore", the second strongest in India behind Sachin Tendulkar.

It's disappointing to see reputed magazines market sex, party-going youth accept a culture of drugs, and corporations branding anything that is somewhat successful. I wonder if cover stories on sex affect next year's survey result, if the upper middle class knows that Rs. 4000/gram of coccaine costs more than the annual family income for a Bombay slum dweller, if people (or even Sania) understand that Sania gets 1.5 crores in sponsorship because corporations think they can use her to sell stuff worth 15 crores. I really wonder.

They say India is poised to become a super-power in the next decade. I can't tell if that's good news or bad.

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