Thursday, July 02, 2009
Criminalisation of homosexuality has no place in a thinking, empathetic, realistic society. It is about as illogical as criminalizing myopia or white hair. The fact that it is not observed in the majority of the population makes it uncommon, not unnatural. The stereotypes associated with homosexuality are appallingly inaccurate – promiscuity and unsafe sexual practices on the one hand, and inordinate levels of artistry and sensitivity (for male homosexuals) and coarseness and aggressiveness (for lesbians) on the other. These prejudices also conveniently ignore the prevalence of unsafe, immoral and exploitative behaviour among heterosexuals.
The most ironic fact about the criminalization of homosexuality in India is that our Penal Code, which has its origin in the British code, is steadfast in its adherence to an obsolete tenet, ignoring the spirit of the law (viz., prevention of exploitative homosexuality, as in child abuse), whereas the mother code has changed in response to fresh insights. Homosexuality is perfectly legal in Britain, and has been for a while now. Why did we dilly-dally? If it's stimulation from a western nation without which we cannot budge, what took us so long?
People who project homosexuality as a scourge of a healthy society should take a break from outdated, insubstantial moralising and contribute to the health of society themselves by demonstrating inclusiveness and embracing diversity. They should shift their activist focus to truly unhealthy social practices like corruption, sexual exploitation, discrimination against women and elderly persons, and environmental pollution, and leave people to express their sexuality – a/homo/hetero/bi – in peace, privacy, and free from pressure.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
If you’re fit to know the answers they will come to you without being demanded. If you aren’t, cork up!
1."Why don’t you get married?"
How many people do you think want to tell you that it’s because whoever they wanted to marry didn’t reciprocate their desire? That they're simply too terrific for anyone they've come across in their long and colourful lives? That blockheaded family members or obsolete societal institutions stood in their way? That in the absence of a large amount of wealth and breathtaking glamour, nobody wants to marry them? That astrological disarrangements send the starry-eyed sprinting away? That they’re not enterprising or attractive enough to find partners for themselves and not “adjusting” enough to accept some of the horrific exhibits proffered by others?
How many Indians in their 30s and 40s do you think are single by choice? Quite a few, perhaps, but certainly not the majority. In short, if they don’t want to get married, they’ll make it clear. If they haven’t, the reasons are too painful. You’re curious – you’re welcome to be. But, bite your tongue. DON’T ASK.
2."Why don’t you have kids?"
How many people want to tell you that they don’t want to be pathetic parents (like you possibly give every indication of being)? That the thought of perpetuating their surnames is simply not exhilarating enough for them to put a child through a tough life that they haven’t the wherewithal to equip it for? Who wants to spill details about impotence, infertility, dysfunction, financial insecurity, immaturity, poor health, or family arrangements in a flux? Or tell you that they don’t want innocent additional participants in the nightmare of their marital lives? That they don’t want to produce heirs simply to shuttle from relative to crèche, school to hobby class, coaching class to mall…and so on? That they don’t want to accept people's ostensibly loving offers to bring up the kids that they (the unready parents) produce? There may be an ideal setting in which to bring up kids – loving relatives, nice house etc., but they cannot make up for lack of preparedness in the parents themselves. Having kids to shut gossipy mouths, or for others’ pleasure (or pain), e.g. for grandparents, in-laws and miscellaneous others to be occupied, is about the most thoughtless activity to engage in.
Everybody does not have to have kids. Many who do ought not to. The entrance exam, GD and series of interviews that aspiring parents should go through with themselves and enlightened guides are almost never undertaken! If someone decides not to have children, be sure that the reasons are good enough. Even the willing are not guaranteed to make good parents; what price the unwilling? Babies are not discharges that you can eliminate once produced by wiping up or washing off. They need thought, love and work before, during, and especially after their production. If these can’t be spared, your gametes should be. In other words, spare the rod, at least sheathe the rod, else you’ll spoil the child.
3."Why did you get divorced?"
You may be itching for lurid details of violence, family clashes, ideological incompatibility, sexual dysfunction, adultery, brain-washing by vested interests and sundries along that line. But you’re not meant to know if you have to ask.
People get divorced for ONLY one reason – they cannot continue to live together in harmony. Accept it and freeze.