Excellent – another step away from the culture of the colonialist vermin who pillaged India for centruies and imposed a backward, ugly set of depraved christian values on them.
I’m tempted to swear Bill, but you’re not worth it! When will people grow up and accept responsibilty for their own cultural limitations. Yes, the british empire imposed section 377, but India has been independent for over 60 years. In that time britain had become one of the most liberal and tolerant nations in the world vis a vis gay rights. India has remained mired in backward repressive attitudes, not becaue of the colonials, we left in 1947, BUT because of the prevelent religions in India Islam and Hinduism. and India’s family/procreation/conformity obsessed culture which has little tolerance for individuality in sexual or any other matters ( even heterosexual indians aren’t allowed to choose their own sexual partners in traditional familes) Any one but a moron can see that the reason India has kept section 377 is because of the limitations of it’s own indigineous culture. I think you’ll find Bill, that the english speaking westernised Indians are the ones who will support this move whereas the traditional Hindu Muslim Indians, the ones who oppose western values, ie burn shops which sell valentine cards, throw acid at woman who wear western clothes will oppose it. But Bill’s revisionism aside, this is truly excellent news, for India ofcourse, but also given the growth in the countries economic power and influence, fantastic news for the wider world. China amazingly has adopted a relatively liberal view on homosexuality, if india does likewise, this will have fabulous repercussions in the decades to come when India and china become more and more economic/cultural and moral influences in Asia and the wider world.
This is fantastic news if this law is repealed. Probably the most significant legal change EVER for gay people considering the population of India. The UK has nothing to apologise for. Granted the 1860 law was vile but India has had 60 years to change it already. The focus should be on removing the law.
elf. andy – what do your comments have to do with mine? Did I defend muslim and hindu homophobia? No. I condemned the English imposition of christer bigotry and the English pillaging of India at the point of a bayonet. And I applauded the Indians for moving away from the imposed culture of bigotry.
Do you applaud the colonial pillaging of India, the imposition of a christist culture of bigotry? Do you deny that the imposed bigotry emboldened and sanctioned the intolerance of other cults? If so explain yourself.
Did I comment on the rightwing christer, DUP and Tory intolerance that is undoubtedly responsible for much of the homophobic violence in England? No. But you appear to deny it. Do you think that the increasingly strident bigotry of some of the christist and islamist cults and of the Tories, exemplified by their votes against the GLBT agenda has no part in encouraging skinhead violence? Do you deny that they’ve led to an increase of harassment of LGBT students? If so explain yourself.
But try to keep you comments related, however tenuously, to what I said.
andy – what do your comments have to do with mine? Did I defend muslim and hindu homophobia? No. I condemned the English imposition of christer bigotry and the English pillaging of India at the point of a bayonet. And I applauded the Indians for moving away from the imposed culture of bigotry.
Andy, your comments are very ignorant. Indian Government has itself accepted that India was very tolerant to homosexuality BEFORE the British destroyed it completely through 377. Nobody was ever executed in India (even when we fell under Islamic rule) for homosexuality. PLEASE READ A BIT OF HISTORY. It won’t do you any bad. As for acid burning of women wearing western clothes, please man, go get a life than making totally absurd and foolish comments. There is a 1000 things you can condemn India for, this is just not one of them.
RTM…1st things first, my main point was as Simon said that this is excellent news for India, and Indians. My problem was with Bill’s assertion that colonialism was/is to blame for the continuing Homophobia in Indian society 60 years after independence from Britain………it isn’t, only the likes of Bill and Robert Mugabe still blame the British for all the worlds ills. As for not reading my history, wrong…my dissertation at cambridge was in race relations during the British Raj in India, so i think i’ve probably done quite a lot of reading about India…( i got a first for it by the way and my superviser was an Indian woman who had been imprisoned by the british during the forties for her part in the quit india movement, so it wasn’t in any way a one sided exercise) I also lived in south Asia for 5 years after graduation working mainly in Sri Lanks, which is obviously not India, but I travelled extensively across India every chance i got, so please don’t call me ignorant just because my opinion is different to yours. Also re acid burnings for wearing western clothes in India. Perhaps you should do more reading? They have happened and been documented in Kashmir, which is still part of India. Islamic militants issued warnings that women in Srinagar should veil or be burned, some defied their edict and had acid thrown in their faces-(see BBC News website from 10th August 2001 for a summary, but the incidents and the victims stories were covered extensively in the press in the west and in India..I was in Calcutta when it happened) Obviously i am not suggesting such things happen among the English speaking elites of Mumbai or Delhi. And when you say that India was “very tolerant of homosexuality before the British” I disagree, It went on, as it always has and will and a blind eye was turned, certainly among the rich and noble. Maharajahs proclivities were indulged…but i was not arguing about before colonialism, rather after…Indian society remains extremely family focused. In most families children are expected to marry and to marry the partner of their parents choice, unconventionality is frowned upon in sexual matters far more than in the west , and this is encouraged by the major religions but also by a belief that Indian culture does not acknowledge homosexuality which is a “western disease” …so my point was that these aspects of Indian society are to blame for the fact that 60 years after independence homosexuality is still illegal. The “vermin” as Bill referred to the British, are actually the religious zealots Hindu and Muslim ( not Christian as Bill said, not because that religion is any better but rather as they make up less than 2% of the population they have virtually no cultural or political power)These religious zealots are aided by Hindu cultural extremists like the BJP, and the likes of Bal Thackerey and his cohorts in the BJP/Shiv Sena, who use the rallying cries of “indian values” to denounce everything from western dress, to valentine cards to homosexuality. Finally RMT you said There are a “thousand things you can condemn India for”. Well there are atleast a thousand things you can condemn British colonialism for, I don’t deny that at all! My point was that the continuing homophobia in Indian society and the failure to repeal section 377 more than 60 tears after independence fall into the first category not the second.
andy, you just can’t seem to get it right. The “vermin” were imperialist English christians who arrogantly crafted laws codifying bigotry at he point of a bayonet. They also encouraged and organized the cultivation of opium in the region and fought a war to force the Chinese government to allow them to become the worlds largest narco-power. Those are the acts of vermin.
That was then and this is now, and the English imperalists are now cooperating with the US in a genocide in the Middle East. Those two governments are the world’s chief terrorist states.
When people make these criticisms of the rulers of England or the US they are not criticizing decent working people in those countries, just the rulers of those countries. Unless you like homophobia, opium dealers or terrorists you have no business denying the history of these events.
Just let us know which side you’re on.
Look Andy. You are now telling me just once incidence of acid burning of a woman by Islamic terrorists in Kashmir. Please, that doesn’t say a thing about the Indian society as a whole. Why not?? I have a very logical answer for that. Do you know a Canadian Pakistani murdered his own daughter for her failure to wear the burqa?? Do you know a German Muslim family got their daughter killed by her minor brother because she chose to marry who she wanted to?? The incident of acid burning that you mentioned is a very lone incident – and it doesn’t speak a thing about the billion plus people of this country. Secondly, most of the Islamic terrorists are NOT local. They come from Pakistan and Afghanistan into the part of Kashmir that we hold. Now to other issues you touched upon. You said that you disagree that India was very tolerant of homosexuality before the British came. Fine, may be that is true. May be that is not true. I was only telling you what the Indian Government’s representative told the UN Human Rights Council on Section 377. He had categorically said, that the British were totally shocked to see so much tolerance to homosexuality, which they saw as a perversity, in the then India. He also mentioned that we didn’t have any concept of “unnatural” sex. He acknowledged that a civil suit is going on in the courts to strike down the gay sex ban. (Considering that a majority of our politicians are so medieval minded, I don’t think there will be a debate about gay rights in our national Parliament for the next 15-20 years). Btw, do you know about Hijras and their religious role?? Do you know Hindu mythology INCLUDES same sex love making between Gods (including KRISHNA)?? Probably you don’t. If you are interested, I will write a post on all of that. But what I am saying is, that we were much more tolerant to homosexuality in the 19th century, than the 19th century Britain. As far as the failure to remove Section 377 is concerned – dude, have you ever heard of CULTURAL IMPERIALISM?? Hindus were made ashamed of their culture by the Victorians, and that’s why modern day Hindu right wing organizations reject homosexuality (not as violently as you suggest though). As far as valentine cards and the likes of Bal Thackeray are are concerned, you will find thugs in every country. It doesn’t say about that country as a whole. This year, Hindu fundamentalists in one city forced a couple celebrating the Valentine’s Day to “marry”. There was widespread criticism of that throughout the nation. As far as the Indian family structure is concerned, yes, India is conservative. I don’t disagree on that. But, there is positive movement on that too. For example, some state governments give monetary help to inter-caste couples (who usually marry against their parents’ wishes). Lastly, I can and I will criticize Great Britain for exporting their homophobic laws as well as CULTURE into our country. Do you know what was the punishment for homosexuality in India before colonialism?? The most fundamentalist Hindu book (Manu Smriti) prescribes a COLD WATER BATH as punishment. Now you have totally altered our culture. You ought to say SORRY. :P
Andy – One thing I forgot to say. Is it fair for you (I am assuming White Europeans), to colonize us, condemn our culture for being tolerant to homosexuality, impose your own homophobic laws and culture, then leave India, and finally again with your supremacist view of the world, condemn our culture for being homophobic?? Just think. Think as a gay Indian. Be me for 10 minutes, and JUST THINK. I tell you man, you ask any gay Indian how much they hate the UK, and you are likely get the same response. Btw, on the positive side, I would like to congratulate UK also, for having got rid of its homophobic past, and legalized same sex unions. And your Wolfenden Committee report has been a very strong argument in our country too. It was one of the primary arguments of gay rights lawyers in the court. THANK YOU FOR THAT. ;-D
It’s not about denying history, it’s about how relevent aspects of history are to the topic, which is whether the current Indian government is ready to repeal outdated homophobic laws. You were the one who said “keep the comments related”. But only you could think the DUP, and the opium wars are relevent to Gay rights in India! I said in my reply to RTM that there are more than a 1000 things you can blame the british colonialists for, and the opium wars and use of bayonets are probably two of them! But Indian societies inability/unwillingnesss to address it’s indigineous homophobia 60 years after independence is NOT the colonialists fault!. Australia/New Zealand and Canada to name just 3 ex British colonies which would have also had section 377 in thier laws after independence all managed to repeal them in line with every other “western” government, so it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the fault of “western” goverments, that Homophobic laws are retained in certain ex colonies, India/Uganda/Kenya etc. They are kept because those societies contain very strong ANTI-GAY elements in their indigineous religions/culture. As for the question, which side am i on? Quite obvioulsy i’m on the side of gay rights… and that’s primarily what this discussion forum is for, and on gay rights, who would I rather trust? the current British government, which equalised the age of consent for homosexuals, approved gay civil partnerships which grant identical legal rights to heterosexual marriage, legalised gay adoption, removed all barriers to lesbian couples receiving state subsidised access to IVF fertility treatment and outlawed all discrimination against gays and lesbians in the provision of goods and services or Al Quadea and the Taleban, who stone gays and lesbians to death? I think the answers obvious, and yet in your opinion it’s the uk government that is one of the two chief terrrorist organisations in the world. If that really is your opinion, then I’m most definately NOT on your side!
So, what was the outcome of the session? Didn’t find any reports anywhere …
As expected, the government is going to argue AGAINST decriminalization of homosexual acts Monday in the court. A verdict is expected by the end of the year.