The Gays! The Gays Are Coming!

26 Sep

Earlier this week, there were a couple of stories floating around about how India was going to maybe, perhaps, actually, in the realm of possibility, could be considering, repealing a 148-year-old British Raj law that criminalizes gay sex. This was mainly because gay activists got sick and tired of waiting for the government to do something and decided to nudge matters a little by moving the court.

In response, India’s Home Ministry, recently in the news for the Home Minister’s efforts to dazzle the country with his sartorial magnificence while Delhi burned, has made its position clear:

Gay sex is immmoral and a reflection of a perverse (rpt perverse) mind and its decriminalisation would lead to moral degradation of society…”Homosexuality is a social vice and the state has the power to contain it,” the government contended. “It (decriminalising homosexuality) may create breach of peace. If it is allowed then evils of AIDS and HIV would further spread and harm the people. It would lead to big health hazard. It would degrade moral values of society,” Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra contended.

Please. Hold your shock and awe. Anybody who didn’t see this coming a mile off (including all those media people who were all “OMG, this is the Change We’ve Been Waiting For”) were either seriously delusional or must have taken a few too many hits of the bong.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry, under the one man anti-smoking brigade known as Anbumani Ramadoss, feels differently:

Enforcement of Section 377 can adversely contribute to pushing the persons suffering from HIV underground which would make such risky sexual practices go unnoticed,” said an affidavit filed by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), which comes under the health ministry.

Well, isn’t that nice of the Health Ministry to point out. But I guess taking a stand against the Congress’ favorite Oldie Mouldie in a Safari Suit a.k.a. Shivraj Patil, is quite different from kicking out recalcitrant AIIMS directors and harassing movie stars.

On the other hand, we have people like Ashley tellis who outlines exactly what’s at stake here:

Section 377 does not actively name gay sex; nor is it only about gayness. It is an abstractly worded section speaking about “acts against the order of nature”, (which can also cover oral sex between heterosexual partners, for example) and, in practice, is used in all sorts of cases, including child-sex abuse. Child sexual abuse clearly deserves its own law, mainly to distinguish paedophilia from homosexuality. The two phenomena are totally different, but are conflated in the popular imagination as well as the illiterate Indian State’s imagination, seen recently in the official response to Health Minister Ramadoss’ recent call for the repeal of Section 377, which was met with alarmist references to “sick” practices like child sexual abuse going unpunished if 377 was removed. Homosexuality is alive and well as a sickness in the popular imagination.

Obviously, with views like that, Tellis is not an elected official of any kind and does not work for a government agency. He is simply your average tax payer who could be sent to jail because the Home and Law Ministries are disinclined to do their given job and draft a law that would specifically target crime because it’s so much easier to let things stand after all the work the British have put in on our behalf.

And why should the Ministries bother themselves with things like this anyway? It’s not like India is a growing hub for child trafficking or anything of that sort. Is it?

But the gays! The gays are gonna get your childruns! In some mysterious way! (To be decided upon by the Indian State as and when convenient.) So now you know.


Posted by on September 26, 2008 in Life, News


12 responses to “The Gays! The Gays Are Coming!

  1. Broom

    September 26, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    If it wasn’t sad it’d be funny.

  2. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper

    September 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, the change we are waiting for is never gonna come. In a country where even straight love is fraught with as many problems as an Ekta Kapoor joint family, things ain’t gonna change.

    Because when one wants to be a progressive superpower looking towards the future, one can live with laws made by someone older than John McCain and Arjun Singh put together.

  3. Mudra

    September 27, 2008 at 6:05 am

    Seriously. Our Government is ridiculous, but then we aren’t surprised. You just smile with amusement when you read stuff stuff, not be shocked and go, “What?!”

  4. Mudra

    September 27, 2008 at 6:06 am

    *such stuff

  5. memsaab

    September 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    It’s the same here in the States, especially after the huge Catholic Church priest-child abuse scandal (which did include molestation of little girls in addition to little boys, but you know which got more attention as being the greater crime). Gay=pedophile.

    On the other hand, I have been told in all seriousness by some Indians I know that there aren’t any gay people in India. So why worry?


  6. Anonymous Coward

    September 27, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    To clarify one thing- homosexuality as a sexual orientation is not illegal in india. Homosexual sex is. The relevant section is-

    Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine

    And like you said, it doesn’t explicitly mention gay sex.

    Gay sex is immmoral and a reflection of a perverse mind and its decriminalisation would lead to moral degradation of society (how do you know?)…”Homosexuality is a social vice and the state has the power to contain it (does it really?),” the government contended. “It may create breach of peace. If it is allowed then evils of AIDS and HIV would further spread and harm the people (are you saying heterosexual sex doesn’t allow the ‘evils’ of AIDS and HIV to spread and harm people???). It would lead to big health hazard. It would degrade moral values of society,” Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra contended.

    You’re right. The government has it’s priorities screwed up. I should know. My life is a consequence of that fact.

  7. OrangeJammies

    September 28, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Also note how “gay” refers only to men and their supposedly sick acts. Women being gay is unfathomable and unmentionable, for that would bring down the pillars of our hallowed traditions. A friend’s cousin who came out on national television (yeah, not the best way for his parents to find out) mentioned that when people think of the term and its connotations, it’s always about “gay sex”, not so much about loving someone who is the same gender and/or being in a relationship with them. Even here, it’s the sex bit that gets us all riled because our fragile moral membrane can’t take it. I still think we’ve moved a wee bit ahead with the gay marches held recently. In terms of awareness, if not legislation. I doubt they would’ve been permitted or accepted without rioting two decades ago.

  8. Amrita

    September 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Broom – that statement was like out of some 19th century pamphlet. It’s absolutely ridiculous but then the GoI is frequently ridiculous.

    Rambunctious – I wonder what sort of hell would break loose if Ekta Mata decided to feature someone gay in her serials? Madhur Bhandarkar has been showing gay people in his movies for a while now without caricaturing them too much and everyone seems to be lapping that up.

    Mudra – I know it’s what I do 🙂 but at some point, the government will have to be involved. It’s not really the people who might come by this blog, for instance, who’re at the greatest risk. The longer the GoI sticks its head in the sand, the bigger the mess is gonna be. Par for the course obviously but that doesn’t make it any better.

    Memsaab – of course there aren’t any gay people in India! There are only homosexual evil doers out to destroy the very fabric of society and commit a serious breach of peace. That’s not gay, that’s grim, I’ll have you know!

    Anon – somebody told me one of the judges hearing the case replied “Then why don’t you ban all sexual intercourse?” when the GoI counsel made his case. Which would be awesome if true. However, after careful reading of the counsel’s argument, I have come to the conclusion that the GoI has its facts mixed up. I think it thinks Gays = Bajrang Dal. Which is, of course, an interesting parallel but somebody ought to put them straight. (pun intended)

    OJ – what on earth are you talking about?! Bharatiya naris don’t do such chee chee things!! I’m gonna take a morcha to yer house!
    That’s an excellent point about people always thinking about the prurient first and foremost rather than the issue in total. Makes me wonder if they think about oral sex the first thing when they receive a wedding invitation.
    As for things changing, they’re changing from the bottom up as usual.

  9. OrangeJammies

    September 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    lol! C’mon over! We’ll hang out! 😉

  10. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper

    September 28, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Amrita, “Bottom up” is a subtle gay reference. Hmmm.

    Also, Madhur Bhandarkar usually shows gay characters who are lecherous. I mean, not all of us are like that.

    Oh, have you seen Ekta Mata’s Mahabharat? 90% of her characters look Gay. It’s like medieval Gay porn …

  11. Amrita

    September 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    OJ – as long as you promise me an orgy! 😀

    RW – ha! I didn’t even catch that, lol! You know, I will have to watch Ekta Mata’s supreme effort, the way everyone’s been telling me about it. Although the gayness of her characters is nothing new – almost every “hero” of hers looks like he’s in denial.

  12. sachita

    October 1, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Amrita, denial bit in the previous comment just loled me out!

    All along, media kept talking about taking the this stupid law to the court & doing away with it, so when i saw the kind of utter denial the govt, lawyer seems to be in, it shocked me. far fetched from the scene one had hoped.

    I guess it will be purely votebank issue in india now just like how it is in usa.

    Though i don’t see how vhp/rss can bring up religious references(hindu) to deny homosexualism.

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