Sunday, April 4, 2010

WANTED - Power!

One of the ‘accidental intellectuals’ of this decade has been Karan Johar. Not that I have any particular liking for this tissue like, touchy kind of  bollywood director , but what amuses me are the ‘not so popular’ issues that he has thrown open through his ‘popular’ cinema! One such topic that popped up with his dumbo Dostana was ‘gay prem’!
Once unheard, unspoken and untouched of the gayish jokes are relatively common these days. Generally people do acknowledge the existence of ‘Gay’ men except for the likes of yoga obsessed baba Ram Dev who claims to cure? Sexuality (I hope karan Johar knows of this). The murmurs are clearer now.  I just hope that we don’t restrict it to the frivolousness of the light jokes surrounding the topic. The debate has to go deeper, raise important questions about the civil rights of this minority community.
The judiciary has to be hailed for the series of ‘welcome’ judgements that it has pronounced in favour of gay men in India. The recent Allahabad High Courts judgement to reinstate Dr Sreenivas Siras back as a faculty in Alighar Muslim University is case point. To give a brief background of the case, Dr Siras was caught on a camera footage having sex with a rickshaw puller and the Vice Chancellor of the university sacked him terming it as ‘grave misconduct’. Judiciary didn’t go with the VC’s version and now Dr Siras is back to his beloved! In an ideal situation its Dr Siras should have slapped a case of intrusion of Privacy on the VC who had sent the so called journos to film him in the compromising position.
These judgements are a good beginning but the stir shouldn’t calm here, not all gay men are affluent and educated as Dr Siras. They are trapped in other unprivileged identities such as Dalit, lower castes, Scheduled castes, scheduled tribe etc. In such a case it is a dual stigma for them… do we brush them aside as they constitute a very miniscule part of the  gigantic population or wait till there is an uprising (I see very remote chances as Not all gay men can unite…. They have hierarchies among them too…as all Hindus do not love all Hindus, all gay men cannot act humane to each other).
One of the solutions can be political representation, If women can have 33% reservation (though passed only in Rajya Sabha) why not gays! If for representing about 46% percent of the population, a 33% of reservation can be thought of then why not reserve atleast 5 seats for about 70 million LGBT populations in India. This proposition might seem contentious and can be criticised on many fronts such as …. How to determine which constituency they must represent as all the LGBT do not concentrate them in one particular land or so, they are scattered, unorganised like any other group in the country. Will they serve as true representatives (in that case no one can claim to be a genuine representative of another). If seats are reserved for LGBT , then reservation based on other identities may be demanded.
Brushing aside all the criticisms and doubts regarding such a move, I would just like to highlight some points …. Our society is homophobic. There have been endless cases when they have been beaten, harassed or put to death by authorities. In many states, they have killed themselves after facing harassment at home and outside. They are forced by family into heterosexual marriages. It is not that all are confident about their sexuality, at times it is difficult to come to  terms with ones identity and it can be painful process when every one around despises you. Gay behaviour is regarded as sexually predatory!
Homosexuality may have been decriminalised but Government departments are yet to acknowledge the fact that India has a gay population, they are yet to be recognised as a third sex (or why not the first sex, I won’t assign hierarchies to different sex). As the LGBT are not a visible vote bank, it becomes imperative that they should be given power to address their own problems.
And what better form of Power than the Political Power…. (As in our country political power is the doorway to all kind of prosperity…. economic, social and what not.. Let gays men also have some garlands !!)


  1. Two things i wud like to highlight
    1. Intrusion of Privacy: why is the vc to be blamed?? Obviously everyone likes to protect one's own Fraternity.
    2. Reservations: Can anyone tell me what is the percentage of general male candidates in the country? Who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well jokes apart. This was a good read and I support some sort of legislation's for LGBTs but for godsake dont break the very backbone of merit in this country.

    P.S. No Offence meant

  2. yeah!!! That was a thought provoking read, if women, and men (in the name of SCs, STs, OBCs, PHs, Exs,) why not LGBT get a reservation .... that was a good point to raise,

    but let me be more sarcastic here (No offense meant), after a while , the country would surely need to review its reservation policy and 5% of reservation would be allotted to Merit in the long run

  3. some observations...
    1) you are talking only about gay men in the article.
    2) And I think this is a trap that most of us "straight" people fall into. It is connecting the identity of gay men and women solely with their sexuality. We think of them only on the grounds of their sexual preference when their identity is multifarious just like others'. So in such a case, your argument about reservation to LGBT, though made with an intention to give them political representation, again slots them and views them in the light of their sexuality and nothing else. The problem is deeply entrenched into the minds of the people of this homophobic country but reservation cannot be the only answer.

  4. I do not intent to make a point that reservation is the solution, it is rather a tool of empowerment.A homophobic society cannot shed all its fears overnight..there has to be some sort of initiation at some level.
    I haven't slot gays only in the view of sexuality, because had this been the case I would have stopped at rejoicing the judgement of Decriminalization of Homosexuality. I try to stir the argument further by bringing in the idea of political power.
    political power ensures that one has access to civil rights and not just sexual freedom.

  5. Hindi films are opening up to more bold issues.

  6. Hey friend!

    first and foremost is ur style. Gud, specially considering the (so-called)sensitive nature of the subject u have chosen to write.
    Second, coming to my own opinion, they do need some kind of support, not sympathy. This despite the fact that I do not like them too much.
    Third, you have pretty compassionate and objective too about the third gender. Keep it up yaar :)