Dont you hate it when you think know you know someone and they come around and say something that is completely against your belief system?
Something similar happened to me recently. I was telling this buddy from Work that how I had read an article about a guy in Pakistan coming out of the closet after watching a Islam-themed TV show where the TV presenter, an Islamic Scholar, called Gays being “worse than animals”.
My Friend’s reactions was,” He [The TV presenter] was absolutely right.”
My blood boiled!
Who the hell are we to decide what a person is and what he should do in the privacy of his bedroom, as long as nobody is getting hurt?
Then I realized that my friend is not alone in his opinion. A lot of people in India share his hatred or disrespect. This in a Country which worships the deadliest of Animals, where liberals the likes of Gandhi and Nehru were born. Wasn’t this a Country which gave birth to the Kamasutra? How can we have such a jaundiced view of such an important issue in our Society!
Lets take this in legal perspective. Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a piece of legislation in India introduced during British rule of India that criminalises sexual activity “against the order of nature.” The section was read down to decriminalise same-sex behaviour among consenting adults in a historic judgement by the High Court of Delhi on 2 July 2009. Section 377 continues to apply in the case of sex involving minors and coercive sex.
There is a reason why the High Court decriminalized it. It is against the Rights of a Human Being, as guaranteed by the Constitution.
I often hear the argument that same-sex-marriages are against the “laws of nature”. My question for them is what ARE the laws of nature? Where have you read them? Who has published it?
This is not an argument against the violation of nature but a reproduction of hate passed down from generation-to-generation and person-to-person. It is the net effect of a society under the influence of foreign ideas of sexuality.
This cant be the land of the Kamasutra! Hijras,even today, clearly articulate their affinity with such divine (Hindu) figures as Shiva, especially in his ardhanarisvara (half man/half woman) form, and the Pandava brother Arjuna in his disguise as Brhannala, the dance teacher/eunuch in the court of King Virata, in the well-known epic Mahabharata. The very worshipers of Shiva and admirers of Arjuna(people even named Shiva and Arjuna) dont know cultural background of tolerance towards myriad of thoughts in India.
Why am I so worried about an issue which doesn’t personally concern me? Because it does. I want to live in an India free of prejudice. Today its the Gay Rights issue, tomorrow it might be something which might affect me personally.
I am not asking for everyone to turn gay. All I am saying is the next time you meet a Gay person, make him feel home. Next time you hear something which goes against your conscience protest against it[Or, come tell me I’ll write a blog post about it. 😛 ]. Have an open mind. Do not judge people based on something as trivial as their sexual orientation.
There is a famous statement by Martin Niemöller. It goes,
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
We got Freedom from British slavery in 1947. When will we gain Freedom from the prejudices embedded in our minds?
Martin Luther King had once remarked in his speech, famously,
” I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. “
Let us start judging people by the content of their character, and character alone.