Mahinder Broadcast

Article

December 6, 2021

Mahinder Watsa, born February 11, 1924 in Calcutta, died December 28, 2020 in Bombay, was an Indian obstetrician, gynecologist and sexologist. He was known as a columnist on the topic of sex and cohabitation in magazines and newspapers, most recently with the column "Ask the Sexpert" in the Mumbai Mirror, where he answered reader questions for 15 years until his death.

Biography

Mahinder Watsa was born in Calcutta in what was then British India. His father was a military doctor. He studied medicine in Bombay, where he met his wife Promila, whom he married in 1952. They had a son together and have been living in Britain for some time. The family moved back to India when Watsa's father became ill. He worked for a time for the pharmaceutical company Glaxo, at the same time as he practiced as a gynecologist and obstetrician. Watsa has described that for a time he delivered children at night and worked during the day. In the late 1950s, Watsa wrote his first column in an Indian women's magazine. A friend of Watsa's sister-in-law had asked if he knew anyone who could respond to letters from readers. After searching in vain through his network for suitable candidates with experience of similar work, Watsa realized that he would have to do it himself. For over 60 years, he would continue to answer reader questions in various publications. By 2015, he had retained over 40,000 reader questions. His style has been described as playful and compassionate, in contrast to how some writers set an almost clinical tone when writing about sexual topics. Based on the questions that came into the question column, Watsa concluded that many of the readers' problems originated in the lack of sex education. in India. At the suggestion of Watsa, the Family Planning Association of India established a program for sex counseling and education. The proposal was met with skepticism because the subject was taboo in India, but the organization supported Watsa, which was eventually able to open the country's first clinic for sex education and counseling. Although some schools welcomed Watsa and his colleagues, it was common for restrictions on which subjects were allowed to be addressed. One solution was to let the students submit their questions anonymously in a question box and then answer them. The documentary Ask the Sexpert, from 2017 and directed by Vaishali Sinha, tells the story of Mahinder Watsa's life.

Bibliography

It's Normal. Penguin Random House India. 2018. ISBN 978-0-14-342488-8

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