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India rising? Not so much. The great Indian penis cover-up

Just because there is not enough tension and rancour in the world already, a British scientist recently came up with a study that ranks countries by penis size.

Richard Lynn’s findings brought disastrous news for India Rising.

India came in 110th out of 113 countries with an average of just about 4 inches. Obviously the study is deeply flawed and terribly inadequate – even Bangladesh has whupped our ass. Our national honour is at stake.  (You can see the world map here and just for more jollies check out the map of penis sizes correlated with national IQ here.)

Representational image. AFP

We can call this “racism below the belt” as the blogger Tysonice does on the-nri.com claiming the world wants to “malign India” because we are a big threat to every other nations with our “huge brains” and our “ancient culture.” Tysonice boasts:

Personally I would like to console myself by saying that size does not matter, its the skill that really matters. Come on man, we are the Kamasutra guys. We invented sex. Before us, the world can be compared to cavemen hitting stones to make fire, until we came along with the Zippo.

Brave words, but size matters. Kareena Kapoor told Karan Johar that on national TV. Instead of wasting all this money on NREGA and other social welfare programmes, the government needs to focus on getting truly inclusive data, that goes across religious and caste divides, across the length and breadth of our great and diverse country from the Onges of the Andamans to Kashmir to the naga sadhus at the Kumbh mela because every eighth of an inch counts. Friends, Indians and countrymen, if  we can add just over 0.3 inches we will sneak by China.

And we can do it because mera bharat mahaan hai. “The average Indian penis is like no other,” Dr. R S Sharma, head of the Reproductive Health and Nutritional division at the Indian Council of Medical Research told Open Magazine. “Here, people from various ethnicity and physiques have to be accounted for.”  Our great diversity can actually work to our benefit instead of putting constant strain on the political system. We need to prove that it is not only our parliament that is hung.

It should not be that onerous a task to get the data because we are clearly obsessed with our penises. Any casual glance at one of those sex advice columns in a Sunday supplement makes it clear that Indians are constantly worried about not measuring up. I just saw ads that promised to address penis size problems on the wall next to a marriage hall. All this to say we remain a penis-centred society.

As Mukul Kesavan writes in his essay The Ugliness of the Indian Male, adjusting our privates is our national public pastime.

All Indian men do this, without exception. The refined ones do it furtively, but the majority do it openly without shame or embarrassment. A famous Indian batsman does it regularly with the butt end of his bat handle under the gaze of thousands of spectators.

So what’s preventing us from pulling down our drawers and getting to the task at hand?

Apparently, there is the great Indian penis survey and then there is the great Indian penis cover up. The survey was commissioned in 2000. It had a difficult time getting enough of our red-blooded mards to come forward for the national cause, but it did set up seven centres across the counry – Patna, Guwahati, Cuttack, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Hubli.  The results were submitted in 2006 but Open reports nothing came of it.

Were the results too disheartening for a government already reeling from scams and scandals? Did the government, simply put, lack the balls to say that our average condom size as specified by Schedule R of India’s Drug & Cosmetic Act was being wildly optimistic at 6.7 inches?

The previous study obviously floundered because the data was patchy. Men who volunteered chickened out. Men tended to lose their erections when doctors came at them with the measuring tape. The doctors tried their best by providing glossy magazines as supplementary visual aids and asking them to bring in their wives for a little extra stimulation. Who came up with that idea? Obviously not Sriprakash Jaiswal who got into such hot water for saying “an old victory, like a wife of many years loses its charm over time”. Anyway wife and husband at the gynecologist’s chamber sounds a little too much like family planning and brings back nightmares of copper-T ads popping up in the middle of Doordarshan telecasts. That's instant mood kill.

What our researchers should do instead is to let the Indian man loose online (with good broadband speeds). In fact why not move the laboratories of measurement from urologist and gynecologist chambers to our cyber cafés? That seems to be the natural habitat for rampant Indian manhood. Alternatively doctors’ chambers could be made up to look like crowded buses and trains since men  regard those venues as happy hunting grounds. The real trick to getting the Indian man truly excited is to include an element of covertness to the entire exercise.

Naysayers will carp and say that this is a huge waste of money that could be put to far better use researching the causes of Alzheimer’s or a vaccine for dengue. A US study found that fitted condoms do make a difference – 0.7% of fitted condoms broke versus 1.4% of standard sized ones. But are size slippages such a massive problem  to merit this kind of national talent search? Whatever the numbers say, the government should really jump on this opportunity. This could truly be something that brings the country together without needing to explode nuclear devices in Pokhran or having a border skirmish with Pakistan. There are few less harmful ways to give a boost to the male ego than this.

And best of all for the beleagured Congress, this could really knock the wind out of Arvind Kejriwal’s sails as he tries to shake up the political establishment in Delhi with his newly-formed party. Finally the government can come up with a campaign that is literally about the upliftment of the aam aadmi. Now that could get us all very excited.