Posted on September 22, 2008 in Society

-Anshul Tewari

” I have seen ups and downs but had never imagined that my choice could affect others, affect my freedom to speech, affect my freedom to live and even my freedom to breathe; i sometimes face discrimination for a crime i did not commit, i wonder if others would ever treat my like a human. Am i not a human, even though i am a ………..HOMOSEXUAL”
– Rahul Sharma (name changed)
Today I wil be writing on an extremely touchy issue, an issue which might take others by offence, an issue about which people dont like to talk in public, an issue no different from the lives of you and me. So, before i write any further, i apologise if the content of this article offences the thoughts of any human being.

Homosexualityrefers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of the same sex, or to a homosexual orientation.

Homosexuality has been a feature of human culture since earliest history

Introduction and Overview

In the Indian culture, homosexual people are frequently subject to prejudice and discrimination. Homosexuality in India is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indian civil society and the government. Public discussion of homosexuality in India has been inhibited by the fact that sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly. Homosexuality is being seen as a social evil. Not only this, Homosexuals are not accepted by majority and are treated very badly.
In recent years, however, attitudes towards homosexuality have shifted slightly. In particular, there have been more depictions and discussions of homosexuality in the Indian news media and by Bollywood which can be quoted as a positive sign. Homosexuals are human beings just like you and me and we ought not discriminate them just because of their sexual preferance. After all its their life. Isnt it?
Though not legal in India, homosexuality is prevailant in each and every part or strata of the society.

Sexual acts ‘against the order of nature’ remain illegal in India, though the government no longer seeks to prosecute adults engaging in private consensual homosexual acts. In recent years, the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality has strengthened. Campaigners emphasize both human rights and health issues, particularly the need to disseminate information about HIV/AIDS. Homosexual relations are legally still a crime in India under an old British era statute dating from 1860 called Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature.’ The vague nature of the legislation has resulted in it being used against a wide range sexual behavior like oral sex (heterosexual and homosexual), sodomy, bestiality, etc. The punishment ranges from ten years to lifelong imprisonment. The relevant section reads: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine” All i want to convey to the youth is that homosexuality should be accepted for the simple fact that Homosexuals are humans and what have you go to do with their sexuality? If they find the same sex a better companion, its not their FAULT. Its the way they are, and should be accepted. None of the major Indian political parties have endorsed gay rights concerns into their official party manifesto or platform. However, one of the Politburo members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Brinda Karat, did write an open letter in 2003 to the then Minister of Law and Justice, Arun Jaitley, demanding a repeal of section 377, IPC. Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination stemming from negative societal attitudes toward homosexuality leads to a higher prevalence of mental health disorders among lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals compared to their heterosexual peers. However, evidence indicates that the liberalization of these attitudes over the past few decades is associated with a decrease in such mental health risks among younger LGBT people. Gay and lesbian youth bear an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, school problems, and isolation because of a “hostile and condemning environment, verbal and physical abuse, rejection and isolation from family and peers”, psychological and physical abuse by parents or caretakers, and more sexual abuse. Youth Ki Awaaz Plea: I, Anshul Tewari at Youth Ki Awaaz, would like to tell all of you reading this article that we might find it hard to accept the fact that a man can ever love a man or women can ever love women, but the fact is that Homosexuals exist in every strata of the society. Homosexuals are human beings and deserved to be treated like one. You can’t just discriminate them because of their sexual preference. It’s their life for god sake and they have the Right to choose. Don’t they? Are they affecting us? NOT AT ALL. They are not affecting our life at all and neither are they affecting our society. So why should our behavior affect them? They are not taking your breath away. They just demand one thing, freedom and space. Freedom from the boundation of the society, and space to live their life. Homosexuality is NOT a social evil. It’s a way of society. We see a homosexual and say ‘Yuck’, but consider this, if later in life you get to know that your friend, brother, sister or your very own son or daughter are gay what would you do? I asked this question to quite a few people and the response I got was somewhat like this: 40% said that they would get honor killing done, 40% said they would disown them at that moment, 17% said that they would accept it but wouldn’t show it much in front of the society and only 3% said that they would accept it and they meant it. We are humans and we should give other humans the right to choose their love. I have personally had talks with various homosexuals and have come across their problems. They face high degree of prejudice, they are treated nothing less that cockroaches. Where has our humanity that we feel proud of gone? Think practically me dear friends, we are all same, then why treat someone differently? Why not include Gays and Lesbians in the mainstream society and why discriminate them? They are not harmful. When we celebrate independence day and rejoice, they feel bad and ask god that when would they get their freedom? I thoroughly support homosexuality and why not? They are human beings…….and so am I. Many people feel that if Section 377 is abolished it would lead to rapes between same sex, forced slavery and stuff like that. Answer my question people….. Does this not happen today? Isn’t this the responsibility of the judiciary system? Today I request the youth to give each and every point quoted in this article due consideration and then rethink……what if, just what if your relative was a homosexual….would you stop loving him or her….. then why not accept others? Lets come closer to practicality and think about it…………. If someone can make a change it is the youth……………. I would love to know your comments. I would like if you could answer my poll question related to homosexuality in the side bar. Thank you.