February 08, 2016

India: Sagarika Ghose on Religious leaders united against homosexuality

The Times of India

Feeling gay about love
February 8, 2016, 12:04 am IST Sagarika Ghose in Bloody Mary | 3rd Edit, India, Lifestyle | TOI

Section 377 and pyaar kiya to darna kya

In the beginning there was Article 370, now there’s Section 377. 370 divides Kashmir from the rest of India with Hindu sangh and Muslim jamaat raising slogans against each other. On 377 religious warriors are united as never before, implacably opposed to the possibility of feeling gay about life. Forget the Babri masjid Ram mandir dispute, when it comes to homosexuality, Muslim clergy and Hindu sadhu samaj, not to mention the Christian priesthood, are queering the pitch in unison.

They preach we should love our fellow men but disbelieve the friendship of man. They speak about the love of God but hate the right to love. They say religion teaches humanity but divide the human race between normal and unnatural. They say God loves everyone but in fact preach God loves everyone except the LGBTQ. When it comes to alternate sexuality, religious leaders are sounding positively deviant. While more men and women come out of the closet, religious leaders have locked themselves up in the closet.

You don’t need to watch saas bhi kabhi bahu thi to figure out that marriages are no longer made in heaven. These days it’s best to sing pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do, koi naam na do. The course of true love never did run smooth but those who declare war on love may find that young people today are raining on their parade. If you’re offended by drag queens, chances are you’re a drag on the system and if the third sex worries you, then perhaps you need to be a permanent third man who will never be able to catch the new ball.

When Krishna himself was once Mohini, when Arjuna once dressed as Brihannala, it’s manners that maketh man not the diktat of churches and temples. In these days of Hindu versus Muslim should we not instead celebrate the 17th century poem Haqiqat-al-Fuqara about the love story of a Muslim and a Hindu man, Hussainand Madho? But as far as religious leaders are concerned, hate-rosexuality is preferable to male bonding because they only want fighting men at war.

So when men hold hands, religious leaders put their hands up first, and when men kiss publicly, to the clergy this is the kiss of death. Suicide bombers can hope for paradise but the gay lover can’t hope for anything but hell. However in the age of same sex dostana, its best to sing pyaar kiya to darna kya.