Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prof. Matuk Nath Chaudhary and Julie in JNU campus: A multimedia report

The uninitiated may read about “love guru” Professor Matuk Nath and Julie, arguably India’s most controversial couple, here and here. Yesterday evening [10 pm to midnight], the duo [both one-time JNU students] addressed the JNU students at Sutlej hostel of the JNU campus and concluded it with a Q and A session. This is a brief multimedia report of the public meeting on the issue Love and Society Today.

Prof. Matuk Nath was a JNU student in the 1970s and also narrated some of his humorous experiences of the campus. The duo spoke in Hindi [Julie had a throat issue and spoke little only interjecting at times to buttress some points put forward by the professor]. I’ll make my prejudices clear in the beginning: I do not like them but that is neither here nor there. The programme was anchored by Prakash K Ray and Zahid.

His admission in JNU was a unique incident [1976]

After a brief introduction [including a sharp reproof to those who had whistled] by Prakash K Ray and Zahid, Prof. Matuknath started his speech in chaste Hindi recounting his first interaction with the JNU Campus way back in 1976. Clueless about the admission procedure, he ["भुचंगड़ देहाती"] had come to Sutlej Hostel with “bedding and trunk” and the application form. A Sutlej resident Madhukar Anand, a total stranger to him, was very hospitable to him and he was overwhelmed by that ‘first love.’

He had gone to the JNU officials and was told that the last date for applying to JNU was over and that that day was the day of the entrance examination! Matuk Nath produced a letter of recommendation from some VIP and the dean yielded (“special case”) and he was allowed to write the JNU entrance examination! He was selected and later allotted Room No. 107 of the Sutlej Hostel! This was indeed a surprising account on JNU and the audience suitably clapped as they lapped it up.

He called himself a ‘manu’ [progenitor; 'Sutlej hostel was deserted but after he came here it was teeming with people and flourished']. Prof. Matuk Nath was visibly overwhelmed and said it was a great moment of his life (“dream come true”) that he was here in his alma mater speaking to the JNU community.

Prof. Matuk Nath on Love and Society


Speaking on Love and Society Today, Prof. Matuk Nath said the society wants us to love everything except loving a woman (“Stri se prem mat karo”) and that we were living like donkeys and bulls! It is the responsibility of the youth to raise questions on this and argue for the ‘freedom of thoughts.’ While elaborately justifying his love for Julie, he touched upon various issues relating to love including physical love, male-female natural attraction, self-control in love among other things. He also drew an analogy between sex and snakes (’snakes are beautiful creatures but we have been tutored to hate and fear them’).

He invited questions form the audience and answered all of them without being shy of any question or feeling any embarrassment. One of his students was also present who claimed to have campaigned for him during the elections. Mr. Zahid regretted that he did not had the opportunity to be taught by Prof. Matuk Nath unlike that student who was given a warm welcome. When asked what he would have done if he were in the Parliament, he said this meeting itself was like the parliament to him and regretted that good people like those in the audience were not reaching the parliament.

I asked him if there was any ‘guarantee’ that he will not fall in love again and quit Julie as well to which he said that he was least concerned about that and it is Julie who has chosen her and not the vice versa:

The beauty of love is in the fact that there is no guarantee in it! छूट जाए तो छूट जाए!

मेरा वश नहीं है. अगर मेरे कारण होता तो में किसको छोड़ता!

Julie interjected to add that the whole world was suddenly eager about her condition. Prof. Matuk Nath explained that that any male would fall for Julie and it was this suppressed sexual desire ["अतृप्त काम भावना"] that was to be blamed for the male concern towards Julie’s future and life ["कौन युवक इससे प्रेम नहीं करेगा"] and the public outcry against their relationship.

Prof. Matuk Nath was said he was very happy with life having discovered the true essence of life. A major theme of his speech was that there was no freedom and respite from sexual desire ["वासना से मुक्ति का कोई प्रश्न नहीं है!"] and that physical love and mental love cannot be seen as divorced from each other.

Both Prof. Matuk Nath and Julie were quite phlegmatic during the complete meeting unlike some members of the audience. The people may have clapped more than once but the general mood was not necessarily of an approval to their union and people had gathered to see him more than anything else. Most of the questions from the students in fact questioned him on their relationship. Matuk Nath also said he can only speak on ‘Matuknathi love’ and not Freudian love [question by Samar]. A student in the crowd said this after the event: “It feels like I heard the Shahrukh Khan in Mohabattein!”

Download/listen to full audio

I suggest you download the full audio or listen it [Hindi] online if you are interested in his full speech. It may be a good document for anybody interested in doing research on love, sex, conjugal and other social issues.

Want More Photos

Click here for more photos of the event.

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