08 September, 2018


MY MUSINGS I have been asked my opinion on Supreme Court verdict on Article 377. I think that this verdict is in accordance with the growing trend worldwide. - Am I gay? No, I am not. I am perfectly “normal”. Do I approve of homosexuality or lesbianism? - No, these are ‘unusual’ and ‘abnormal’ traits: just the same as eating or writing with Left Hand, being black or white, having a squint in the eyes or possessing large, beautiful eyes, being tall or short, slim or fat, being born healthy or with a bodily impairment and a hundred other ‘abnormal’ features. Now, I happen to seriously recognize that I could have any of these features in my body, personality and psychology, myself, without exercising my personal choice, one way or the other. If I had any that ‘most’ people disapproved of, why would I hold myself responsible, and how would I react towards those who blame me? Indeed, I already have two noticeable “pits” on my cheeks, and not all women regard me a lady-charmer! The foundation for my ethics and morality stems from the following considerations: - Am I responsible for the feature, habit, act you are blaming me for? - Are you justified in ‘blaming’ anybody for anything that YOU think you aren’t and don’t have? Is an act good or bad merely because a large number of people say so? - Which one of us is perfectly ‘normal’? And what is ‘normal’, anyway? - Even in sexual matters science tells us that it is not all black and white but a lot of grey. Each male is a female to some extent and the other way round. There are males in some species that become pregnant while there are females that turn male in others. We know very little about other species and their sexual behaviour. - Our ignorance and ‘us-centric’ biases cannot be the basis of universal morality. None of us is a master of the other, and each of us has an inherent right to be. Would I continue to love my siblings, children or spouse after I came to know that they are LGBT? I am not sure, but I would try to, and I must. And I would eventually feel ashamed of myself for not loving when they actually need it the most. What this judgement means for me in its wider sense? - That individuals have an identity, existence and inherent rights of their own, not subject to approval of the others - So, one can be a LGBT member, a vegetarian, egg-eater, non-vegetarian, beef-eater, pork-eater, interest-payer, smoker, alcohol consumer, a hetero-sexual person, non-sexual person, very sexy person, incapable or unwilling to have sex, in her/his personal life so long as s/he is not intentionally hurting, nor forcing others, wantonly disturbing public peace and order but is merely living her/his life her/his way. - Sex between adults by consent is not a crime per se. And this goes a long way in reducing the pervading hypocrisy that has caused deep schism in our societies. - Yes, there are limits to every freedom. But that line is dynamic, ever-evolving with times and context. Thus, Denmark has nudist colonies where hundreds, even thousands of people, sometimes even of the same family, live without a shred of cloth on body, perfectly normally, while there are households I know of, back here, where a girl is supposed to hide her face even from her brother’s close friend. Both societies have a context and have a right to their ways. It is unreasonable to vilify or glorify the veil or the nudity, unless forced, within their respective contexts. In India I will certainly disapprove of nudity in public places. Now extend this verdict to political domain, and the following flow from it: o Minority must be fully protected and secured from majority oppression of any kind and in any form, everywhich way. Eventually this means not just tolerance of diversity but also respect for differing views and lifestyles, specially of the vulnerable, weak and the minorities. Nay, it casts upon the society and the governors a duty to protect them. o Manipuris, Kashmiris, Bodos, Gurkhas et al have a right to protect and preserve their unique identities, lifestyles and values, and to their autonomy in a broader sense. In its essence this verdict means greater dignity and freedom of individuals, lesser subordination to the collective, greater freedoms and better creativity, in many different spheres of life.

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