By Abhishek Jha:
According to a report published this Wednesday in India Today, several doctors in the national capital have been found practicing the impossible art of curing homosexuals. In a personal narrative, Sangeeth Sebastian narrates how his sister, who is a psychologist herself, took him to “a leading psychiatrist” to cure him of his homosexuality. In what could only be called inhuman and brutal torture, he was then subjected to electric shocks through his skull and fingertips.
In an investigative report, Sebastian and Kumar Vikram detail the prescriptions and advice that the doctors they visited gave. The doctors describe homosexuality variously as a hormonal imbalance and genetic and mental disorder. While one prescribed a medicine usually used for those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, a Dr. Vinod Raina had a full package worth Rs. 1.1 lakh. Ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors are not far behind, painting homosexuality as ‘the root cause of many “complicated diseases” in future life’.
All this, however, is not surprising. Goa minister Ramesh Tawadkar had himself proposed “curing” homosexuals as recently as in January this year. Beloved Baba Ramdev too had guaranteed that he could cure homosexuals. This report makes us face what has only been a nightmare. We have so far, being complacent perhaps, not raised the stakes. That is not to say that the queer community in India hasn’t been speaking out against the barbarism that section 377 of the IPC is. But this revelation is a window to the unimaginable horrid bleakness of the lives of LGBT people in this country, which means that it must end now- and not as soon as possible. While we celebrate the success of queer groups in other countries, it would indeed be harmful to wait for some distant future in which the queer community will finally have their due rights.
Perhaps these doctors will be prosecuted and their shops shut down. But what about other quacks, charlatans, and bigots who are reaping our hope in “advance cash“? And what about those “well-meaning” parents who want the homosexuality of their children cured after some Baba’s telly propaganda? If one is working towards a better India, all these people need to unlearn a lot. If believing homosexuals as normal is a disease, then it should infect these people soon.