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Sun, Feb 11 | 3:30PM | SilverCity 3
One-third of India’s states ban sex education in schools, leaving a gaping hole between government-imposed restrictions and what the people really need. Into this chasm has stepped the Mumbai Mirror’s Sexpert columnist – 93 year-old Mahinder Watsa.
In a country of 1.2 billion it might seem surprising that any mention of sex education is forbidden (except for recommending abstinence) as if not talking about the subject will mean that people won’t indulge in it. Ignorance is prevalent, the population has exploded and to address that, Dr. Watsa gives advice without judgment combined with a healthy dose of humour, answering questions people are afraid to talk about: masturbation, fetishes, bananas and other topics from the ordinary to the bizarre.
Watsa laboured in obscurity for four decades. The high profile he has suddenly gained in the last few years is a testament to the generational divide over the approach to this subject.
The time to challenge archaic notions seems to have come. At this year’s VFF, the same themes take a narrative form in the film What Will People Say where a teenage Pakistani girl living in Norway is sent back to Pakistan where the taboos can be haunting for a kiss in the street.
Director Sinha uses images to play off the topics discussed and highlights the importance of Watsa’s work through interviews with fans and a core of sex educators who provide a broad perspective on the issue. Watsa, it seems, has a lot of happy customers.