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Being “unnatural”

Being “unnatural”

By Aishwarya puri

Edited by Sanchita, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

If I were an individual of orthodox and outdated mindset, I would denounce any

act that questions my set of beliefs and ideologies. I would want to call anything

unnatural, untamed or illegitimate if it does not seem familiar to my senses and

perspective. I would proclaim ” No love is true love, it is love in different caste or

to same gender”. I would then be a supporter of criminalization of practitioners of

Section 377. But fortunately, I am a modern, informed and liberal minded citizen of

India who not only accepts LGBTs but also believes that criminalization of Section

377 is a violation of Human Rights.

It is unfortunate to admit that the Indian Law System acts on age old

ideologies and enforces laws on no concretely demarcated and recognised grounds.

Section 377 states that homosexuals, gays, non-penile-vaginal sex and unnatural

sex will be viewed as criminal and law offending and can be subjected to a non-
bailable jail, 10 years of imprisonment or a huge fine amount. The question that

arises here is, what are homosexuals viewed as if not humans? Section 377 is a big

blow to the stakeholders of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India; these

laws ensure equality before law and right to freedom and equality, prohibits any

kind of discrimination based on religion, caste, colour and sex and right to life and

personal liberty respectively. Section 377 has clearly come to manifest inequality in

its execution as it has come to target homosexual community. This is a clear violation

of article 14 and 21. Their sexual orientation is viewed as criminal in its very essence;

where sexual orientation has been scientifically proven to be innate and out of birth,

not out of choice. And clearly, why would one want to develop “different” sexual

orientation when he knows it will bring only hatred and contempt. No man chooses

to be “different” or to be “hated”. I would like to quote Vikram Seth here ” What

makes life bearable is love- to love, to be loved and even after death, to know that

you’ve been loved.”

Furthermore, penile-vaginal sex is procreative and non-penile-vaginal sex is

non procreative is a universal fact. On these grounds Section 377 views the latter

as criminal. Then this would also imply that for being infertile, all impotent men,

infertile and old-aged couples be viewed as criminals! This sounds as unreasonable

as calling homosexuals criminals is. And also it is ethically wrong to gauge human

worth on basis of fertility. Also this action is viewed as a hurdle in prevention of

AIIDS and other STDs. UNAIDS stated that they are unsuccessful in enumerating

gay population in India as this is also viewed as illegal under the same section.

Various AIIDS controlling programmes, too, feel helpless in spreading awareness

as a homosexual fears being recognised so. Such fear leads to suppression of one’s

sexual activities making it underground. Sexuality which which is not explicit evades

chances of health education and awareness. As a result, AIIDS and other STDs are at

a greater risk of irrevocable breakout.

Talking about homosexual love being unnatural, great philosopher Plato’s idea

of Platonic love, which is in fact accepted as purest form of spiritual love, is evolved

out of same-sex love between two men. Ancient Indian books and carvings such

as Manusmriti, Kamasutra, illustrations at Khajrao et cetera have clear references

of homosexual love. In fact Rig Veda says ” Vikruti evam Prakriti” which means

diversity is what nature is all about. In calling homosexual love as unnatural and

any form of unnatural love as criminal, Section 377 fails to identify and enumerate

what is “natural” which happens to be its biggest flaw. May be the law makers failed

to realise that the basic law of nature is expansion and diversity. The universe is

expanding and so does everything tends to expand in our perceivable world- this

is the law of entropy or randomness. This clearly implies that nature is random

and undecided. Hence nature encompassing anything and giving it the quality of

being “natural” is vitally indistinct. This proves that there is nothing in this world

which is distinctly “unnatural”. Hence Section 377 is basically and fundamentally

vague and shallow.

To build a truly democratic and plural India, we must stand up against

discriminatory laws like Section 377, homophobic activities and all such actions that

pose a threat to human rights. What is natural or unnatural is something even great

thinkers, philosophers, researchers and scientists couldn’t recognise, then who are

we to be gods of someone else’s fate. Such retrogressive ideologies have evolved

from our society’s womb and will change only with explicit discussion on Sexuality,

proper sex education and a liberal mindset. Homosexuality is no disease or mental

disorder. It is a form of love like any form of love and homosexuals are humans, just

like “you”, “me” and “us”.

Aishwarya is a  student of English Literature at Hindu College, Delhi University. An aggressive enthusiast of Politics and an avid reader of articles on public policy and national politics. A leader, orator, anti patriarchal and loud on expression of words and public speaking. She believes in her dynamic administrative qualities and swears by candid human resource management. Her analysis of any life experience is majorly scientific and pragmatic, yet never misses a touch of spiritualism and philosophy.

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