Is sex without lust and attachment okay, Minister?
“The words ‘no sex’ do not feature at all in the booklet,” is Ayush ministry’s defence of its publication Mother & Child Care that says “Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hateredness and lust.”Updated: Jun 19, 2017 10:17 IST
“Said no to meat, not sex”, was India’s Ayush ministry’s defence of their booklet Mother & Child Care that advised pregnant women and new moms to eat no meat, have no sex and think spiritual thoughts.
“Some news reports carry an assertion that the booklet puts forward the “prescription” that “pregnant women in India” should “say no to sex after conception”. This is far from the truth. In fact, the words “no sex” do not feature at all in the booklet,” said the Ayush Ministry’s defence of its good book.
True, the word sex is not mentioned, most likely because many believe that it’s not propah to talk about sex and intercourse in a traditional society that is second only to China when it comes to populating the world.
Instead of acknowledging women, even spiritual and pregnant ones, may want sex and even enjoy it, the Ayush advisory recommends: “Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hateredness (sic) and lust.”
In saying it didn’t say no to sex, does that mean that the Ayush Ministry -- which was officially distributed the booklet on June 9 as part its press pack for International Day for Yoga 2017 – recommends pregnant women to have sex without lust, desire and attachment?
If it does, we’ll never know, because it seems the learned authors of advice on yoga and naturopathy do not like using the word “sex” in their advisory culled from, in their words, “relevant and useful information culled out from many years of clinical practice in the fields of Yoga and Naturopathy”.
Other inane and unscientific recommendations for expectant and new mothers include, among other things, having a sattvik (pure) diet without iron-and protein-packed meat and eggs, avoiding bad company, reading biographies of great personalities, and hanging “good and beautiful” pictures in the bedroom to benefit the baby.
“The suggestion that non-vegetarian food may be avoided (as Yoga & Naturopathy doesn’t advocate non-vegetarian food in its practice) has been singled out for highlighting in some reports,” complains the ministry. That’s one thing they got right. The advice was highlighted because it’s scientifically incorrect.
What’s not been singled out by the media but deserves mention is the section on yoga counselling, which recommends pregnant women and new mothers get counselled “to change the basic notions about life, death and the purpose of living” and for “improving interpersonal relationship by understanding the basis of pure love”.
It’s highly judgmental to assume women’s beliefs, pregnant or not, need changing, that they want them changed or that their interpersonal relationship is imperfect and their love impure.
More than a crash course on life, universe and everything, what pregnant women and new mothers need is physical, mental and nutritional support by those around them.
Nutritious food in their stomach will benefit them far more than a “mud pack on abdomen”, and the sooner our learned scholars accept and advocate that, the happier and healthier will India’s mothers be.
First Published: Jun 15, 2017 15:42 IST