India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings. -Will Durant
India.The word is hard to define,is it merely the stretch of landmass extending from the Himalayas and tapering down to the Indian ocean,or is it an idea existing in the hearts of a billion people of all colours,religion,caste and race?
For a thousand years our motherland has been a mother to all who came to her,from the first humans who came to Asia from Africa,to the dravidians in the south,the Aryans who came later from the north,the Invaders from Central Asia to the Portugese,French and the British, India has been a home for all of us,accepting the differences,understanding the oneness in all humanity, and becoming a symbol of tolerance and fraternity all over the world. Still our society has often turned a blind eye when it has come to a part of our population, particularly the rainbow community.
Sexuality in all it’s forms was never a taboo in ancient India, yet this present generation of ours which pride ourselves in our scientific thinking and reasoning, struggle against openly discussing sex, let alone address the issues of transgender and homosexuality.
Most of the developed countries and the United Nations have declared homosexuality to be normal, but India is still a long way from repealing it’s section 377 which declares any form of sex other than penile-vaginal sex as illegal (most Indians themselves may not be aware and be punishable under this). However the major issue here is not section 377,under which as the Supreme Court rightly observed less than a hundred people convicted in the last 200 years.The issue to be addressed here is the attitude of our society which hasn’t been able to accept all our people.We find them amongst ourselves and yet they are never a part of us, we make speeches about them yet become hypocrites when the time comes for us to stand with them, we pity, mock and ostracize them never realizing that they’re a part of the same family we belong to, sons and daughters of a mother called India.Its indeed strange that in a society where a hundred cultures and languages coexist we haven’t been able to make room for a community of people who have been prosecuted by us for being what they are;And our society will never have enough room for them, until we find it in our hearts a little space to understand and accept them, the rainbows in the shadows.