Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They want to be Happy and 'Gay'

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The controversial Section 377 proclaims that gays are criminals is back in news. The gay community which has been overlooked for generations is finally making enough noise for the government to scrap the draconian law. Although many celebrities and civil rights groups have come out in support of the homosexuals the Government doesn't seem too confident to take a stand on the issue.

It is not very often that all the religious bodies in India are united on some issue. But when it came to granting some freedom to the gays religious leaders from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian and the Sikh community have taken the same side. All the religious groups are citing there religious texts and terming homosexuality as unnatural, against the religion and humanity.

This has put the Government on the back foot which was planning to review the law. Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad were planning a historic meeting on this issue. But the stand taking by all the religious bodies in the country has meant that the Government is not bold enough to push for reforms on the issue.

The big question now arises does the government need to consider the religious bodies before talking decisions. If the case is so why should we have an elected government in the country if they cannot represent the aspirations of the people. If our constitution does not discriminate people on the basis of religion and caste why does it discriminate against the gays who are a sexual minority.

If religious teaches us of being children of the god they are the gays children of some lesser god? True homosexuals are a minority but that should not be reason enough to discriminate against them. If two individuals want to live together who are the religious bodies to term it as unnatural? Religious groups should look after the happiness of individuals as only then a society will be happy.

It is high time the government takes some steps scrap or bring in amendments in Article 377 as terming a sexual minority as criminals is absurd. Let not the courts and the religious organizations decide who can be married to whom. Let us leave it to the individuals for themselves to choose their life partners. Give the sexual minority basic rights that's what they demand for.


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