Sunday, August 2, 2009

Delhi enters the 21st century

For those who haven’t been following recent (not so recent anymore) news from Delhi - the High Court decriminalized homosexuality this month by ruling down the famed Section 377 of the penal code. Very exciting. Very about time. Very controversial.

Original breaking news:

Now Baba Ramdev, a very famous acclaimed yoga guru with millions of followers, is shooting his mouth off and trying to get the ruling overturned. Below is the (albeit very biased) summary of a (somewhat more, but still outdated) recent interview on Hindi TV from an LGBT listserv I get:

Just saw Baba Ramdev's Interview on :Seedhi Baat" at Aaj Tak. 
Prabhu Chawla, the interviewer tried to bring in some objectivity and reason to the rhetoric, but the baba went on and on with his tirade against
homsexuals. The gist of his arguments:
1] Its harmful to the character of the nations and therefore should be criminalised.
2] Only criminalisation will ensure that these people are brought in for 'rehabilitation'
3] That he will organise rehabilitation camps and change people using yoga.
4] That it is all about national interest and that irrespective of the court, the people of India who are opposed will win, because theirs is the
path of truth.
5] That his stand is constitutional because the exceptions to fundamental rights includes grounds like national sexurity and morality and
homosexuality is against both.
6] That WHO, UN etc are wrong in describing that homoseexuality is not a disease, and that he is right in describing it as such
7] That because homosexuality is a disease, homosexuals should be barred from donating blood, since anyone who receives this blood by transfusion
will also be infected with homosexuality.

I think the WTF is self-explanatory. I did like this response comment on India Today though:

Baba Ramdev said on Seedhi Baat that receiving blood from gay people makes the recipients gay. Why don't the people follow Ramdev's advice and donate blood to gay people and make them normal?

In better news, the mood here in Tamil Nadu is a bit more optimistic. Chennai, a particularly conservative part of India, does have one advantage in that transsexuals have traditionally been respected members of society – the community may not mingle with them, but few tamper with fate by failing to give money and get their newborns blessed by the hijras. More in the mainstream, one of the many sexuality rights organizations in the state is organizing a workshop to sensitize the Tamil media on LGBT issues, as well as undertaking the ambitious goal of coining new terms in Tamil to better define LGBT communities. Good luck to them.

No comments: