By Shruti Sharma:
Ancient India’s acceptance and accommodation of many forms of eroticism within its culture, including homo eroticism, has been well documented in early Sanskrit writings, art and architecture. This makes modern-day India’s sexual puritanism and homophobia, which reached its zenith in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, all the more astounding. In today’s world, India has been relegated to the level of the most backward countries in the sphere of personal liberties, and one might wonder how such a drastic change could ever have come about. Through careful examination, India’s long and troubled past reveals a gradual descent into puritanism and homophobia due to caste consciousness and foreign religious influence. The following is a brief timeline summarizing the history of India and its deteriorating attitude toward people of the third sex.
In my opinion, homosexuality is not a person’s own choice. Knowingly or unknowingly, homosexuality has been prevailing in the world for centuries. But here in India, a homosexual is always looked down upon. The reason being simple, people here are ill informed on this particular issue. The legends, the mythology everything here describes homosexuality as a taboo. It is kept hidden as the people are afraid to accept something that they have been conditioned to despise. Some people claim that it is curable, but it’s a part of the person’s personality. How can one possibly change that?
In my opinion, it’s not the stories that are blocking the people’s mind about these things. It’s the lack of knowledge and information. Everyone should have a right to live a happy and normal life.
When it comes to homophobia, we hear a lot of stories from the west. But in India, the most homophobic stories come from within a homosexual’s family who are not ready to accept their sexuality. And of course, the mental torture about who will lead the lineage is a big question in people’s minds here. In such a situation, can they really be considered homophobic? Would they change opinions if they are educated about the happenings and aftermath of their hatred for homosexuality? We should try to broaden our minds. These people need our support and approval to come out and live a life of honour. And for the sake of humanity, we must not deny them that.