India

Behold, I Am a Dry Tree

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In India, the taxman has a new weapon:

Tax authorities in one Indian state are attempting to persuade debtors to paying their bills—by serenading them with a delegation of singing eunuchs….

The eunuchs collected about 400,000 rupees on their first day of work, authorities said, sharing 16,000 rupees (£188) amongst themselves.

The BBC attributes the eunuchs' success to the fact that they "are feared and reviled in many parts of India, where some believe they have supernatural powers." I suspect it has more to do with good old-fashioned shame, and perhaps the subtle reminder that the government could always take more.

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  1. That really takes some balls.

  2. This particular eunuch class is voluntary eunuchs, sort of pre-operation MTF transsexuals. It may be a reminder, but a subtler one.

  3. That really takes some balls.

    jf wins the thread.

    perhaps the subtle reminder that the government could always take more.

    Jesse Walker finishes a strong second.

    Yeah, it’s early, but when you’ve got it you’ve got it.

  4. This particular eunuch class is voluntary eunuchs,…

    One wonders why anyone would volunteer to be a eunuch when according to the article eunuchs are “[o}ften unable to gain regular employment”.

  5. Eunuchs.

    Almost as funny as Gypsies.

    Almost.

  6. In the U.S., the taxman tries to take an arm and a leg and a gonad if possible from the taxpayer. At least in India, the taxman understands how that feels.

    Come to think of it, I’d give my left nut if I wouldn’t have to pay taxes ever again.

  7. Isaac:

    What I don’t get is how anyone could tell the difference… it’s not like people have a tendency to walk around wearing signs that say “I had my balls cut off”.

    I’d think a eunuch would be the perfect employee. No sexual distractions = clear thought and focus. If it were reversable, I’d get my balls cut off and go back for my PhD… unfortunately that’s not an option. Yet.

  8. PS,

    By the time you finished your PhD, they probably will have figured out how to put ’em back. If I were you, I would have them removed and hope for the best.

  9. Isaac,
    If you’re a MTF transsexual who can’t afford SRS, you may be best served to get castrated. Especially if there’s a culturally acceptable group of people who do that, for you to live among.

  10. One wonders why anyone would volunteer to be a eunuch when according to the article eunuchs are “[o}ften unable to gain regular employment”.

    They hold a special place and special religious powers. Once upon a time, a eunuch presided over the birth of most children in India. It’s not talked up to outsiders, but I’m told that, especially in rural areas, they still do. It’s the same sort of lifestyle choice that becoming a Catholic priest is in the West. Although, the Indians seem to be a lot more serious about it…

  11. Postmodern

    Depending on the age at which the castration is performed eunuchs do take on definite characteristics.

    Before it was considered respectable for women to be stage performers female parts in opera were sung by castrati. These were men who had been castrated before reaching puberty and were therefore able to keep their soprano voices. There are recordings of the last of these from (I think) the twenties.

    However unlike Indian eunuchs who “are feared and reviled in many parts of India” European castrati were celebrated and moved in the best social circles.

    Of course I’m not exactly how the child who is castrated can be said to have “volunteered” for this.

    I’d think a eunuch would be the perfect employee. No sexual distractions = clear thought and focus.

    In the East slaves and servants were frequently castrated for exactly that reason. Most notorious was the practice of using eunuchs as harem attendants (for obvious reasons).

    I am also told that mature males who are castrated generally retain all or most of their sex drive. Hence castration of rapists which was at one time fairly common in Scandinavia was a total failure (except possibly as a means to humiliate the offender). Thus it is important to perform the procedure at an early enough age.

    I have also heard stories that wives in harems sometimes got sexual satisfaction at not just the hands (which was I understand quite prevalent) of eunuchs who had not been completely..errr…neutered.

    I am still curious as to exactly why these Indians submitted to the procedure. Maybe you are right jb (your post came up before I had completed this). However as I noted in my fourth paragraph Indian eunuchs can hardly seem to be “a culturally acceptable group”.

    Ah, Shem, seems to have gotten to the heart of the matter. I can see that. Thanks.

  12. “I am also told that mature males who are castrated generally retain all or most of their sex drive.”

    Okay, so much for that idea. I do know a voluntary eunuch, as well as two post-op transsexuals, and all of them do have sexual relations with other people, so I should have known that there’s no easy celibacy in this world… sigh…

    Anyway, I think the reasoning that harem-eunuchs were castrated had more to do with paternity than whether or not they’d screw the women in the harem. Even the most virile turkish sultan couldn’t possibly have the drive to satisfy his whole harem, after all. As vasectomies were not yet an option at that point in history, taking the whole gonad was the obvious procedure.

  13. Postmodern

    I suspect you are correct about the harem-eunuchs.

  14. Imagine what it would be like if the IRS was entirely staffed by drag queens.

    *shudders*

  15. I’d get my balls cut off and go back for my PhD… unfortunately that’s not an option. Yet.

    Sure it is. *sharpening knife*

  16. “Hence castration of rapists which was at one time fairly common in Scandinavia was a total failure (except possibly as a means to humiliate the offender). Thus it is important to perform the procedure at an early enough age.”

    One can only hope they are able to find the rape gene in children early enough to nip it in the bud.

  17. By the time you finished your PhD, they probably will have figured out how to put ’em back.

    Especially if, as planned, his thesis is “Testicle Reattachment in Postgraduate Candidates”

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