Written by Divija Vaish, a grade 11 student. Featured writer, I Kid You Not
Warning: Strong Opinions
The following article may be slightly offensive towards “tradition”. It also talks about homosexuality and condemns homophobia.
Recently, the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, tweeted something that caused a brief movement of sorts (the #YesHomoVivah as a reaction to the resulting #NoHomoVivah). He tweeted that “our legal system, values do not recognise same-sex marriages.”
Now, you may not have heard about this. That’s probably because the media was too busy chasing Rhea Chakraborty and Kangana Ranaut (or how many balloons were burst in honor of PM Modi’s birthday) to talk about matters that actually affect a relatively larger portion Indian population. So let’s talk about the LGBTQ+ community and India.
On 6th September, 2018 (by the way, why was no one talking about how it’s been two years since this event? Huh. Strange, no?) the Indian Government “struck down” a law that was passed in 1861 by the Britishers. The law said, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished.” Apparently being homosexual is considered to be “against the order of nature” but let’s not go there. Now, the overturning of this law, popularly known as Section 377 (recognise it now?), is definitely a huge step for a country as populous as India. Why does the population matter? Because larger the population, the larger the number of non-heterosexual people. You may think that’s a very generalised and partially incorrect statement, but you think that because the number of “closeted-homosexuals” (and other people of the LGBTQ+ community) is much, much larger than the number of openly homosexual people, hence it seems like the U.S. and other “friendly” countries (where the situation is the opposite) have more people of the LGBTQ+ community despite having a smaller population, and so you think my statement is incorrect.
Sure, the Government may have “decriminalised” homosexuality, but the people, for a fact, have not. Even if the government were to officially grant homosexuals equal rights as heterosexuals, (rights such as right to property, right to get married, etc.) the people will still not accept homosexality. Why? Because that’s written in our “tradition”, and we are a very traditional people (that’s called “being ‘sarcastic’”). It’s not really “tradition”, nor is it unreligious. There are quite a few statues of gods and goddesses indulging in homosexual “activity” (that’s sex, by the way.) And if you think that this, aka homophobia, is a problem that will fade away with our parents’ generation, you are, sadly, wrong. Homophobia persists even in our generation, no matter how “socially flexible” or “open-minded” we millennials or gen-z kids seem (might need to stop saying “It’s the 21st century, grow up.”).
I’m not homosexual. But why should that ever stop me from advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community? Why is that stopping you from, if not advocating, at least supporting them? Are they not people? Do they not deserve to love freely? To live freely? Since our country seems so hellbent on mimicking the Americans and their ways, why can’t they also mimic them in these ways? Decriminalising something that is but natural may be a big step for our country. But just because we have taken the first step does not mean we are any closer to what should be our goal: getting society to decriminalise anything that’s against “tradition”. Is it “tradition” to rape someone? No, right? But it still happens. If India wants to break “tradition” in so many ways, might as well break it in all ways, no?
I sincerely (do not) apologise if this article disturbed or provoked you in any sense. I am a woman, hence being provocative is “tradition” for me. Couldn’t help it. It’s “tradition.”
Please note: the views expressed in all opinion pieces belong to the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of the platform. I Kid You Not believes in giving a voice to today’s teens and children, not matter which side of the debate they are on.
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