“Sex is a joyful thing,” says Watsa — BBC
“He has — gently, gently — pushed the limits in Indian popular culture” — NY Times
“At age 94, Watsa is still answering sex queries.” — NPR
About Dr Mahinder Watsa
The 93-year-old Dr. Mahinder Watsa rose to fame for his straight talking and humorous advice in a daily sex column for the Mumbai Mirror founded in 2005. But for over several decades, Dr. Mahinder Watsa has promoted the importance of sexual pleasure, consent and information as a passage to gender equality and health.
Straight out of medical school in the 1950s, Dr. Watsa an obstetrician and gynecologist – also began a career as a columnist. He was asked to write a medical advice column for a women’s magazine called Trend. Trend was started by one of India’s early female journalists Frenny Talyarkhan. At first the letters were of general nature but soon he started receiving letters from across India where women talked about molestation, rapes or exes showing up at their doorstep threatening to tell the husband they had sexual relations before marriage. Recognizing the need for education Dr. Watsa switched from gynecology into sex education and sex therapy in the 1970s.
A consultant for the Family Planning Association of India, he convinced the association to start India’s first sex education cell, SCERT, a national wide effort to hold sex educational programs in schools. In 1976 he organized India’s first ever workshop on human sexuality. The workshop, a stir, talked about women’s desires, showed films about homosexuality and promoted open and inclusive conversations.
In December 2012, the topic of sexuality in India received tremendous attention due to the brutal gang rape and murder of a Delhi woman. Today, as Indians discuss women’s safety, a powerful conservative movement blames sexual openness as a key reason for sexual violence.
To date Dr. Watsa estimates he has answered more than 40,000 questions, the vast majority seeking basic information. At once essential and controversial within the Indian context, he has been called a man “on the edge of becoming a national treasure” by Scroll India.