Being happy and gay: The great Indian paradox

By | July 12, 2009

The words “Happy and gay” used to mean being happy without giving a damn when I was growing up. Now though, things have changed. Being happy and gay in today’s India would bring you a whole truckload of trouble. Until recently.

The Delhi High Court in a very sensible judgement said that being gay is not illegal by law. As expected, this has brought cheer to the gay community, and to the sensible community. But is life ever easy in India? No siree!!

According to the so-called guardians of the society and our morality, what you do in your bedroom should be a closely scrutinized (& pre-approved) act. In their opinion, a person’s sexual orientation should be trigger enough for their prosecution by the law(or at least by its enforcers). Morality seems has got itself a bunch of cronies to protect it. But then these are self-proclaimed gurus, the saints and the god-men. Now I mean no disrespect for any of these great people, but do I, or anyone else tell them what to do in their bedrooms?

Now there is another aspect of this whole gay legality/morality debate that bothers me. The same people who are out in arms against homosexuals are also the ones against me sitting hand in hand in a park, or on a beach, with my girlfriend/wife(even sister). So let me put this out clear. The enforcers of our morality, who tell us that being a homosexual is immoral and incorrect, also tell us that being a heterosexual would be equally illegal if I take my girlfriend out for a walk in the park. Some hypocrisy that is!! As some great(and unknown) person said:

I have no problems with God. It is his followers that I can’t stand.

And let these morality thugs also remember that Khajuraho stands tall as an example of our heritage. At one time, more than 50 temples stood tall, decorated all over with very graphic sexual imagery. Some of it is still intact, and when you go there, what strikes you is the amount of common sense that we have lost over the ages.

Legalizing homosexuality is simply removing discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation. More crudely put, what anyone does in their bedroom is none of my, or anyone else’s business. So why should people be discriminated based on their bedroom behavior? Doesn’t make any sense.

So, with all humility, I request all religious gurus, and self-styled morality enforcers to please do a show of common sense. Let the world know that in a country that is the birthplace of Kamasutra, and where we have a lord of sexuality(kama dev), we can be open minded to accept homosexuals as regular individuals, and not treat them freaks, wierdos or diseased people.  Please channelize your energy towards creating a peaceful society, one without bias and discrimination. Empower the poor, empower women, save the girl child..there’s several issues that need your attention. Focus on them, and make a difference there.

Let us all be nice sensible people for once.

On a more personal note, the summer vacation is over. It is astonishing how much the world can change in a matter of 2 months. Very soon, I will be writing some more on what I think of the changes in the summer gone by.

Till then…let us all be happy and gay…in the true meaning of the expression!

15 thoughts on “Being happy and gay: The great Indian paradox

  1. amit

    Well, what a lot of uneducated literates don’t know is that “gay” when put in a sentence like “being happy & gay” doesn’t represent sexual orientation, it means “bright, pleasant, cheery, merry” as the word originally means in English language since its introduction from Anglo-French/high German in 14th century.

    And (un)surprisingly a lot of such people are those English wielding types who like to show off their education status or the fact that they are convent educated, hehehe! 😀 Guess that confirms my long time suspicions that these convent types have terrible knowledge of English vocabulary & grammer because they never bothered to open a dictionary, eh! 😉

  2. Swami Pranavananda

    I loved your Post on “Being happy and gay: The great Indian paradox”. Being a Spiritual man – I mean by “spiritual man” that I am not into rituals but rather into Awareness of my Oneness with the Ultimate – whatever the name you want to call IT – and an Advaita Vedantin, I am aware of my being One with the Multitude and Diversity within and without our body. Therefore, sexual orientations has no meaning and as such cannot be questioned and look down upon…Instead of telling us what we should do in our bedroom why don’t they learn how to show compassion and Love to All? It seems that Swami Ramdev along with that hypocrite of Astrologer want us to go back to the Dark Ages…

    1. The Empty Head Post author

      Swamiji: 🙂 well said. I can only pray for all spiritual & religious gurus to be as open-minded as you are.

  3. amit

    I’ve no opinion on the LGBT issue, as per me the whole thing is a non-issue made into a towering issue by the lawmakers. I don’t look on LGBT relations favourably but thats just my personal opinion to which I’m entitled to, I don’t force my opinion on any one else. If other people want to liase in such way then they should have the freedom.

    I recently wrote on LGBT & biased adultery laws in India, do have a look.

  4. Swami Pranavananda

    Thank you Amit and the second commentator. Amit wants me to give my views on the Gay Debate, but may I ask you a question:
    – What gay debate are you referring to? As both can be merry and happy too!
    I am also tempted to ask you:
    – Day Debate? Gay Debate? What is this? I am a bit of an empty-headed guy too.

    Regarding the second comment, I am sure they are plenty of open-minded spiritual people in all religions including all Semitic ones and “ways of Life” as Hinduism is known to be. But, from all that we should retain the fact that to be a Gay person is only to LOVE, albeit on a different manner.

  5. The Empty Head Post author

    @swamiji: that was me asking amit to give his comments on the gay debate…so apologies on any confusion 🙂

    and the second commentator is none but the author of the blog… the empty head myself 🙂

    -the empty head

  6. Swami Pranavananda

    Thanks empty head.
    It is true this is a big storm in a cup of tea….When this country is assailed with sooooo many tragic, urgent, vital issues to be tackled, it borders the ridicule to see those people so vehemently reacting as though the World is going to collapse! sooo sad!

  7. thesanelyinsane

    for one quoting the kamasutra or khajuraho is not necessary to the argument

    i wud rather base the argument around the concept of morality…how do we define it? the society is an ever changing concept…language, culture, behaviors all change with times…some changes are good, some can wipe out societies (like mongolians getting drunk!!!)

    legislations prevent us from gambling, drinking liquor, having beef and having sex, and for that matter taking our own lives.

    where i stand on firm ground is that any action of ours which can affect others fundamental rights shud be regulated by legislation…some other legislations where its hard to regulate the act requires interference with our rights…like gambling for instance…since its difficult to regulate a person to not gamble beyond his means and ruin his family gambling per se is banned. But the moment one gets into this territory things get dicey…

    the anti-gay community may have valid points as do the pro-gay community…i guess it will be for the future generations to tell us who was right….

    btw in the same light could they free up sex toys from legislation 😉

  8. wise donkey

    well said 🙂
    adi shankara’s soundaryalahiri makes doesnt reserve praises for private parts of the devi..(ramakrishna publication has a beautiful translation) but if it had been written today, we would have fundamentalists lamenting and burning the book..

    i think we confuse Victorian values with Indian values..Sadly the Brits have moved on, but we haven’t.

  9. Viktor von Sigmaringen

    Correct me please, if I’m wrong…. but the persons of India seem to have a very paradoxical way of thoughts: they almost accept the “hichras” (sorry, I’m French and I can’t speak Hindi and my English is awful), but usually in India homosexuality is very badly seen, and in fact, Indian has a low “homosexuality rate”, of course, this means a lot of closeted people, I suppose, since you cannot say if your son or your daughter will be gay. Why, may I ask, is your society so “low in homos” ? I’m not asking this as confrontation, but as a way to know your society… I will appreaciate any answer ! Thanks !

    1. The Empty Head Post author

      Well, you are not entirely wrong. But you must look at this with hundreds of years of social perspective in mind. The larger section of Indian society lives in non metropolitan areas and is still subject to narrow minded thinking. The never declining female foeticide numbers are a sorry statement to this fact. Trying to introduce homosexuality as a normal sexual preference is a very uphill task. There are changes that you can see in acceptance levels in metro cities and they may percolate through in their own time, but in a country where sex is a taboo topic and sex toys are barred outright, acceptance may take centuries.

  10. Viktor Friedriech von Sigmaringen

    Thank you very much, “Empty Head”, not empty at all… But how about this particular phenomenon called the “hichras” (well, that is the transliteration in French), which if I’m not wrong are men who think that they are women ? As far as know it’s neither ok, but nor despised or rejected. How do you really see this matter in India ? Thanks again for your kind answers

    1. The Empty Head Post author

      Hijras, or eunuchs, are the third gender(i think transgender is the word). They arent cross dressers. They have been revered to the extent of getting ostracized and sent to the fringes of society. They are on the verge of disappearance from larger cities but are still much present in the smaller towns, and show up on occasion of childbirth, weddings and Hindu festivals.

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