Unity in Bigotry


You might have read the news about the Supreme Court upholding a 19th century law that criminalizes gay sex, saying that the law needs to be repealed via legislature.

In our schools, we are taught the phrase “Unity in diversity” to emphasize the diversity of cultures in India and yet how they all belong to one country. But today we are seeing unity in bigotry where bigots all across the board have ganged up against LGBT rights.

In 2009 the Delhi high court called Section 377, the law in question, as discriminatory. Taking affront at this sudden outbreak of decency from a high court, various political, social and religious groups have filed an appeal in the supreme court.

Now the only way the law can be put where it rightly belongs – a garbage bin – is via legislation. That is going to be tough given that no major political party has come out in support of gay rights.

Here is a sample of how “united” they all are (Quotes taken from this article):

Mohammad Abdul Rahim Quraishi, a Hyderabad-based spokesman for the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, one of the groups that appealed against the 2009 decision, said the Supreme Court had made the right decision.

“We are very happy with the judgment,” said Mr. Quraishi. “There is no space for homosexuality in our social setup. It is a sin, it is a heinous crime.”

“Homosexuality is a disease,” a tweet from Mr. Ramdev’s verified Twitter account read shortly after the Supreme Court’s judgment.

“We should not encourage homosexuality in our society. It is against the laws and customs and harmful to people in India’s civilized society,” said Zafarul Islam Khan, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Muslim organizations in the country.

Subramanian Swamy, a politician with the Bharatiya Janata Party, said that homosexuality was a malfunction of the human body and should be treated medically.

“I welcome Supreme Court judgment holding homosexuality as illegal,” Mr. Subramanian told The Wall Street Journal in an email statement after the Supreme Court judgment.

“It is no accident that men and women are born in equal proportion. Moreover survival of the human race requires one man one woman cohabitation,” he added.

Any behavior which disturbs this natural selection should be regarded as deviant and treated as illegal, Mr. Subramanian said.

“The government and corporates must fund research to find a cure for homosexuality at the earliest. It is a malady that should not be celebrated but cured with compassion,” he said.

Comments

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    … survival of the human race requires one man one woman cohabitation…

    Three(or more)somes are infertile?

  2. Alex C. says

    It is quite interesting how you bring fundamentalist MUSLIM and CHRISTIAN HOMOPHOBES under the nonspecific “various political, social and religious groups” umbrella. Just including Ramdev’s tweet does not make this an all-religion bigot-brotherhood.

    Then you proceed to enrol Subramaniam Swamy in BJP, while he is in JANATA PARTY. Learn to check your sources. You could have got a good quote from the real BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi, who comes out in support of the verdict (which is expected given the support that party enjoys from the Hindu right, for ref see BJP MP “Yogi” Adityanath’s comment). You could have included those, but nooooo!

    Then this bomb:
    « That is going to be tough given that no major political party has come out in support of gay rights. »

    Yeah, right. Read THIS: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sonia-sibal-chidambaram-come-out-against-sc-order-on-section-377/439173-37-64.html

    Thanks for showing ALL Indians in a poor light and masking the blatant homophobia of Muslim and Christian (and some Hindu) leaders under generic labels, and putting down political parties in one master stroke, while it is really only ONE major party which has supported this verdict. Seriously shoddy reportage, this.

  3. says

    Alex,

    From the BBC article I linked to:

    Several political, social and religious groups had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law reinstated in the wake of the 2009 court ruling.

    So feel free to write to BBC about their alleged shoddy reporting. Also check this.

    And Subramaniam Swamy merged his party into BJP. So you might want to get on with the times and also check your confirmation bias that the only thing I’m capable of is shoddy reportage.

    The statements from Congress and AAP came after I had published this post. So I stand corrected on that front. But remember the law can only get repealed via legislature. That means statements from a few politicians isn’t enough. I’m guessing there has to be a vote.

    Finally, I didn’t say all Indians. Even if I meant India as a country, I couldn’t care less how it is perceived on this matter. It is a fact that India is homophobic. If it weren’t, we’d at a minimum be talking about marriage equality. So spare me your outrage.

  4. Alex C. says

    Satish,

    Please do not appeal to the authority of BBC, which has a well known anti-India and pro- Muslim and Christian bias (or is at least very circumspect about criticising them). I did write to them when they refused to call the 2011 Mumbai attackers “terrorists” and insisted on calling them “gunmen.” I admit my voice is not powerful, but even MJ Akbar criticised them for it—but made no difference. So I submit that BBC has an anti-India bias, and is particularly prone to sidestepping Muslim and Christian fundamentalists, even when they are bloody terrorists. You are severely mistaken to trust their reporting on India-related matters as anything BUT shoddy.

    > Subramaniam Swamy merged his party into BJP. So you might want to get on with the times and also check your confirmation bias that the only thing I’m capable of is shoddy reportage.

    Oops! Touché. Still shoddy reporting (and appealing to the BBC—ha!). Sorry!

    Statements from a “few” such politicians including Mrs. Sonia Gandhi (Führer) and Mr. Chidambaram are absolutely sufficient to at least enact an ordinance. Remember, they have a majority (still) in Parliament. The only major homophobic group in Parliament is the BJP and its allies, which is to be expected given their admiration of Fascism and right-wing Hindutva of the Mr. Ramdev and Mr. Adityanath type.

    > Finally, I didn’t say all Indians.
    «snip»
    > It is a fact that India is homophobic.

    Notice some contradiction here? This “fact” only exists in your mind. There are a lot of homophobes in this country, but there are also a lot of people who are NOT homophobes (like you or me), but you won’t admit it. More importantly, there are a lot of POWERFUL people who are not homophobes.

    > If it weren’t, we’d at a minimum be talking about marriage equality.

    Marriage equality? You mean that if we’re not in the vanguard of social liberalism, we are necessarily bigots? We’re not.

    > So spare me your outrage.

    So far your article richly deserves it. Even after I pointed out Congress and AAP’s response, you’ve STILL not edited out this blatant lie: «That is going to be tough given that no major political party has come out in support of gay rights.»

    Thanks for responding to criticism, and not hiding behind moderation. I hope you’ll edit your article to reflect the reality!

  5. says

    Alex,

    Given your petty nature, I sort of expected you to drag your confirmation bias even further. That’s why I linked to a facebook post where someone has taken the trouble to go through the judgement and list the people who had appealed. Looks like you didn’t see it (or saw it and decided to comment anyway)

    1. An astrologer Suresh Kumar Koushal (http://www.astrologersureshkoshal.com/) who said homosexuality should be forbidden else Indian soldiers will have sex with each other on the border instead of defending the country.

    2. B P Singhal of the BJP, now perhaps thankfully no more, who said he didn’t mind people being gay in private but felt the law should remain as a deterrent to more people wanting to be gay.

    3. B Krishna Bhat, who appears to be a criminal wanted in a land-grab case in Bangalore

    4. Joint Action Committee, Kannur, which appears to be an anti-gay organisation that believes the Delhi High Court judgement was funded by people who want to open gay bars and a gay sex industry in India

    5. Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_Nadu_Muslim_Munnetra_Kazagham) an organisation apparently controlled by the SIMI, themselves banned for backing Islamic terror in India

    6. Raza Academy, the folks who were behind the protests in Azad Maidan Bombay where two people were killed.

    7. Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha – (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krantikari_Manuwadi_Morcha) the Hindutva group that supported the criminal who murdered the missionary Staines.

    8. To show how the Catholics bear no grudge against those who supported the murder of one of their own, the Utkal Christian Council, represented by a lady Jyotsna Rani Patro who is with the Churches of North India also petitioned alongside the Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha

    9. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_India_Muslim_Personal_Law_Board) which seeks to impose Shariat in India

    10. S K Tijarawala (https://www.facebook.com/people/Sk-Tijarawala/100001099631182) spokesman for well-known fraud Baba Ramdev

    11. Apostolic Churches Alliance from Kerala

    12. Prof. Bhim Singh, (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prof-Bhim-Singh/273853895969914) apparently the head of the J & K Panthers Party

    13. Sanatan Dharma Pratinidhi Sabha, a Hindu organisation

    If you still want to quibble about what the words “various” or “several” mean, find some place else.

  6. says

    I wonder if Alex would also attempt to argue that India (generally) is misogynist. It seems equally ridiculous as a premise.

    Knowing that misogyny and homophobia are prevalent in India doesn’t make me appreciate the country and its people any less. It’s not as if it’s unique that way.

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