Oct 10, 2008

Gay friendliness in the media

If you guys are expecting rather detailed, personal posts from me, I'm afraid it's going to take a while to do that. I'm not finding time with my studies taking most of my awake time. Hence, until my exams are over sometime in late November, I'll post in short bursts.

Today morning, while watching the cute Allan Border on Neo Sports sharing his opinion on why Australian team is kicking the Indian ass, I stumbled on two more stories in the newspaper relating to the gay-decriminalisation issue. I'm gonig to present them here along with a song that I heard on the radio. My gay friend Firebolt is probably going to love it!
  • Do you think gay people should be imprisoned? (from TOI Mumbai edition page 11)

    Reema Kagti, director of the film ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’, says that it’s time we asked the right questions about homosexuality

    The debate on de-criminalizing homosexuality gains momentum in the wake of the ongoing public litigation challenging article 377 in the Delhi High Court. The question “Do you think homosexuality should be legalized in India?’’ is increasingly being thrown around in the media. An opinion poll by NDTVDoctor had 69 per cent of those polled saying “NO’’.

    Vivek Divan, a friend and lawyer, pointed out that it is not enough to just ask questions, it is important that we ask the right questions. The right question in this case is: Regardless of your personal views on homosexuality, do you think that if you or your child or sister or brother or
    friend is caught in the privacy of the bedroom performing a sexual act with a consenting adult of the same sex, he or she should be imprisoned with a life sentence?

    It is this question that does justice to the issues that the debate on Section 377 throws up. An average Indian has been brought up to believe homosexuality is an aberration and saying that it yes should be legalised is synonymous to saying yes to deviant behavior. This debate is not about the Indian people’s personal prejudice against homosexuality or the lack of. This debate is whether India is a democratic nation or not. A truly democratic country upholds the rights of minorities.

    There are anywhere between 20 to 40 million people with alternative sexuality in India today. Article 377 of the IPC violates every constitutional provision to uphold their right to equality and non-discrimination. It encourages persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, flouting the constitution of India and United Nations and Human Rights Watch norms.

    On this pertinent human rights issue, India is out of step with nations like South Africa, USA, UK, the whole of Europe and South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Korea. India’s discriminatory stand clubs her with unprogressive countries like Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Cases of homophobic police officers using Article 377 to create obstacles for legitimate HIV prevention has been so rampant that the UN and Human Rights Watch have sent directives to the government regarding this. The union health minister of India, Mr Ramadoss, has openly supported repealing Section 377 because it is stunting India’s fight against AIDS. The home ministry opposes decriminalisation saying it will lead to a decline in morality. I do believe none of the people responsible for the Home Ministry’s report really know a single gay person. My advice to them is to make friends with a few because it will help them do their jobs better.

    I, unlike them, know people of alternative sexuality from different walks of life. There are gay film-makers, lawyers, doctors, journalists, industrialists, artists, teachers, activists, curators, students, rickshaw drivers, migrant laborers, tailors, dancers, critics, writers, shop-keepers, politicians...the list is endless. Each of them is somebody’s child, somebody’s sibling, somebody’s
    friend. They are not two-headed monsters who live underground emerging only to wreck perversion and debauchery. They are completely normal, productive and sometimes even tax-paying people who are a valid and an integral part of our society. Their daily pre-occupations are no different from their heterosexual counterparts: Are prices ever going to stop rising? Am I safe standing here next to this dustbin or is it going to blow up in my face? How best can I provide for my family and loved ones in this world of chaos?

    The government and judiciary of India will in no way be doing any harm or demeaning to themselves by restoring and upholding basic fundamental rights and freedoms of 20 to 40 million Indian citizens promised to them by their constitution. Instead, repealing this 148-year-old law will prove to citizens and the international community alike that India is truly committed to upholding the ideals of freedom and equality.

    To judge whether the people of India are a truly democratic people you will have to put yourself through the litmus test. So here goes...Regardless of your stand on homosexuality, do you think that if you or your child or sister or brother or friend is caught in the privacy of the bedroom performing a sexual act with a consenting adult of the same sex should he or she be imprisoned with a life sentence?

    If your answer is yes, then before we go announcing to the world that we are the largest democracy, it will serve us well to examine whether we are a democracy at all.

    RULE OF LAW: Article 377 violates every constitutional provision to uphold a homosexual’s right to equality and non-discrimination

  • Wedded bliss for Bengal’s same-sex couple - From TOI Mumbai edition 19th page

    Howrah Families Accept Marriage Of Daughters Who Fell In Love & Eloped To R’than
    Pinaki Das | TNN

    Howrah: Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss’ concern for gay rights in India seems to have paid off. Two families in remote parts of Howrah district have agreed to accept their daughters’ decision to live together as man and wife. The parents of one of the girls have also decided to adopt a child later to make the marriage complete.

    Rinku Mondal, 20, daughter of a motor mechanic in Nayachak village, and Tanusree Manna, 21, of Shibtala in the Panchla police station area, had eloped on September 22. A letter recovered from Tanusree’s house said they were in love and wanted to marry. “We know our relatives and society won’t accept this alliance. We’ve decided to leave our families and live elsewhere as man and wife,” they wrote.

    Both families then lodged missing diaries with police. In addition, Rinku’s parents filed complaints against Tanusree’s sister Mithu, her husband Badal Das and friend Rupali Hyt. The police arrested Badal and started looking for Mithu.

    Rinku and Tanusree had met during Mithu and Badal’s wedding a couple of years ago and fallen in love. The two started working at a zari factory to keep in touch. Rupali apparently knew of the affair.

    After leaving their homes, the two girls set off for Rajasthan. On the way the two got married, and Rinku started sporting sindoor and conchshell bangles like married Bengali women. While in Rajasthan, the two learnt of Badal’s arrest and decided to return.

    The two turned up at Panchla police station on Tuesday and declared they were adults and had left on their own accord. On Wednesday, they gave their statements before a magistrate. Both Rinku and Tanusree’s parents were present in court. After their statements were recorded, the two families decided to accept the marriage.

    “The two are inseparable and we don’t want them to come to any harm. We’ve decided to accept Rinku as our daughter-in-law. The only problem is they will not have children. At a later date, we may adopt a child to make the marriage complete,” said Tanusree’s mother Moya. Rinku’s father Arun Mondal also said he had no problems so long as his daughter was happy.

Here's is the video that you people can check out. It's a song by the American artist Kate Perry who is alleged to be a bisexual. Check out the lyrics!


Stray said...

Technical correction - all references to "Article 377" in the post ought to be "Section 377" instead. This refers to a section within the Indian Penal Code and not our Constitution.

Another point - Section 377 criminalizes certain sexual acts and does not criminalize homosexuality itself. It is important that folks understand that it is perfectly legal to be anything other than straight in India; what is said to be a crime are certain actions alone, not mindsets. I disagree with the Section in any event.

Anonymous said...

One current cabinet ministers son is very flamboyantly gay and is out to his parents and all

I just wish that minister had the guts to stand along with Ramadoss and speak out

Kris Bass said...

@ Stray: That's TOI's article. I am not going to change the text. Someone in the NDTV talk show (We the People) raised this point about the Section 377 criminalizing oral and anal sex even in straight couples. It was a good point.

@ Anonymous: Which one is this?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, who in the name of love??

Stray said...


I was expressing my points re the TOI article itself and not your having put the article up. All I'm trying to say is that there is no issue of "de-criminalizing homosexuality" because being a homosexual is not against the law. As you rightly point out, Sec. 377 can be used against everyone indulging in anal sex, including straight people.

I think articles appearing within most public forums (including newspapers) need to be treated with a pinch of salt. The author of the TOI article, for example, has based the article on a non-issue/ premise, which negates the material substance of the entire article. S/he needs to think things thru before s/he starts spewing venom about "discrimination" and "violation of Constitutional rights" based on one's sexuality, which is not the case at all. I think its necessary and fair to all concerned if one took a few moments to understand the real issue before commenting/passing judgment on it.

P.S. - And don't get me started on the author's convoluted reference to not being a democracy at all unless we each say we support homosexuality! Bloody ridiculous and downright demeaning to the notion of democracy!

Stray said...

P.S.- Aren't there any songs running around in your head that u just HAVE to let out? >;B

Kris Bass said...

@ Stray: ???

You mean my own songs?

@ Unsungpsalm: Wait till the truth is clear.

Reema said...

So we cant expect comments on our posts till Nov, is it? :) Study well!! Thats the most imp thing.

Firebolt said...

The article itself is pretty eye-opening and the piece of news about the lesbian marriage makes me happy too.

But the song, (I'm guessing it is I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry, which I cannot play due to a video/audio streaming firewall in this cyber cafe) is a pretty cheesy one.

... I kissed a girl and I liked it
I hope my boyfriend don't mind it...

Are you serious, Katy?

This is the same Katy Perry who recieved a lot of flak for her allegedly homophobic song called Ur So Gay.

I just find her annoying.

Sorry, Kris. :D

Kris Bass said...

@ Reema: I haven't blog trotted for 5 days or so now. Trying to spend as many hours as I can with my books. Once in a while, when I can I'll check your blogs. But again, I'm not going to be that active. :(

@ Firebolt: I don't know about that song. I sort of liked the song as well. Anyway, that was eye-opening for me too!

Anonymous said...

Stray, don't get me started on your knowledge of law even if you happen to be in the law industry.

Lesbian couples, when they elope, are often charged under sec 377. And you insist that this provision of the does not criminalise homosexuality? As for views on minority rights in democracy...well I wouldnt even want to hear them.

Kris Bass said...

@ Anonymous: Now is this the same anonymous who's trying to put down me as well?

Stray said...

Si Kris, your own songs... just hoping to be the tipping point that distracts you from your studies! >;B

Kris Bass said...

@ Stray: You think that my songs are the reason for my studies not going on well?

If yes, what's wrong with you guys? I haven't touched my own stuff in over 2 weeks!

Stray said...

Dear Mr. Touchy KRISSS!!

I dont give 2 hoots whether you spend your time studying or composing and playing music (and even if I did u shudn't be bothered by it). I just want u to be happy and find peace.

I am just attempting to be a fiend!

Yours Sincerely,