By Sidhant Srivastava
Edited by Sanchita Malhotra, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
India’s new minister for health and family welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, believes in following universal sayings. Not too long back, he portrayed this, by following the saying ‘Ignorance is a bliss’. He expressed his views on his personal website on education, which included the following point as a part of his agenda “So called ‘sex education’ to be banned. Yoga to be made compulsory.”
This minister has been in the line of fire for saying a lot of controversial statements lately. Some time back, he told the New York Times that it would be better for anti-AIDS efforts in India to emphasize fidelity more than condom usage. He soon defended his statement by saying that condoms are not cent percent effective.
Well, I will save my views on ‘effectiveness’ of condoms and fidelity for another day. Let’s talk about the proposed ban on so called ‘sex education’. Just to be clear, neither Harsh Vardhan nor the current government have called for a ban on sex education in schools.
First of all, what does he mean by ‘so called ‘sex education’’? Are there schools in this country which have secretly included marks for ‘practicals’ as well in a subject of sex education? If yes, I would like to enroll myself in such a school, because I anyway feel that I missed out on a lot of learning in my school days.
Schools are supposed to be telling students that sex is a myth like UFOs? And instead of being taught about sex, students will be taught how to abstain from worldly pleasures (I would have written sex, but students aren’t supposed to know that sex exists) by doing yoga?
I studied at IIT, known to be the breeding place for some of the brightest minds of the country (this is an actual myth like UFOs). Now, if you go up to these ‘bright minds’, the majority of them (including me) can’t name even ten noble prize winners, but can name ten pornstars (female) in the blink of an eye. In fact, the society, quite recently, heartily welcomed a porn star in the Indian film industry.
So, in schools, science teachers are not supposed to be teaching students the difference between heterogeneous and HOMOgenous compounds. This brings me to the next issue.
Although Dr. Harsh Vardhan believes in following universal sayings, the Supreme Court doesn’t.
There is a universal saying which goes as ‘Everyone is equal in the eyes of law’. Well, according to a recent verdict of the apex court of this country, that saying is no more valid in this country.
In a major setback for gay rights activists, recently the Supreme Court held that homosexuality or unnatural sex between two consenting adults under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is illegal and will continue to be an offense. Section 377 holds that whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal commits an unnatural offense.
In a country like India, where the population is imploding day by day, laws against having more than 2-3 children should be made instead of criminalizing someone on the basis of their sexual orientation. And more stringent laws should be made against malpractices like dowry and female foetecide which are very much prevalent even in 21st Century India.
What baffles me is the whole logic, which people have behind having sexual intercourse. It isn’t just to have offsprings but many number of times, its purpose is just pleasure and who is the law to stop two consenting adults from experiencing pleasure without causing any harm to anyone else or even themselves?
It is not just about sexual intercourse, the people of the LGBT community won’t be even able to walk proudly in public knowing that even the law of the country is against them. They will be socially outlawed to an even greater extent by the society.
Something like this shouldn’t be a matter of concern in a country like India, which gave the world things like a tale of love and lust, Kamasutra. Even the sacred Vedic sculptures speak of how homosexuality was known and accepted in the ancient Hindu culture, especially within the Vedic religious culture of higher ages. It was not until foreign invaders came in did the Hindu culture begin to shun homosexuals. A lot of sculptures and paintings of even the ancient times depict a portrayal of two members of the same gender engaging in sexual intercourse so people actually saying that being gay is a “trend” which we are aping from the west are badly mistaken. It is as if they have a button on the back of their neck which makes them switch between being straight or gay and they emit some sort of magnetic vibe which turn the other straight people into gays.
In this country, the real problem is not with homosexuals, but with the mindset of homophobic and laws should act on the people discriminating against homosexual people instead.
After reading this article, I just hope that you don’t jump on to making opinionated judgements about my sexual orientation because I am a supporter of animal rights as well but that doesn’t make me a cannibal.