Friday, 20 December 2013

India: Today


Of all the cruelties that we as human beings can visit on one another, one of the most cruel is to say:

"You shall not love or make love with the person you love, not because of excessive youth or because of unwillingness, but because he or she comes from a different religion, a different caste, the same village, the same gender.

You may say you love each other, that you are happy with each other, that you give each other solace and courage and delight, but your love disgusts me. It runs counter to custom, it is an offence in law, it is against the order of nature, it brings dishonour to our family, it will dilute our blood, it will bring about kali-yuga, it will corrupt everyone around you, it is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. It must be forbidden.

You may say you love each other, but I do not care. No, I cannot turn away and simply let you live your life in peace and happiness. I must do something about it. I will indeed do something about it. No, you have not harmed me, but I will harm you. I will disown you, I will treat you with contempt, I will make you an outcaste or a criminal, I will lock you up. I will break your legs, I will fling acid in your face, I will hang you from a crane, I will stone you to death.

If the mob helps me, so much the better. If the law helps me, so much the better. If I can wrap myself in a flag, so much the better. If I can drape religion around myself, so much the better. But by one means or another, I will tear the two of you apart. It is fit and proper that I should do this.

I will do this because my Clan tells me to, my Panchayat tells me to, this Book tells me to, this Section of this Act tells me to, Civilisation itself tells me to, God himself tells me to.

No appeal to reason will touch me. No appeal to humanity will touch me. No appeal to Indian history or modern science will touch me. My brain is a science-free zone. My brain is a history-free zone. My brain is a fact-free zone.

This, at its core, is a simple matter. My love is right. Your love is wrong."


Vikram Seth writes beautifully on Section 377 and gay rights in India.

PS The law looks set to be repealed - though it is not to believed to have been used to prosecute any men for having consensual sex anyway.

Fagburn is sure the likes of Queer Nation NY will be putting as much effort into protesting this as they have been doing over Russia - so send in all your stories and photos!

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