Homosexuality: Offence or a Basic Right?

Movies like Metro and Page3 were a kicking force that helped bring the homosexuals out of the closet and brave the world. Yet, homosexuality in India is generally considered a taboo by both the Indian civil society and the government. Public discussion of homosexuality in India has been subdued by the fact that sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly.

Homosexuality is the word (as most of us are aware) that is used for those individuals who dare to voice their desire of expressing “different” sexuality. Things that do not fit within the societal model are considered different.

The common notion nurtured by the masses is that homosexuality is an abnormality or a trend inculcated from the western culture. Even though in today’s day and age, with the growing western influence, representation in main stream media and acceptance from certain sections of society – homosexuality has managed to make its presence felt in our lives. Yet there are still many men and women who attempt suicide because of their “different” desires.

Rajarshi Dasgupta, an upcoming assistant director, realized his sexual preferences when he was pursuing his graduation. It was his biggest mistake to share this information with his friends who made him the most exciting subject of ridicule. He was made to dance, mimic, and even walk like a girl. His frustration level reached such heights that he wanted to commit suicide. However, during this time of crisis his parents became his biggest support and accepted his ways of life. In spite of receiving acceptance from his parents, he feels disgusted that the society does not acknowledge him and the law enshrined in our penal code states that homosexuality is an “illegal act”.

Nilay Agambagis, an IT professional feels “Homosexuality has existed throughout the ages. But in earlier times due to the strict conventions it did not surface as transparently as it has in recent times.” Yet, India remains untouched though literature drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim texts testifies the presence of same-sex love in various forms. Ancient texts such as the Manu Smriti, Arthashastra, Kamasutra, Upanishads and Puranas refer to homosexuality.

Social stigma and the cultural leanings of India are such that people feel that faith is superior to science. Yet, I feel that it depends on personal choice, even though it might not be accepted by society.

Hence, whether these sections of society will ever receive their due respect and dignity that they deserve is yet to be decided. But their struggle to acquire respect, position and rights will definitely turn out to be the battle of the survival of the fittest.

Sridatta Gupta

[Image courtesy: http://www.trueu.org/images/artimgs/slhomosexuality_lrg.jpg]