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Different Strokes For Different Folks

Different Strokes For Different Folks

January 06, 2012
Susmita Sen

Why is India still intolerant of its gay populace?



A recent countrywide CNN-IBN survey revealed that we still live in quite a homophobic India. The poll which was primarily conducted in urban neighborhoods showed that as many as 73% Indians felt homosexuality should be considered illegal while 83% felt that homosexuality is not part of Indian culture and 90% of Indians won’t give their house on rent to a gay or lesbian couple.

Although the homosexual community in India had some respite from being social outcasts with the Delhi High Court ruling in 2009, even as late as in 2011, the social stigma attached to them continues to prevail as is evident from the fact that stories or press reports of lesbian and gay couples exchanging marriage vows invariably excite crude humor. Many a time I find myself reluctantly participating because I lack the gumption to stand up against public opinion (read, the tyranny of the majority).

On the public front, as late as July 2011, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has gone so far as to term all such relationships "unnatural" and a "disease" (to be cured by psychiatry/ neurology?) despite the fact that the UN has, long ago, passed a human rights Bill which says discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality is a human rights violation. The Health Minister was speaking at a convention on HIV/AIDS thereby whimsically singling out homosexuals for abuse and making them directly responsible for the spread of HIV. Such views  proclaimed by prominent  public figures serve only to fuel anti-gay sentiments by people at the grassroots as most protests by the media are essentially ‘urban upper class’ in nature and do nothing to educate the masses who would ultimately constitute the MP’s or minister’s vote bank.

As such, survival itself continues to be a struggle for people whose sexual orientation is not mainstream. Added to that is the aspect of religious orthodoxy and intolerance. This I see as a strange aberration though in a country whose mainstream religion, Hinduism, cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be recognized as an organized religion. An overview of temple imagery, sacred narratives and religious scriptures does suggest that homosexual activities – in some form – did exist in ancient India. Though not part of the mainstream, its existence was acknowledged if not approved. For example, hidden in niches of temple architecture as in that of Khajuraho, one does find images of either women or men in erotically suggestive postures to other women or men. These images cannot be simply dismissed as perverted fantasies of an artist considering the profound ritual importance given to these shrines. In the Hindu scriptures stories of women turning into men and men turning into women abound. In the Mahabharata, Drupada raises his daughter Shikhandini as a man and even gets ‘him’ a wife. When the wife discovers the truth on the wedding night, all hell breaks loose; her father threatens to destroy Drupada’s kingdom. The timely intervention of Yaksha saves the day: he lets Shikhandini use ‘his’ manhood for a night and perform his husbandly duties. Perhaps the most popular stories revolving around gender metamorphoses are those related to Mohini, the female incarnation of Lord Vishnu. She is so beautiful that when Shiva looks upon her he sheds semen out of which are born mighty heroes such as Hanuman (according to Shiva Purana) and Ayyappa (according to the Malayalee folklore). However, sensitivity to the essence of tolerance and inclusion hinted at in these stories cannot be expected from the modern breed of self-appointed patrons of religion whose only creed is fundamentalism in any form. Why single out Hindu fundamentalists for their extremist stands, one might ask? My answer to that would be because I do not know much about other religions, although, during my five year stay in Kerala, I do remember hearing news bytes about orthodox churches systematically denying any sanction to alternative sexual orientations.

Popular culture too shies away from depicting gay men and lesbian women as ‘normal’. For instance, Bollywood could at best come up with a humorous parody in Kal Ho Na Ho or a comic plot in “Dostana” as signs of its willingness to tread this grey zone. Parallel Indian cinema however has time and again broached this subject with sensitive handling such as in films like “Fire” by Deepa Mehta, “My Brother Nikhil” & “I am”, both by Onir, and recently “Memories in March” by Sanjoy Nag. Needless to say, parallel cinema has limited impact simply because its viewership is restricted to niche audiences.

In the final analysis, it is imperative to ask oneself this question: If I were to come to terms with a family member who is gay or lesbian or bisexual, how prepared and willing would I be to acknowledge the truth lovingly? As for myself, I do not know the answer.

Photo credit: Vinayak Das 

41 Comments

  • vaibhavGhevde
    By
    vaibhavGhevde
    17.01.12 10:47 AM
    I do not wish to be a part of the ongoing argument. Gay/Lesbian or Straight whatever their sexuality I'd let the individual be. Although, I am not against homosexuality, I don't support it either, neither can I accept it as normal. May be its just the way I have been brought up.
  • M
    By
    M
    12.01.12 10:14 PM
    The person whom you have shown in the picture is the big homophobe. And an molester. Being a gay man.. its not my experience.. its more than 3-4 of my friends experience with this AH
  • Shalini
    By
    Shalini
    11.01.12 11:29 PM
    The commenters have stolen the thunder form the original post but I daresay the author will only be too happy to see this debate happening.

    Take a bow Mr. Singh. That has been one hell of a defence for the rainbow people. :) Frankly even the last allusion to them as rainbow people smacks of categorisation...only it is atleast a positive and a picture evoking one! @Tys has also contributed in no small measure and @Deepak has been at the receiving end. But I think Mr. Singh would have gone a long way in making Deepak reflect on his views and therein lies a huge victory. Even a single person willing to take a relook at his/her belief systems gives hope for an evolving humanity.

    Glad to have come back to this page.

    May the debate continue.

    However Mr. Singh, I do believe it might have been good to leave out the harsh words. Your defence of it was eloquent but...:)
  • tys
    By
    tys
    10.01.12 10:16 AM
    just like in everything theres a deviant, so will there be here also...but i doubt all homosexuals are out there making passes at us. I have on some occasions been accousted with subtle offers which i have with some amount of subtility twarted ...but the feeling was not of repulsion.

    However , just like in hetrosexuals, there is eveteasing, rape, molestation and abuses, so do, i think, will exist similar actions in any human related activities despite sexual preferances. I dont think our sexual preference makes us better or worse human beings.

    And drawing lines is still what we call tolerance, which is living with something without acceptance.

    In ur face sexuality, i agree, is very off putting. But we can try and ask why some feel there is now a necessity for it...recall feminism in its initial stage? Recall anti racist movements in the beginning? Maybe there is a similarity.
  • Vishal
    By
    Vishal
    10.01.12 09:12 AM
    @bemoneyaware, I doubt if the media has made a caricature of gays & lesbos. I think homosexuals have had one made for themselves.

    While some are busy defending homosexuals, the latter are busy intruding into other people's comfort levels trying to find a sexual partner. I've encountered one in a train, one who was a friend of mine for quite sometime, and one of my opposite gendered friends has had a little tussle with a lesbian. On all occasions, we were left squirming because of the way we were blatantly groped.

    If you are a homosexual, keep it to yourself. If a man is a nymphomaniac, he doesn't show it in public for the fear of being thrashed. Can't homosexuals keep their passions & preferences in check in public? Why the rhetoric of "Accept us as we are!" while they don't care about the sentiments of parents and children of society? If one is liberal, it does not need to be thrusted into someone's face.

    Keep your distance, we'll keep ours and all will be ok. But mess around with people's comfort zones and you're bound to get some back. This is why the divide between conventional hetero & liberal homosexuals.
  • bemoneyaware
    By
    bemoneyaware
    10.01.12 04:38 AM
    I think it would take time, lot of time in India to accept homosexuality. A country with a billion plus population has problem talking about sex. And as you rightly pointed out media has made a caricature of them!
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    10.01.12 12:53 AM
    @Harry - thank you for seeing my point of view. However, I do not fully agree with your assertion that one can just give any opinion in a public forum. I also think you will agree with me when I say that freedom of speech comes with responsibility and that actually there are, and should be, some restrictions on what you can say.

    Let's stick with the example of the UK. There is a law prohibiting comments and actions that incite racial hatred. If someone was to racially abuse you they could be prosecuted for a criminal offence and go to jail. Do you agree with this legislation, and similar laws that cover other prejudiced behaviour?

    If you truly believe in absolute freedom of speech without exceptions, then you are unable to pull me up on my comments to Deepak. If he is free to make what I consider to be very bigoted and dangerous comments (which could incite hatred in others) then surely I also have a right to an opinion, and I can say whatever I want in response - without restriction. Overall I take on board the point that I could have made the same point and left out the bad language. I do not make a habit of attacking people in this manner. I consider the circumstances to be exceptional.

    I believe that you genuinely would not treat gay people in an adverse way despite the fact that their sexual behaviour is repellent to you. But I think that most people who are disgusted by homosexuality and gay people will discriminate. Even if they have the best of intentions, their inner disgust will still lead them to subconsciously discriminate. If you believe that gays are sexual deviants and make up the majority of total child abusers, how can you not discriminate. I am prejudiced towards paedophiles and would struggle to restrict my 'extreme' reaction to just a verbal one. If Deepak had a gay brother or other family relation, he would not dare leave his young child in their custody. That is discrimination in action.

    I hear where you are coming from and my intention is not to add further fuel to the fire. I am just mindful of the 100s or 1000s of people that may visit this page and read the comments. If I can make even one person decide to change they way they think about homosexuality, I will be a happy man:)
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    09.01.12 10:21 PM
    @ Mr A Singh

    I understand your stance. I am a true believer in the equality as well. The things that you faced in uk so have I. I do understand your anger on the base of discrimination.

    What I was trying to say was, that every body has right to an opinion, and if we take this away from him, then we are no different from the very bigots which we do not like.

    I know what Deepak wrote. What Deepak wrote was wrong, and I understand this, and I am not taking his side, but what I am trying to say is that, You as a person with great unerstanding shoud know better. I am only drawing this because what you have commentented in the past in other post which were great comments.

    Sometimes we meet certain Individual in life we don't like, but we still keep our cool. This does not mean that we are ok with this, but what it realy means that, when the time comes we will say what need to be said, but until then we stay civilised because that's what we are by nature.

    When I said that I was bit Homofobic. I was being honest. This does not mean I don't like homosexuals, or I hate them, because I don't. Would I employ one YES, if he was better then the people I know. I once ripped my pants between my legs playing football in the park, and when I got home my mum was sewing something allready, she asked me to wait, but I couldn't, and decided to do it my self using a wrong needle. She let me, to teach me a lesson, and when I finished. She pulled it apart and ripped it again. Why story ? At this momment in time she told me, If you want to succeed you have to make a right choice in life and it should not be on race, religion, and gender and other things. To this day it is what I go by. Thus being successful in what I do.

    My Homofobia is I can't grasp two men having sex. You described me same as you in the second paragraph of your post and that what it is and nothing more.

    What you said to Deepak was right and he should be told but the way we say things that's what counts. My best wishes to you and thankyou for reminding me the great words of Martin Niemoller.

    HARRY
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    09.01.12 06:43 AM
    Deepak, Harry et al - I will leave you with the words of theologian Martin Niemoller speaking during the Nazi regime in Germany.

    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.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    09.01.12 06:37 AM
    @Harry - in the context of Deepak's comments, my own were not extreme but wholly appropriate. Equating most homosexuals with child abuse is extreme. Paedophilia is one of the most heinous of crimes. I am disappointed (reading your previous comments on this site) that you appear to me more offended by my language than Deepak's statement.

    By the way, you need to clarify your definition of homophobia. If you simply cannot grasp how a man can possibly enjoy having sexual relations with another man than we are both in the same category. That is because we are straight. This is not homophobia. What we are talking about (and what the post covers) is the different treatment of people based on their sexual orientation. That's when it becomes a problem and people like me will speak out.

    For me Tys said it best:
    "That discrimination is in the league as racism, gender biasedness, castism etc. Its funny to see that we choose what we can and will not discriminate…"

    I understand you, like me, are based in the UK. When I grew up I was called a f**king paki on a regular basis. I could not understand why as a British born asian speaking perfect English I should be singled out as different in such a hateful way. I fought against this bigotry and so did many other people on my / our behalf. In fact if you look at footage of any of the anti-racist marches, the vast majority of protesters were white yet they were on the streets demanding equal rights for us.

    You expect to be treated the same as any other British citizen, but to others you are different and considered to be diluting traditional British culture. You speak in a funny foreign tongue, you smell of curry, you pray to funny looking gods with elephant trunks and lots of arms, etc, and quite frankly you should f**k off back to where you came from. So how do you like that? Well you don't. You feel that you should be free to eat your own food, speak your own language, practice your own beliefs and receive equal treatment under British law - and quite right too! We all need to adopt the same principle for other groups that are different to us.

    Your statement about homophobia being in the DNA is a complete copout. When I was young I made homophobic comments within my peer group but I grew up and got to know better - all without the assistance of any genetic engineering. In a similar way to Tys's comment, you are choosing which old attitudes you alter and which you hang onto. If you were to ever have a gay child, you watch how quickly your DNA would modify. What I am saying is do not wait for such an eventuality. However old you are, it is never too late to develop into a better human being, to become more considerate, tolerant, enlightened.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    09.01.12 05:59 AM
    @Deepak - I accept that a large number of people harbour homophobic views, but what exactly is your point?

    Many Indians are full of self loathing about their skin colour that they go to great lengths and risks to lighten their skin tone to closer match that of their former colonial masters.
    Many Indian men have sexist attitudes that result in restrictions for women in society and the workplace.
    Many Indian women are sexually harrassed and assaulted on a daily basis.
    Corruption in Indian politics is endemic.

    Surely you are not suggesting that because something is widespread it is right or acceptable??

    I am sorry but you did abuse gay people in the most horrendous and unacceptable way. Please review your second message on this forum. I think this is an indication that you would, and do, discriminate against gay people. Discrimination does not just mean physical attacks but equal treatment in general. I think you are backtracking now. I am not confident that you would equally treat a gay person in the scenario I gave you - as an employer.
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    09.01.12 01:08 AM
    correction
    The word acceplible should be replaced by acceptable. can't spell today to save my life.
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    09.01.12 01:00 AM
    I read this article yesterday, and decided to comment, but I had to do something else, so couldn't do it. At the same time my Mrs. walked in with tea an asked, what are you reading and I told her. This article.

    The film Philadelphia with Tom Hanks was on on channel-5 on the same night and I decided to watch it. Is it a gay day for you today asked Mrs. Which I replied it is, bearing in mind, I am a bit Homofobic. My whole reason to avoid commenting yesterday was based on Mr A Singh on war path with Deepak for expressing his opinions (misconceptions) regarding gay people, which the film clearly shows, how Americans reacts to gay subjects.

    I like Mr Singh's stance, it's noble and right but his reason for over reacting with Deepak are bit exream. I don't agree with Deepak but he has right to an opinion, like all of us.

    My wife wants a double door fridge freezer in our dinning room. To accomodate this I had to change all the radiators down stairs.

    Why the story ?
    Certain things in ones life is not possible without drastic change. Thus story with fridge frezzer.
    Accepting homosexuality is bit like this, if it doesn't fit in your life's concept that does not mean that you are bad.

    I am bit homofobic, but this does not mean I am bad or I support all the attacks on people who have different choice in life.

    What I am saying is, every straight individual out their are slightly homofobic. This is a fact and part of our DNA and you can't chane it. Same way you can't change a gay person. But not accepting this is same as like not accepting sunrise tomorrow. It's gone happen.

    The whole point I am trying to relay is certain thing are not possible with certain individuals and it's nothing to do with culture or the way you are brought up or the religion you belong to. It's like certain concept are not possible with all of us and that's why we are INDIVIDUALS not all same. The things that is ok with one, is not acceplible with others and that's the way things are, and that you can't change, otherwise entire human race will be same.

    I don't like mushrooms. You can preach to me, educate me on it, explain the sciencetific benifits and tell me it's good for me, and God loves them. But I will never change my mind. It's the way we are built, same way as gay people are too.

    If one of my offspring said to me that they are gay, and can I accept it, I don't know the answer to this, and that's truth rather then me lying to you and saying I love gay people. The truth is the best policy rather then politicaly correct.

    HARRY
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    08.01.12 11:53 AM
    @Manan:) bro, i certainly accept your point RABBIT chase, well said.

    I believe and what i said was, sex has become a profitable business, do you deny that ? Today sex has been made as a BUSINESS..
    Pleasure thing and RABBIT chase is the reason behind today's deadly diseases and RAPE CHASE too :P
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    08.01.12 11:50 AM
    @tys:) Every man is right in his own eyes :) yes as you say, we have a problem in seeing beyond.

    It is their own wish and interest and it is their LIFE, so it's their choice, i am none to oppose or accept that.
    i am here to share views on that as a common man.
    i don't know why i feel hard with these but for sure am not against any one's personal interest.
  • tys
    By
    tys
    08.01.12 10:54 AM
    deepak, to get back to the point. I dont think most hate homosexuality. They just dont understand it and hence fear it, and therefore alienate it or worse discrimante against it.

    That discrimination is in the league as racism, gender biasedness, castism etc. Its funny to see that we choose what we can and will not discriminate...this is ok but this is not...and we r still dealing with people...people just like u and me...think it as veg and non veg....do u feel this strong?

    My question is why shud a section of our society have to live their life based on wht u ( not in a personal sense) want? Why r we unable to see beyond their sexual orientation? Its not like we look at a person and see only what they do in bed...so why do they hve to suffer that?

    The problem is in our inability to see beyond.
  • manan
    By
    manan
    08.01.12 09:56 AM
    sex is an art, sex is bussiness, sex is reproduction... pleasure comes as a byproduct??? dude! seriously???
    sex is pleasure,
    images suggesting sex are pleasurable, hence the avid potrayal of suggestive art, which by no means equals the act.
    sex is much sought and rarely found.. reason why it is a profitable bussiness venture.
    reproduction is nature's goal.. sex is the means to accomplish it.. and orgasms are the carrot dangled by nature to make the human rabit chase it.
    and now i am wondering.. why did i even bother to comment.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    08.01.12 09:43 AM
    @TYS:)
    Good point..
    I must correct, Sex is not about reproduction alone,
    Yes, in today's world SEX is business.
    In tomorrow's world it might be a hobby..

    Sex is an art i guess so, so may be because of that our ancient Indians portrayed it one temple walls and wrote pages and pages about sex.

    What is happening today ? To get that pleasure, our humans are kidnapping,trafficking and selling women,kids etc !
    I believe the prime reason for sex is Reproduction where pleasure comes as a byproduct !( these are all my views :))
  • tys
    By
    tys
    08.01.12 02:34 AM
    cudnt resist. Have to put my two bit in.

    Is sex only abt reproduction? Isnt sex, to us, as a species with some sembelence of the oft repeated ability of reasoning and logic, about enjoyment too. In my opinion, reproduction is rather a side effect of sex, since most of us dont get into the act of sex with the thought of a child due to it. We rather go do it becoz we enjoy it.

    Satisfaction or even how we attain it as long as it involves consentment is a personal thing. I dont think it requires anyones consent or judgement. Especially if it involves treating someone as lesser becos it doesnt conform with our established standards of behaviour. We deny our own rights when we do that to another.

    In some ways iam thankful for deepak becoz he voices a concern a few will becos of political correctness in todays world. but like singh says, tolerance shud not end in just in acceptance but rather in standing up for what we accept.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    07.01.12 10:55 PM
    yes well said,

    As i said, it is their personal interest and wish, they have got rights to do what they like, i won't discriminate them or attack them since i have no rights to intervene with their personals.

    But what i feel is, why there should be such thing ? though it is their interest perhaps love, why don't they limit that to an friendship extent ? why marriage ?

    Most of the people hate homosexuality, Do you agree ?
    That's why it was banned in India and then accepted.

    As of now, it is considered as worst thing,, we are not sure how it will be a century later..
    Whatever it is, it was nice to argue despite of some harsh things..

    I finish it up with, it is everyone's own opinion and wish..
    Every person has got right to do what he wish to but it should not hurt others !
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    07.01.12 09:24 PM
    @Deepak - your attitudes are the foundation required for gay people to be attacked and discriminated against even if you are not the person carrying it out. If the majority of people thought like you, attacks would escalate with the silent support of the wider group. With your views, would you really intervene in the event of a gay person being attacked in the street. Would you risk your life to save him?

    When you say pity, what does that mean? How would it manifest itself if you were in a position of power or influence. Let's say you are an employer, can you honestly say you will take on the best person if you know they are gay? If you cannot, you have discriminated against them which has a material impact on their life.

    I promise you one thing - people are not consciously choosing love or physical affection for one gender or the other. They are born with these preferences. After all, who would choose to be gay in a society where they are so alienated? Surely it would make for an easier life to go for the opposite sex, wouldn't it? If you accept this basic fact (even if you find it abhorrent) you will accept by default that there is a statistical chance that one of your offspring could be gay. What then? If they were unable to receive the support of their parents what chance do they have in life?

    I don't understand all the moral and hypothetical questions about reproduction. How is it of any relevance? As a species we had to procreate to survive and this involved sexual intercourse between a man and woman. But gay people came into existence by virtue of nature. Shit happened! On the other side of the coin one of the most serious problems facing the world is population explosion - too many people procreating! You want to talk about nature? You just wait another 50 years or so to see how nature will deal with overpopulation.

    What we are discussing is something completely different. It's about basic human rights. People who are different and not causing you any harm should not be the subject of harm. For the last week in the UK I have been watching the heart aching footage of the family of Anuj Bidve coming to the terms with the loss of their son in what was almost certainly a hate crime. No doubt the white attacker perceived Indians to be of an alien culture coming to the UK taking British jobs, etc. This is what can happen as a result of intolerance and ignorance.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    07.01.12 08:37 PM
    @ Singh: i don't abuse gay or lesbian people and i don't hate them but i can just feel pity for them !

    i ask only one thing...
    Can a man and man or women and women reproduce a child ??

    Reproduction is nature, without that you,me and this page will not be exisitng,,

    Just think, what if centuries ago all people were gay and lesbians ?
    Just for a minute imagine though it is impossible..

    So now i ask, is that natural for a man to be in a sexual relation with another man ??
    IF being gay or a lesbian is a natural thing.. why must and why should have 2 genders ?

    Loving a guy is different and having a romantic relation with a guy by a guy is really really shame thing.
    But it is their choice, after all Happiness is something which comes after we get the thing that we wish for !

    I don't accept killing or abusing homosexual people, we have no right to do that.
  • manan
    By
    manan
    07.01.12 08:26 PM
    when i began reading the article, i realised i was in no position to comment, because i confess, i havent given the phenomenon of homosexuality, or its social and interpersonal implications a deep thought.
    people cant control the way they feel. and you cant judge someone for what they feel.
    homosexuality, according to me, is a personal choice, like wearing yellow or eating tandoori chicken. if you dont like it, YOU dont wear / eat it.
    and if you think you have the right to stop others from doing what they feel, how can it not apply the other way round?
    but what i thoroughly enjoyed reading was the comments. they mirror, in shocking depth, what your article sought to convey.. the immature and two faced approach of a self-righteous society versus the liberal approach of the wisened few.. and this clash applies to every social debate there is.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    07.01.12 08:00 PM
    So Deepak, we can summarise your position.

    1. You believe homosexuality is unnatural, insane, gross and ugly (your words)
    2. Homosexuals are child abusers. You do not have specific experience in this area but you should be allowed to make this statement in a public forum, under the principle of freedom of speech, and pass of it off as fact
    3, It is completely unacceptable for me to personally abuse no matter how outrageous your comments are

    You are right - my ‘words are nothing to you’. Nothing in comparison to your own words. I did not abuse you for my personal gratification but a nobler cause - to speak up in defence of a large group of people that face discrimination, and far worse, everyday. Their right to live in peace and with respect is far more important that your sensitivities or bruised ego.

    Your words and attitudes cost lives. In nearly every part of the world, gay people are abused (in the real meaning of the word!), attacked and murdered because of their sexual orientation which they have no control over. The perpetrators of these hate crimes share your stance on homosexuality. By suggesting that you did not abuse me, you completely missed the point. You did something much worse. You made a gross (both senses of the word!) generalisation about a whole community. I could not care less if you abused me, it’s water of a duck’s back.

    Being a straight man I cannot imagine being intimate with a man, but should that mean I condemn a fellow human being for having a different preference, particularly when they are born with it? This is what is called tolerance - the bedrock of secular India. You do not need to be educated to have tolerance. I did not even graduate.

    There was a time a few hundreds of years ago under Moghul rule that Hindus were forced to convert to Islam. The oppressors believed that these strange religious practices were against god (Allah). Hindus had a choice - convert or die. My ancestors, the Sikhs, not only lived harmoniously side by side with their Hindu brethren but they went to war and died to defend their rights to practice religious beliefs which they did not share. The result is the modern secular democracy in which you live. Maybe you should take something from that.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    07.01.12 07:39 PM
    Well Mr.Singh, you don't need to take my point seriously..
    i am back again, i believe i din't hurt anyone, i must say that" you cant expect everyone to accept your opinion"..
    We can argue if you wish still, but no foul words

    remember i dint use a word on you !
    i believe i said about those who practice gay and importantly u have mistook my point as all gay and lesb are child abusers...
    i repeat, if you wish i am ready to argue again...
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    07.01.12 07:14 PM
    @Indu - I apologise if you were offended by my comments. I do not usually resort to such language here but there was a reason and I will be explaining myself shortly.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    07.01.12 11:52 AM
    @A.SIngh:) thanks a ton for your WONDERFUL words, i don't mind your words as they are nothing to me.

    do you think abusing a person who reads your posts and shares his opinion are retards ?
    i may not be as intelligent and as experienced as you especially in this field, but i do have an opinion which i can share.

    I won't hurt any of my readers with the words as you used,
    If i am wrong or if you are wrong there is a way to speak and share.you can come to my deepak.zeus@gmail.com and i can give my personal mobile number.
    do you think you as supreme, YOU MUST MIND your words sir, i never abused you personally, i just expressed my view, which i believe anyone has that freedom, aren't we ?

    SOrry to say, i won't visit this NRI site anymore, i have my own self respect, i know foul words and i can abuse at anyone who abuses me.

    It is not a fair one to pay back abusing words, then there won't be a difference between an ignorant uneducated person and an experiences intellect person like YOU.
    Good bye the-nri.com
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    07.01.12 11:44 AM
    @SEN:) that's true mam, we can exchange views and everyone feels that they are right, we can share views like i shared mine and Mr. Singh shared his own, but stuffing an opinion with harsh,worst,shameful words on someone is not a fair one..
    i am sorry to say, i don't wanna visit a site which don't hears my view but only abuses the readers..
  • Supratik SEN
    By
    Supratik SEN
    07.01.12 11:01 AM
    Following the legalization of same sex marriage in Spain in 2005, Javier Bardem, the hero of Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona said that if he were gay, he would "get married tomorrow, just to fuck with the Church" (mañana mismo, sólo para joder a la Iglesia).
    I am quoting him because I think his rage is against the church, not against Jesus. Nobody can be against HIM. I do believe that Jesus says, and continues to say with unconditional love that, ‘I love All’ – and here I don’t think he excludes ‘anybody’.
  • Susmita Sen
    By
    Susmita Sen
    07.01.12 10:24 AM
    I am glad that we are using this forum to discuss this issue. Through discussion and debate perhaps some day the paradigm of tolerance will shift for people like Deepak who are a product of their upbringings...Education can open up even the most hermetically sealed mind.
  • tys
    By
    tys
    07.01.12 10:14 AM
    If we have to go by the ancient books as a source of history, then we would find that sexuality was accepted in our society...bisexuality, beastiality, hetro and homo and whatever comes in between...i think being a very old civilization they would have crossed most of these bridges we face now..but the influx of other ideas, mainly thru people and other cultures changed some of these ...perhaps by force or even by some sort of peer pressure...

    what we are now if not in accordance with what we claim we once were ( i find this statement ridiculous, since what our forefathers did or didnt do is no credit to us )...

    i do think that sexuality is a a personal thing and i believe that what happens between consenting people should be their own business...religion and politics should stay out of peoples bedrooms...

    i too have come from a homophobic background, mainly due to having being a product of a boys only school...but on reflection , i think, my feelings then were probably caused by a fear of ridicule among my peers if i accepted what i saw around me as a natural outlet..

    contrary to what some of the readers here stated, we do find sexual outlets in what presents itself in front of us and when theres none preferable available we tend to choose what is there...so bixsexuality is probably what by nature we are...but this probably will not be accepted even by ourselves...i think some amount of this rejection of same sex unions is due to our own fear of looking at ourselves...thereby condomning it in others seemingly redeems us...

    just a thought..

    by the way, in nature many animals exhibit homosexuality....mainly in its male species...rats, dogs ...

    i have now many friends among me who are homosexuals...some were wired that way...they just didnt fnd the opposite sex attractive in a sexual way, some seems to have discovered a preferance along the way...but what ever may be the case, they are normal people...no horns, no tails, nothing..just regular ,normal people with normal lifes...i dont think they need our affirmations , i dont think anyone does..i think we need to look at ourselves and ask why we feel this way...really...not due to some dead peoples ideas and some dead peoples books or some dead peoples life that we hold as our beacon of culture ...but really what is it that we fear and then ask,

    why?
  • indu chhibber
    By
    indu chhibber
    07.01.12 09:56 AM
    A Singh----Why this kolaveri ? Surely we can exchange views without abuse.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    07.01.12 12:15 AM
    @Deepak - a gay person is born gay. Their sexual orientation does not compromise their values, abilities, etc. You might be stunned to learn that it is actually possible to be gay and a good, caring citizen that contributes to society. Amazing! If homosexuality is against nature, how has nature (or god if you are a believer) allowed people to be born gay?

    With regards to your other points, I wanted to stay calm but feel that you have crossed a line, so I am barely able to contain myself.

    What do you mean you can't live a life alone and that there are so many (more) diversities elsewhere? India is virtually a continent not a country!! Only British rule and a national railway has kept it as a country. There is as much diversity, and racial tensions in India, as the USA. And if you think India is steeped in tradition and will always be so, how come McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks are popping up everywhere. How is it possible that many young professionals are relocating for work on their own - and yes living alone? Wake up - India is changing. You should change with it.

    Most homosexuals are CHILD ABUSERS?? You fucking retard!! You should not be allowed out of your house or ever permitted to discuss these kind of matters on a public forum. You should have stuck to the stance that you consider being gay as unnatural and avoided making statements that single you out as one of the most ignorant, bigoted people I have ever had the misfortune to come across.

    Unlike you, I actually have professional law enforcement experience in the field of child sex offences and can tell you that the vast majority of paedophiles are heterosexual. Anyone that has worked in this field can tell you that and nothing you think changes that.

    By the way, India is full of fucking sex offenders and they are all straight men. Every big metro is full of these perverts who harrass, grope and rape innocent women (and underage girls, i.e child abusers!!). Whenever I am there with my wife I have to put up or deal with these scum - and you have gall to reserve your indignation towards gay people, most of whom are decent people living decent lives.

    I refuse to accept your point of view because you should not be allowed to put such views forward describing gays as child abusers. That is a serious and ridiculous allegation and needs to be challenged. We are all for freedom of speech but even in India there are limits to what you are able to say publicly - privately think what you want.

    Another thing - you based your views on the fact you thought that homosexuality does not exist in the animal kingdom. But it does. So maybe you should start looking at things differently.

    Don't worry gay people are not asking you to constantly visualise two same people having sex or even to be their friend. They just want to be treated equally and with respect. Do you think you are able to do that?
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    06.01.12 11:31 PM
    well Mr A.Singh
    i accept that it's their own choice on deciding their life partner or partners, but there exists a culture and some strong traditions.

    India is cradle for culture, i don't understand the point, if HOMOSEXUALITY is not against nature, why should we have 2 gender ? let everyone be male or everyone be female,,

    No parent or no brother will feel happy or will feel comfortable by seeing their son as a homosexual person,
    In India i feel no other men will go very deep with another gay men, society will consider him as a gay either.

    We cant live a life for ourselves alone, this is not USA or Europe.
    people here are different and there are so many characters here and so many diversities.

    Most of the people follows homosexuality are CHILD ABUSERS, there are some flesh trade happening, in short words.
    Homosexuality in India is Insane,gross,ugliest thing that Indians will ever see in terms of relationship.

    I spoke my views, when you write a blog you cant accept everyone to accept your point, there will be contradictions.
    i spoke what i feel, i accept and value your thoughts too.
    like that try to accept the points other man shows !
  • Sunil Deepak
    By
    Sunil Deepak
    06.01.12 10:16 PM
    I also feel so surprized that in India we are so homophobic.

    A level of intimacy among all male friends and among all female friends is possible in India that is not possible in other cultures - at least that is how I had thought of it during my growing upo years in India.

    Men and women in drag during festivals or marriages, is another area where I thought that we Indians are more accepting in areas where they are more uptight in the west.

    Finally, as you have also shown in examples, the holy books of oriental religions, have so many myths and stories that seem more open to diversity in human sexuality.

    At the same time, I think that Indian society is much more stronger on getting married and having families. Thus can it be that Indians are opposed to gay or lesbian life styles as these refute conventional marriage and family, but are more accepting of "relations" as long as a superficial patina of "normalacy" is maintained? For the same reason, the hijras are ostracised and marginalized?
  • Vishal
    By
    Vishal
    06.01.12 09:28 PM
    I agree, A. Singh. However, we're probably only considering urban India. Plus, even they are more tolerant when it comes to conventional issues, not unconventional ones...
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    06.01.12 07:16 PM
    @Vishal - I don't think it is that. You are underselling Indians. In many respects they are more open minded, tolerant and forward thinking than their western counterparts. Indians cannot begin to compete with some of the most extreme forms of homophobia in the world's most powerful country - the USA. Plus homosexuality is as old as mankind.

    I just think this kind of prejudice cuts through all races and social classes. It's born out of an ignorance and people feel safer voicing their opinions when they feel they are shared by people across the board. It is sheer hypocrisy. There is an outcry when an overseas Indian student is killed for their colour of their skin, but others feel it is ok to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation.
  • Vishal
    By
    Vishal
    06.01.12 05:15 PM
    The thing with us in India is we are mired so deep in tradition that we find it hard to embrace new ideas. That's why it's hard for quite a few of us to digest a homosexual relation. I guess that's why a lot of rural (and quite a few urban) families still carry out rituals like sacrifice, voodoo, etc.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    06.01.12 04:32 PM
    @Deepak - what absolute nonsense! If you think being gay is unnatural have the guts say that it's your personal opinion rather than trying to conjure up back up evidence - especially when it's patently wrong!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

    Oh, and it's not for anyone else to ALLOW another to be gay. Someone is gay, and will remain so, regardless of what anyone thinks. The only difference the latter will make is whether the gay person chooses to be open about their sexual orientation or not. I suppose you prefer the option of a gay man (for example) marrying a woman and ruining two lives in the process?
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    06.01.12 04:07 PM
    Love is unconditional and it has no classifications or gender etc, but there is something called NATURE..
    i don't think that any other species in the world will involve a gay or lesbian relationship !
    This is an insane thought and against nature and our culture !
    I wonder how my compatriots accepts this ? will any mother allow her son/daughter to be a gay or lesbian in INdia ?
  • Shalini
    By
    Shalini
    06.01.12 10:42 AM
    I believe strongly that I am a liberal and hence I venture to say that I suppose I would be able to accept such a discovery in the family. But then, I have never faced the situation and in fact never known a true homosexual atleast consciously. In fact, if it were not for the censure of organised religion I do not know if it might have been such a big issue in our society. Who knows! I hope I am right in my assessment of myself. :)

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