Of rainbows and reforms

The time has come to talk of many things, but mostly it is of rainbows and reforms. To be precise, the reform that homosexuality had just been legalized in India today.

You’ve probably heard of the gay pride marches two days ago, which took place (as far as I know) in Chennai and Delhi; to speak out against the soon to be repealed Article 377, which criminalises homosexuality. I was frankly surprised that such a movement took so long to arrive home in India – it is high time that people to come to terms with reality.  The response was mostly good, but it was a bit astonishing to see that several letters to editor in the Hindu responded quite discouragingly. The very first of these said removing the law would lead to dire consequences, such as leading to child abuse and a decay of morality and values, an erosion of ethics, and that it would mean giving undue freedom to minorities without responsibility and accountability.  Now, I could easily have blown my top off while reading this, asking exactly which century and location the sender of that letter came from (medieval Europe being the top contender). Instead of doing that, let me just tell you the facts. You don’t actually have a lot of choice if you happen to be – forgive me for using such a term, queerly oriented, as much as you have the choice to be a boy or a girl before you were born. Thus, punishing a gay would be quite as silly as, say, punishing someone for being born a girl.

Another burgeoning misconception evident from the letter is that such reforms may lead to an increase in child abuse. However, the truth is far from it – gay love has as much to do with child abuse as “ordinary” love in everyday affairs. Neither is it, as one religious head had already portrayed with added effect, another negating influenced of new-fangled Western culture. It is quite conceivable that homosexuality itself had taken root quite a long time ago in India,with legislation prohibiting it and an active movement being stillborn. For instance, several statues (warning: I would rather that you not see the images in that link :D) in Indian temples depict images that are, if not explicitly gay, at least an expression of same-sex intimacy. Last I heard, India was still a part of the “East”. The statues were later defaced and removed by a “cleansing” campaign that rewrote Indian history.

At the heart of it all lies the myth that the whole thing is against the law of nature. Au contraire, several animals and bird show such same sex preferences. Now, I am no evolutionary biologist, but this might be because of the selective advantage offered by such traits that show a balancing effect on animal population. In which case, India sure needs a hell of a lot of homos.

Meanwhile, the flag of the rainbow, which is chosen universally for the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender” movement, flutters in the wind of change; reminding us that hues may change, but humanity does not.