Straight Talk on Gay Rights The regression which we see today in society is overwhelming and an issue of grave concern. The hypocrisy is graver. On the one hand we are legalizing live-in relations and on the other, we are outlawing any other relationship. Let us not go into the general arguments given to outlaw gay relationship. They have been countered and proven to be wrong, scientifically and psychologically, all across the globe by some of the best minds of our century. Gay is not queer, it is not induced and it is not unnatural. Rather let us look at the society in which we are today and try to figure out as to what ails us. There was a time when even the shadow of a lower caste, if it fell on a higher caste, would result in mayhem. Purification baths, merciless beating of the lower caste and even throwing the poor chap with his family out of the village were the norm. But it was absolutely fine if the same higher caste would have illicit relationship with as many women of lower caste as possible.
Benegal’s film ‘Ankur’ gives a peep into this society of ours. Today the gay are untouchable’s nay criminals. Hundreds of such incidents can be googled where social, political and religious leaders who were sworn enemies of gay sex, were found to be gay. Every self-appointed, self-righteous institution of our society has several such people who indulge in gay bashing in public even though they are gay themselves. We see such double standard in every walk of Indian society. In gay sex, it is inevitable because it is also a crime. The numbers ascribed to the LGBT population is definitely much larger than we can even think of. The present agitators are the pioneers. Once they are able to get legal sanction and social acceptance then we will truly come to know the enormity of the phenomenon. Till then the stigma holds sway over several brilliant people who are otherwise one of the finest specimen of law abiding citizen of any country. Some of the most brilliant minds in this world were gay.
Even if for a moment we agree that being gay is unnatural because it is not what God wanted humans to be - a man and woman thing – to give birth by penetration. Then by that logic, a misogynist who hates women is unnatural too and should be put behind bar as a criminal. By the same logic a misogamist who loves women but hates marriage is not a criminal even if he has relation with several and sires children from all without marrying. After all it is natural. All the laws which place restriction on the number of wives one can have will be unnatural too. All sex which is not intended to produce children becomes unnatural too and a crime. On the other hand, did God want humans to wage wars, rape and plunder people, create mass destruction weapon and destroy civilizations? If we have to really settle this issue on an ethical and religious ground, why force God’s rules of human conduct on homosexuals only? Why not hang everyone who flouts any of the Gods rules. How many religious institutions which are dedicated only to God and are run as per the edicts of God have thrown up scandals of homo-sexuality?
What exemplary punishment was given to these people for having unnatural sex? When people trained and committed to the work of God indulge in it, how can you expect normal lay man to put his heart out for God? What kind of human right are we giving to the people of this country? All of us should be afraid of how our right can be trampled with by keepers of this nation’s moral and law. If today a person can be told that he cannot have relationship with a person of his own choice, it is like practically forcing the person to have a relation with someone in accordance with the State or Religion or Society’s choice. Will you accept your community’s dictat to not marry the girl you love because you are of the same gotra or will you relent under the pressure of your family to marry a girl whom you do not like? Now multiply this pressure group by thousands and then round them off with the legislature which gives stamp to that dictat. You are most likely to feel suffocated even while you are reading this! An LGBT human being is facing much worse than that. You are not only denying him freedom to choose but also labeling him as a criminal who is forced to live a life full of double standards and as a fugitive.
Flexibility has never been our forte. The generation before us is the same one which got independence on a platter. So they neither have the courage to start a revolution nor the conviction to carry out things to their logical conclusion. This geriatric crowd of decision makers at all levels of every institution in this country relies heavily on its own value system which may be centuries old, passed on to him from a very repressed upbringing and ignorance from ages. No doubt we are prudes of the first order. We all indulge in everything which is open, liberal, unconventional and outright immoral in private but in public we project a sickening standard of virtuousness and morality. So even while sending his own son abroad for higher education, we can have a leader asking for Hindi to be the language of the country. Preaching celibacy and religious virtues to millions of gullible Indians, a religious leader can indulge in group sex, rape and gang-rape. Earning thousands of crores of rupees as excise revenue from liquor we can preach ad-nauseum about the ill effect of drinking. Look around yourself and you will drown into the kind of warped life all of us in India are living.
Did we have a choice when we were kids to decide if we were to be heterosexual or homosexual? If yes, then exactly when did we decide that we would be heterosexual? Do you have an answer for it? If being straight was not by choice then why do we think that being gay is by choice. Just like straight people look for variety, younger partners and different sexual experiments; why cannot one ascribe the same sexual leanings to the gay persons? If law is in place to manage all sexual abuse between straight partners, why cannot it be the same for the gay partners too? If the law is there to prevent the minors from straight persons, why it should not be sufficient to handle any kind of sex between a gay person and a minor? before this bench.The Section 377 was scrapped by the High Court. It was restored by the Supreme Court. Agreed that this is the way courts function. But one hypothetical question, if the same judge who gave the verdict in the High court was elevated to the Supreme Court and he would have been in the SC bench deciding on Section 377, then what decision would he have taken?
Judgments are very subjective largely depending on the judge who is making them. In fact a good lawyer is considered to be one who can get his case listed in a specific court because the judge's psychological makeup may help in deciding the case favorably. It was unfortunate that this case came up before this bench. Finally, the gay should thank their stars. The cultural police are behind the lives of straight couples in today’s times. Every year they are hounded on 14th February. The words of the films are beeped irrespective of whether they are vulgar or not et al. The gay community should be happy with the thought that regression is not limited to only them. We straights are all going back to the shell where we belonged centuries ago. In the film Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone goes in to future as a police officer and has sex with Sandra Bullock through a simulator. No one even touches the other. Perhaps in such a future, all the hullabaloo over straight and gay will be sorted out.