Well this is a little sensitive topic. Not a good topic to write your 2nd blogpost on i must say :p. But as it turns out this issue is in the news and this blog is my humble attempt to mould public opinion( this means share it after you are done reading 🙂 )
India is a nation of a plethora of religion, beliefs, languages and culture. We have more TV channels than the whole of the world put together. We boast of our tolerance( not so much these days 😛 ), something we call ‘unity in diversity’. But despite all the short comings and occasional rifes we have learnt to ‘live and let live’. But there are still a bunch(a considerably large bunch) of Indians who are deprived of their right …..their right to sexuality. Sorry for sounding like a typical, cynical Indian. But even dark humour will fail to explain the plight i am talking about today. Let me explain the issue at hand. Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code (which is the baap of all punishments in India) criminalizes same sex intercourse.
So what? You may ask, and it is considerably normal to have an opinion that there is no harm in this, except that there is. I grew up in a small town where the highest form of insult (with all due reverence to sisters and mothers) was…..wait for it….’chakka'( translated transexual 😛 ) . Indians especially those in small towns and villages have this high standard of manliness and any departure from these standards would invite the barb of ‘chakka’. These were hard held convictions and thanks to govt approved biology syllabus we never learnt what LGBT was(it means Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual google up before you read further). A child who tried to enquire was dubbed a pervert(from personal experience ). Travelling in trains….we further accepted and preached the notion that these people deserved to be hated and ostracized.
Let me make this clear here. Why are we hating them so much ? Why this taboo surrounding their sexual preference. They are not insane, they are people like you and me, who have choices different from the masses, but that doesn’t make them any worse.
Some people have these outrageous preconceptions about LGBT. The other day i was having a conversation with my childhood friend, Pintoo (you know Pintoo, guy with the fake caste certificate). It was Dec 1(World Aids Day) and Pintoo says “*reference to mothers and sisters* These gay people are the reason we have AIDS in India. ” . We need to do away with these old wives tale and send people like Pintoo to jail. (Pintoo if you are reading this “Itni English kabse janta hai tu?”)
Bollywood has made quite a few movies on this subject( this is one of the few times you can actually praise bollywood…… kudos 😀 ). Yet to be released Aligarh, starring Manoj Bajpayee (from Gangs of Wasseypur….quite versatile i must say 😛 ) is expected to throw some light on this subject. It got an adult certificate. *makes some cliched joke about censor board being terrible* :P. Bombay Talkies movie has a short story ‘ajeeb dastan hai yeh’ which brings out the trauma and internal strife a gay man faces in his life. Margarita with a Straw which brings out the life of a bisexual woman(outstanding acting by Kalki, reply to Anurag Kashyaps Bombay talkies maybe 😛 ). But the bottomline is this should be a welcome deviation in the society( just like we stopped asking our sons to be engineers and doctors …thanx mom 🙂 ) . Its time we break free of the shackles of ignorance and tread the path of equality.
Another crucial change will be accepting sex education as a part , not only of the curriculum but also of life. How long will we keep asking for condoms by scratching the hand of the chemist and buying sanitary napkins in black polythene bags (sorry if you are offended ). One might argue that India hasn’t changed enough and it cannot accept these kind of revolutionary ideas, but the thing is these ideas aren’t revolutionary, these are mere expressions of free choice and freedom.
Government in its reply to the Supreme Court said that it is yet to formulate a policy on Sec 377. But isn’t it implicit in the constitution. Freedom of expression and right to equality,guaranteed in the constitution are enough grounds to scrap this draconian section. There is a need for awareness and now you are ready to spread the message.
P.S. Lets watch Aligarh together. Inbox me and we’ll book the tickets 😛