India: Homosexuality Legalized

In a historic judgment, the Delhi High Court has passed a ruling that recommends section 377 of IPC should be amended and any sex between two consenting adults should be legalized. This comes as a big solace to India’s homosexuals as it opens up the way to legalize consensual sex between two adult homosexuals. The Court has said that section 377, if not amended would be a violation of Article 21 of the constitution which states that every citizen should be treated equally before the law. I am happy that the Court has upheld the values of human rights and the right to live with dignity and equal opportunity (at least in the eyes of the law).

Chief Justice Shah and Justice Muralidhar said, “We declare Section 377 in so far as it criminalizes consensual sexual acts of adults in private is violative of articles 14, 21 and 15 of the Constitution. The provision of Section 377 will continue to govern non-consensual penile non-vaginal sex and penile non vaginal sex involving minors.” [Legally gay: historic court order makes it possibleCNN IBN]

The new ruling however will not be immediately implemented because it is now up to the parliament to take a decision to amend the law. And I am not sure whether the politicians would take a positive stand on the matter because there is strong protest from various religious groups including Christians, Hindus and Muslims (which also means “vote banks”). I have only one thing to ask them. You have time and again taken pride in saying that your respective religion has revised it’s teachings and text according to the times. Each of you claim that you are the most modern religion. Now is your chance to prove it. If you think that a supreme force like God(s) cannot be inclusive, what kind of love and tolerance do you preach?

As for the LGBT community, they have many challenges lying ahead. For the starters, they should begin educating people on homosexuality rather than keeping people off with the explicit symbols of sexuality. The homosexuals need to let the heterosexuals know that other than their preference in love and sex, they are not a sex-hungry group but normal people, just like the rest of us. They should also help others identify whether they are truly Gay or not. (I read an excellent post on this topic in Sam’s blog where he answered someone about the differences between feeling Gay and being Gay).

Anyways, the Indian society cannot live in denial. Homosexuality and homosexuals are for real.  Our denial only makes the whole situation worse, adding up to the failed marriages, sexual diseases and suicides. So no matter what an individual thinks of homosexuality, the Government and Law should uphold the rights of every individual. The Court has done it’s part. Will the Government follow?

Related posts:

Homosexuality and Our Perceptions
Indian Penal Code, Section 377

The times of Times of India

I admit that when I read a news report titled “NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT” in Times of India, I almost bought it. I know it is stupid to blindly believe everything that the media churns out, but the story was published in TOI and they quoted the SIT  in their news report which added to some primary credibility. Then there were immediate responses from Sangh Parivar sympathizers. They said that the “pseudo-secular media” conveniently withheld the story from publishing since it is election time. They attacked their enemies, those who stand for the secular ethos of the country. They also wanted the Supreme Court to initiate action on the “pseudo secular media” because of their silence on the issue.

I was shocked to read the whole thing. I got confused too, as whom to believe and whom not to believe on such sensitive issues. I thought that the very same secular values that many people in this great country stood for have just got dirty because of people like Teesta. Like I said before, I almost bought it.

Yet, the main charges/claims of the Times of India reporter had no substance and it did not come from the SIT. The major claims in the Times of India report mentioned the following:

  • The riot witnesses were tutored by Teesta Setalvad before submitting the affidavits
  • The celebrated rights activist [referring to Teesta] cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings
  • The gangrape on Kausar Banu, and the gouging out of her foetus by the mob was found with “no truth”
  • Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioters at Naroda Patiya was also found with “no truth”

The TOI report said that all of these were told by SIT chief R K Raghavan in the Supreme Court on April 13th, Monday. But hold your horses, because none from the SIT or Mr. Raghavan himself were present in the apex court on April 13 to tell anything.

Even though the TOI article was referring to the SIT report, the person whom they quoted was Gujarat government’s counsel, Mukul Rohtagi. And the SIT chief Mr. Raghavan told Hindutan Times that the alleged leaks appear to have been based on statements of state police officials and “cannot be termed as findings of the report.[via]

Then came the second article in Times of India, by the same reporter and this time the reporter said nothing about the above claims and rather held on to “discrepancies” and “contradictions“. No word about Kausar Banu, Wanton Killing or the Tutoring of Teesta. He chose to be silent on those allegations which he had earlier stated as the “SIT found untrue“.

So yes, if this is the kind of journalism we are fed with, there needs to have legal action against “such” media houses. Unfortunately, these are the times of India.

PS: It doesn’t take a genius to guess why the Gujarat counsel’s claims made news just 3 days before the 1st phase of general elections. I am not for or against Teesta’s case. We have a process of law in place and our Supreme Court to judge the case. So let the law take it’s due course.

Related reading:

About warped minds – Dilip D’Souza
‘Cooking Up Macabre Tales’: FAQ – Outlook

Homosexuality and Our Perceptions

I read about a “sexual orientation test” in Rediff’s website through India Uncut. The test is in promotion of an upcoming Hindi film and the film is not seriously about homosexuality. It is supposed to be a comedy. Well enough, but Rediff’s questionnaire is full of stereotypes as an online friend, who is Gay, points out. I think probably this is the right time to write about my views on the most tabooed topic – Homosexuality.

I used to have strong views against homosexuals. Just like many of us have or had, I thought it’s unnatural and as a society we shouldn’t let it happen. I always thought about it only from my point of view and never from the other. I thought of it as a mental illness as it is propagated by the society, even though Wikipedia says that medical science has removed homosexuality from the list of psychic problems long back.

In my teenage, I and my friends used to make fun of homosexuals. We used to gather together In the evenings on those days. So when a Gay teenager passed over (and we told them apart by their girlish notions), we would make funny and nasty comments on him and some would even shout at him. A friend even suggested that ‘we should softly invite him for a blow job and when he comes along we should beat the hell out of him to straighten him up’. However, that did not happen as most of us thought ‘let them be’. So homosexuals were easy preys upon whom you could prove your ‘masculinity’.

So for us boys, the Gays were boys who behaved like girls. And we couldn’t digest it, as their outer self and inner self were contradicting. I never thought of how it would be for them if it is this confusing for others. Growing up, I have had abusive experience from pedophiles in the crowded places. It was mostly older men but for me, they were Gays too. So there were more reasons to hate Gays – Gays are unnatural and they sexually abuse boys. I didn’t know about the term Pedophilia or the fact that Pedophiles abuse kids, regardless of their victims being boys or girls.

As I grew up and read more on the subject, I began to understand the different sexual orientations and stuff. I learned that being Gay need not be about being girlish. Or all Lesbians are not so masculine. They could be just like any other man or woman, except for their sexual or romantic orientation. I still couldn’t digest because in most of the homosexual blogs or in their pride rallies, sex is a celebrated symbol. I felt it nasty and wondered why they would display vulgarity in public or why sex is so important to them. But later I understood that their whole fight is about this one thing – getting the society to accept their sexual orientation, treat them as normal people. In that case, what else do they have to showcase or speak about?

I thought of myself, what if I was Gay? What if I felt only for men and never for women? What if it was not a disease? What if it was how I born? It is only then, when I put myself into their shoes, that I understood how helpless is the situation of homosexuals here. We cannot ignore the existence of homosexuality anymore. It only leads to more youngsters going into prostitution or worse, suicide.

I think as grown up individuals, heterosexuals should take part in the cause of homosexuals. For the equal treatment and legal protection for homosexuals in the society and country. We don’t need to be homosexuals to take part in this fight. It is like how we fight for freedom of expression here in the online world, regardless of our political leanings. We talk about equality everywhere – Gender based, Religious, Racial, Regional etc etc. Then why not join in this fight too?

To quote actor Sean Penn from his Oscar speech:

For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support.

We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.

Let me end this post by linking to two Gay blogs that I stumbled upon. Sam‘s blog, he calls it “Straight-friendly Gay Blog”, for his posts that demystify the concepts that “Straight” world has about Homosexuality and Kris‘s blog for his music.

(Image source: Internet)

The Blogger Rights

Bloggers and blogging have come to the news again with a Supreme Court ruling on the latest case of Ajith, an 18 yr old blogger from Kerala. Ajith had started an Orkut community against Shiv Sena and the community message board had received messages alleging that Shiv Sena is trying to divide the country on region and caste basis.

Times of India reports on blogger Ajith’s case:

Reacting to these posts, the Shiv Sena youth wing’s state secretary registered a criminal complaint at Thane police station in August 2008 based on which FIR was registered against Ajith under Sections 506 and 295A pertaining to hurting public sentiment.

Ajith then sought an anticipatory bail from Kerala High Court and approached Supreme Court to quash the criminal complaint. But the SC did not favour the blogger. SC bench said “We cannot quash criminal proceedings. You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals. Hence, if someone files a criminal action on the basis of the content, then you will have to face the case. You have to go before the court and explain your conduct.” Now the boy has to face the court in Maharashtra, the home of Shiv Sena, and he is afraid of his life for obvious reasons.

One of the main advantages of blogging is that it allows you to express your opinion freely and fearlessly. Agreed that some bloggers misuse this, i.e. indulging in personal abuse, and such people should be brought to law if the offended person decides to do so and if there is a strong case. I emphasize on the word “strong case” because there should not be a situation where anyone can drag anyone to court based on mere allegations. In the light of new ruling, bloggers would resort to politically correct statements, which would not help much in open debates and discussions and it will take out the spirit of blogging and make it function like mainstream media.

Another sad thing is that the court now says that a blogger can be booked for the comments posted in his/her blog. It is true that mainstream media has such laws applicable to them, but blogging does not function like main mainstream media. Blogging is an opinion medium, not a reporting medium and should be kept at that and exceptions of law should be made in that line.

But bloggers are not above the law. Perhaps the discussions on Ajith’s case would make bloggers become more responsible in their writing. By citing proofs/data/references to backup their statements/claims, which is good in the long run for a maturing media like Blog.

Now let us look into what the Delaware Supreme Court (in the USA) ruled in a similar case back in 2005. They reversed a lower court decision that had required an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official on a newspaper site. Following were the comments from Chief Justice Myron Steele:

“Given the context, no reasonable person could have interpreted these statements as being anything other than opinion. … The statements are, therefore, incapable of a defamatory meaning,” Chief Justice Myron Steele wrote in his ruling, noting that blogs are inherently filled with opinion.

Steele described the Internet as a “unique democratizing medium unlike anything that has come before,” and said anonymous speech in blogs and chat rooms in some instances can become the modern equivalent of political pamphleteering. Accordingly, a plaintiff claiming defamation should be required to provide sufficient evidence to overcome a defendant’s motion for summary judgment before a court orders the disclosure of a blogger’s identity.

“We are concerned that setting the standard too low will chill potential posters from exercising their First Amendment right to speak anonymously,” Steele wrote. “The possibility of losing anonymity in a future lawsuit could intimidate anonymous posters into self-censoring their comments or simply not commenting at all.”

Now compare this with our Supreme Court rule in Ajith’s case and think about it.

The Sene Sainik

Hey! What’s up? Haven’t seen you lately.

Yeah, I’ve been busy.

Busy with what? Work?

Yeah, work. But not the office work. I joined a cultural army and was busy protecting our culture.

Oh, you joined the Sene Sainiks? I heard you guys beat up some girls in a pub or something? Man, why would you do something like that??

We were actually protecting our women, silly! Did you know that Muslim boys lure away our girls and get them converted at Ponnani in Kerala? And it is not only our girls, but the Christian girls too. Christian girls man! Your tribe. Do you see the danger now? We gotta be together in this fight against Jehadi Romeos!

Oh! Didn’t know that. Hmmm… but hey! Wait a minute! Why would you beat the girls for what boys are doing to them? You were beating up them poor victims for the fault of someone else?

That is why we talk about culture saala! These girls did not consider our warnings about Jehadis and became a threat to our great culture.

So you beat them up in order to protect our culture?

Well, that too.

But what right do you hold to come in and beat up these girls? Shouldn’t it be left to themselves to decide what they want to do with their life and culture?

When they fail on their duty to uphold the culture, we come in and take care of that. See what a selfless service we do to our country?

Hmm… well, you remind me of someone else whom I’ve seen in the media. I can’t remember who it is, but you resemble him a lot.

Oh yeah? Who is it? Well, anyways, do you see what western culture is doing to us with all these?

Well, what is this western culture?

Immorality, that’s what the West is all about! They booze, they date, they always think about sex.

I’m just thinking who was that other guy I’ve seen on TV. You remind me of him a lot.


Forget it. Anyways, I think we had all of what you said since thousands of years back? We even wrote Kamasutra that explained… well.. you know… several ways of having sex.

That is part of the culture, silly! We taught the world how to have sex! And compare it to what these girls do in pubs! They get boozed and dances with men of other religions! What a horrible crime that is!!

Oh yeah, I can see that. And what is it that you have against Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is a Christian festival. And Christians imported such festivals from the West to convert people to Christianity!

Valentine’s Day is a Christian festival? I never heard of any Church in India celebrating the festival of St. Valentine.

You wouldn’t. Such are the tactics of the Christians!

I got it! I got it!!


The guy whom you reminded me of.

Who is it?

Osama Bin Laden! He too used to talk passionately about protecting his religion and culture from the west, the Christian west’s agenda to de-stabilize the Islamic countries, and upholding the culture by taking it on women and innocent people!

You bloody pseudo-secularist, Commie, Christian! I will see what to do with you!

(PS: Those who are interested can also participate in the Pink Chaddi campaign. There could be no better Valentine’s Day gift than a Pink Chaddi to send to the Sri Ram Sene folks! 🙂 )

Indian Taliban back in action

The names change, from Bajrang Dal to Sri Rama Sena, but the radical Hindutva organizations continue to assault the countrymen in the name of ‘protecting Indian culture’. This time they attacked women. When I had written against such groups earlier in this blog, there were people protesting and saying that calling them Indian Taliban is too much. But just read the news quote given below and tell me how these Senas are any different from Taliban. Also tell me how come we are vocal against Taliban but so silent on such home-grown organizations.

The Sena activists accused the women of involving themselves in immoral activities, including consuming alcohol, dressing indecently, and mixing with youths of other faith”.

And don’t think that they would stop having fun now. The day when these organizations conduct their annual ritual of cultural protection is coming up. And yes, you guessed it right – the Valentines Day on February 14th. Last year, it was the turn of Bajrang Dal to clean up the culture. We got to either speak up against these groups or get ready to be Talibanized in the near future. Taliban too, started out with small scale operations.

Related posts: The Hindutva hypocrisy again

(Image courtesy: Times of India)

Jail for watching porn? Not likely

Mathrubhumi newspaper reports that an Information Technology Amendment Bill which was passed on the last day of Lok Sabha meeting without any discussion could lead to serious consequences. It says that there are 45 amendments to the existing law and some of them, which are seemingly not harmful, are very draconian in nature. However, reading through the bill doesn’t give us much reasons to worry. (Click here to read the full form of the amendment bill).

Let’s see 67A for example:

67A. Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

And the punishment:

80. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, any police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, or any other officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorised by the Central Government in this behalf may enter any public place and search and arrest without warrant any person found therein who is reasonably suspected or having committed or of committing or of being about to commit any offence under this Act.

Mathrubhumi news article says that if you watch, search or download porn in the Internet, you can get imprisoned for 7 years with a fine of Rs. 10 Lakh as per this amendment. Or suppose if somebody else uses your computer to view, search or download porn, you – the owner of the computer – can be arrested. Not only that, some websites display porn site ads when you go there, and you will be punished even for that!

Perhaps the Mathrubhumi reporter is worried about misuse of the word “transmission”. Because when you watch a porn video or image in a website, it actually transmits the file to your computer (in the temporary storage area). But that process doesn’t hold you guilty as it is only the “person who transmits” the material who can be charged guilty. So watching or searching porn sites/images/videos wouldn’t hold you responsible as per this amendment. However, if you send a file, video, email or photo that has sexually explicit content to someone else, it can take you to jail.

(Info via Aashik)

(Image courtesy: iStockPhoto)

The “Dry Day” Comedy

Kerala’s liquor policy is one of the most stupid and ineffective decisions of the previous government which is being continued to the date by the current government. According to the existing policy, bars and liquor shops would remain shut on the first of every month and on all government holidays. One of the reasons cited for this move was that the employees would spend a good portion of their monthly salary in the bars or for buying liquor from the shops on the first of every month. So the government thought this move would reduce the liquor consumption, but they were wrong.

In fact, the government statistics show that Malayalees’ liquor consumption has only increased ever since the policy put in place. The reasons are plenty. Not all drunkards are salaried people. There are so many people who work for daily wages who spend a good portion of their daily wages to buy liquor from the shops or from bar hotels. And for salaried sector, they buy and store liquor prior to the holidays (including Hartal days as Hartal is also a major holiday here in Kerala). So you can see big queues outside the liquor shops on 30th or 31st of every month. Well, that’s not all. Even on the 1st of every month and holidays, you will get liquor for some extra bucks. Some three star hotels sell liquor on these days through their backdoor. Only difference is that you will have to pay some extra than the usual shop rate. Some ‘wise men’ also store liquor in big quantities and sell them to their ‘regular customers’ on these Dry Days. So you only have to give them a call and get your bottle delivered, again, for some extra bucks.

So in effect, the government’s policy is only helping some private parties to make more money out of the Dry Days. This joke has got to stop and government should think about other ways to effectively implement the liquor policy.

(Image courtesy:

Menses justifies polygamy?

Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker MusaliarIt is very common that religion being used for all the wrong purposes when it could have helped to enhance the lives of weak and the oppressed. Most of the times it would be the priests or clerics from a religion who would be misinterpreting the Holy Books to sustain their own interests and misleading the others within the community. The latest controversy about a comment from the senior Muslim cleric Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musaliar on polygamy shows that this trend still continues. Kanthapuram reportedly have said this: A second wife is biologically justified. Women’s menstrual cycle prevents them from sexual contact for 5-6 days.

His statement came in the backdrop of a state law reforms commission has come out with a draft bill to check polygamy and divorce by Talaq. The bill seeks that ‘monogamy shall be the rule’ and that ‘marrying again during the lifetime of husband or wife is an offence.’

The proposed bill wants that “if any married Muslim, man or woman, marries again during the subsistence of the first marriage, the party who violates shall be guilty of bigamy under the IPC and punishable as such.

Continue reading Menses justifies polygamy?

From Goondaism to Terrorism

Whenever the bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and religious riots have made their way to the news headlines, Malayalees believed that nothing as such would happen in their part of the world. We always thought that such things happen because of the lack of education and since we have 100% literacy in Keralam, nothing will happen here. But this comfort zone has been busted with the news of two terrorists from Keralam killed in Kashmir.

This news and the investigation followed have brought out some terrible truth. That the state has become a major recruitment center for terrorists of the border. The newly recruited terrorists were taken for training in Pakistan and then later get ‘appointed‘ in Kashmir to fight the Indian Army. What is more interesting is the reason that attracted the Malayali youth to terrorism. One of the dead terrorists was a goonda prior to joining the terrorist group. Varghese Joseph, a born Christian who later converted to Islam, was a member of the notorious gang of Thammanam Shaji, a notorious gang leader. The investigative agencies say that Shaji has helped recruiting many youngsters to the terrorist groups. These goondas do not have any religious motive other than the financial gains. So they join the terrorist groups and they get benefits – motor vehicles and a monthly allowance. This money comes from the terrorist groups like Lashkar-E-Toiba.

So goondas turn to terrorism, but what leads the youngsters to goondaism? It is their penchant for easy-money. I can quote an example here. I remember the time when my neighbor was building his house. There was this young boy, not more than 18 years old, who came to do the masonry. You could hear him use the swear words aloud and that little fellow used to scold the older women in the team. Everybody had noticed him back then. By the time I saw him next, he had turned out to be the infamous pick-pocketer and small-time ganja dealer of the area. After a couple of years, I saw his photo in the newspaper. By this time he had become one of the most notorious goondas in the town. He and his gang mates were arrested for killing someone from the opposite group and their photo was in the news paper.
Continue reading From Goondaism to Terrorism