Dwaipayan sent me this:
Legendary Thai senator Mechai Viravaidya, who single-handedly crafted Thailand’s success story against AIDS, has inspired India to find its very own condom man. India’s National Aids Control Programme chief K Sujatha Rao, who just returned from Thailand after studying the phenomenon called "Mechai", has decided to find a man who will be India’s desi "Mr Condom".
with a comment that they might be looking for me.
The idea of India's on Mr Condom is a welcome one, but given the diversity and the size of our country we might need a number of them. Getting an Indian politician to wholeheartedly endorse contraceptives is a little difficult (though Narendra Modi had his photos on some of them). Recently Madhya Pradesh PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya raised a hue and cry over Crezendo, a condom with a vibrating ring, marketed by the government owned Hindustan Latex Limited. While the roads of Madhya Pradesh remain a back breaker, the Minister is unnecessarily concerned about people breaking their beds.
"Condoms are used for family planning. When they are used for pleasure with devices like vibrators, they become sex toys," said the sex-toy wary Minister. But my argument is that, if added pleasure encourages people to use condoms, it should be welcomed rather than grimacing at the idea of someone else's orgasmic ecstasy.
Here where a change of government leads to the change of focus of the campaigns, a Mr Condom will find the going tough. A previous government preferred abstinence over the rubber. Good idea, but it is easier to wear a hat than keep natural instincts at bay.
Though many female celebrities endorse female contraceptives, there is a sort of stigma associated with the male condoms. It would be difficult to find someone whom the general masses would heed to lead such a campaign. I think it is where our cinema can come in. Since we have moved ahead from flowers, birds and fireplaces symbolising sexual activity on celluloid, we might just show our actors going for a rubber (or actresses asking their partners to wear one) before doing it. Usually films make fun of condoms, especially the often embarrassing experience of purchasing a pack. Fun is fun, but if a little responsibility is added it would get so much better.
Meanwhile let us think of potential candidates to don the rubber hat.