Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nithyananda and the case of pseudo morality coupled to incurable voyeurism.

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.”
-Oscar Wilde.

It was big sensational news in a long time. Video clippings of a famed godman in a compromising position with a woman (an actress, so the sensation doubles) beamed in a leading channel in its primetime news. Scandalous godmen or their exposed exploits are not new to us. From a humble fortune-teller to an internationally renowned holy man, we have seen them all being brought down from their thrones of sanctitude and celebrity because of their unholy deeds. The media had been so ruthless and unsparing when dealing with such men and they know that news of a scandalous godman is always more sellable than of a politician making crores fleecing the general public.

If you want to settle a score with your rival or to improve the TRP rating of your channel or to increase the dipping circulation of your periodical, all you need to do is to clandestinely fix a video camera in a vantage angle in your enemy’s or any celebrity’s bedroom (unless your enemy is a celebrity the scandal is not going to get the media attention it requires). Naturally men could hardly resist biting the bait called woman and when the amorous acts of the person goes public you triumph with your hands down, and it is the end of that person’s public life.

The incident involving Nithyananda raises many a discomforting questions and most of them point to the sheepish psych of our community which could be ignited and exploited at the slightest pretext that evolves around pseudo morality. One is numbed at the acts of the media (electronic) which stoops too low to serve the people with materials of voyeuristic quality in the disguise of news and ‘warning’ on the sole purpose of improving TRP ratings. If it had been a scandal involving money or other things, except woman, our media wouldn't have paid much attention.

The phenomenon is dangerous. Readers and viewers who are gullible are taken for a ride and they are spoiled for good to be eager for more such filth. And thus we ruin a reader or viewer who could otherwise have been nurtured to become a neutral, rational onlooker to the happenings around him. In the case of Nithyananda it is up to the people who believe and follow him to deliver the judgment. He is not an elected representative of people or a public servant. He hasn’t breached any of the canon laws of Hinduism(at the first place is there canon laws in 
Hinduism?). As for as I understand, the argument that he has disgraced the religion of Hinduism is a tall claim. I don’t know whether this guy had preached celibacy and publicly vowed to adhere to it. If it isn’t so what he has done is nothing to complain about. (Celibacy is not a must for Hindu sanyaasis as it is for Roman Catholic priests and nuns, and we all know that Protestants do not adhere to celibacy too). After all, it seems he shares his bed with a willing partner only. If we are prepared to forgive someone who had peeked into a man’s bedroom and took video of him having sex with a woman, we should also be prepared to forgive that guy who is more of a victim than a perpetrator here.

The anger is not because that this man has brought disgrace to the religion. It is the wealth he has amassed and the fame he had earned in India and overseas in the name of religion. If this man is a pauper sanyaasi we would have no qualms whatever he does. What Nithyananda has earned might have come to him as voluntary offerings and possibly not through coercion or threaten, so it is legitimate. His spiritual means,right or wrong, might have offered solace and guidance to some people and that was why he had a huge following. If we argue that these aren’t fair we should have said that when this man was doing them in broad daylight. If we had preferred to wait until some television channel to broadcast his amorous acts, it is solely our fault.

Sex scandals exposed through video footages have become effective tools of vendetta nowadays. People who indulge in such ‘sting’ operations and the media that give prominence to such news have immense faith in the voyeur in us. They know that voyeur is always ready to pick the cue and act upon it. He portentously invokes morality to prosecute the culprit while secretly takes delight in that supposed act of immorality. In the long run the harm such deadly cocktails of moral policing and voyeuristic pursuit can cause could be immeasurable and unimaginable.

(This is a reproduction of my Facebook note which I published on 04-03-2010.


  1. So true, but is not limited to that, morality is also an attitude towards superiority, i.e behaving better than someone else, in my case, being more reasonable, and conducting my moral behaviour despite being hated, despite suspicion, bias, worry or confusion. Morality isn't a normal thing to conform to society, nor is it a thing to protest or punch someone in the face to get your way, nor is morality rebellion as such. Nor is it moral to be cool when you hate other cool people. Cool is evil, no offence, in case you hate that I hated first, so fuck you, not me. Personally of course I love the man or woman who created any one website or web page, but I'm in a good mood. I find it difficult to act morally, anti-morally, or pseudo-morally due to an overloaded brain with too much peace going on. It's not that difficult. 1. I insist on my behaviour no matter what, 2. I do what I want and get all myself I want when I want it, 3. I ignore people's rules, regulations and codes and replace it with cowering with a suspicious feeling, and not giving a shit what the world thinks, wants or likes. and 4. Though I reject social or public approval I get approval by instinct/feelings, also if anything, it's acceptable to anyone who hates the behaviour of society or anyone who is irate against society, my motto is: society enforces rules therefore the problem is society, and not conforming is the cure. It's as simple as that. The sour attitude applies to all humans, for example in front of strangers, relatives, friends, housemates, anyone, even my mother, I wouldn't take a punishment or be virtuous under her desire for my suffering, my own suffering is my responsibility and I can suffer myself, the result of this is this: never listening to anyone, I follow my heart and insist on it, I do it what I want despite rules, the result is if my mother told me to do something against my television, sleeping, way of life, style of behaving, love, style, choice, etc, I'd say no, and the truth of this is I only disobey that which is contrary to my best interest, I disobey a non-value, and I take a value, even if my religion is not selfish, and do what I want, and have self-satisfaction. It gets extreme, the extremes I go to is avoiding medicine prescribed by a doctor, anything I hate is evil, I will even play that 'game', but that 'game' isn't really a game, it's every man for himself, and I must be self-fulfilling or I'll die. Therefore for a social religion like Krishna consciousness I'm still the same arrogant person who wants something and insists I must have it and I take it by force and value it by force. Who cares about society eh? I bet the cools will really think I'm stoned eh! They'll offer mary jane in honour of this, it will happen some time! You can't be far from heaven for ever!

  2. Concerning morality or my anti-moral system, everything to the individual (not to other people) has to be pleasurable, and for something that's not pretty, that's retarded or simply isn't a pretty sight, it still to oneself if not other people has to look, sound, feel, taste or smell pretty good. It doesn't have to seem good to other people, but simply avoid hurting them. It doesn't have to be too ideal or too pretty. Like ascetic practics, it has to look and feel pretty good, the food has to taste and smell and look good, the music to the individual has to sound good. It's not objective morality, it's a fact of necessity, otherwise it's chaos. And by feeling, sounding, looking, tasting and smelling good you don't push or force morals on anyone, you don't care how people behave, you don't set rules for anyone unless you have authority. You don't try to make people copy your moral behaviour. Because it has to be good by sensation (pretty much, that's just an opinion), ugly things are a right, not a banishment, therefore by enjoying things that are ugly it's morally right because you're enjoying something better than people think is important. Therefore it's better than the beautiful by sight or otherwise because you're tough enough for that. Therefore 5 senses doesn't make it objective, it's not objective because not all good things fit comfortably in that, my second moral belief is what feels right, not feels good, because suspicion feels bad, it's reality, therefore I go somewhere else and do something else (ethical subjectivism). I have reasons behind my emotional feelings: I avoid what feels suspicious, I suspect someone will literally kill me, I run away or do something else, therefore I stay alive, it's logical.