Calling gays criminals and moral policing by the police
Treating gays as criminals is a 150 year old law bequeathed to us by the British and gays in India want the British to apologise for it. They are demanding that the British apologize as “Hindu, Buddhist and early Muslim cultures on the subcontinent had a long history of tolerance towards same-sex relationships.”
But we are squarely to blame if even 61 years after independence we are incapable to seeing which law is reasonable and which one is not. The British have moved on, and have liberal laws on homosexuality today. In fact Jack Straw had even proposed a law that would “make criminals of those who express their views in ways that could lead to the bullying or harassment of gays.” (this law has probably not passed as the House of Lords had voted against it).
However, gays in India have made their point and made it well. Told the Indian government and society that a law that treats gays as criminals has nothing to do with “Indian culture.” The British must be laughing at us for calling their Victorian culture our own “Indian” culture!
Films depicting homosexuality considered corrupt
Even films are attacked. The first film depicting homosexuality in India was Deepa Mehta’s film “Fire” way back in 1998. And the Shiv Sena head Bal Thackeray actually said that it would have been okay if the names of the characters had been Muslim rather than Hindu! When the film Girlfriend (2004) was released, shows were disrupted all over the country. The BJP wanted the Censor Board to “delete” scenes which were against “Indian culture.’
Interestingly, the tribals, the original inhabitants of India, supported the airing of Girlfriend in cinema halls and it is believed that this was what made the Shiv Sainiks withdraw their agitation!
Gay parties considered criminal
Policemen get “tip-offs” about gay parties and take the trouble to bust in on them! Imagine the terrible vacuum in the life of the police if homosexuality is de-criminalised. The poor policemen will have to spend all their time doing the dirty job of catching criminals who murder and rob and rape people. Their “fun” time will be over. Oh yeah, what fun to bust in on a party and huddle a bunch of helpless people into police vans. What fun it must be to torment people who can barely wield a knife a gun or a fist!
But gays are not the only helpless targets of the police . Anything to do with sexuality automatically gets a criminal tag…here is a small list:
Lovey dovey couples are criminals
The police go around stopping couples from simply sitting and holding hands. They harass, they beat, they slap, they arrest…whether it’s in Chennai, or Bangalore, or Bhopal, or Mumbai, or Bhubaneswar, or Meerut.
More on that here.
Dancing and singing is immoral
The latest news is the recent clampdown on live music and dancing
in Bangalore…the police have suddenly made a license mandatory. And instead of giving time to these places to get the license, they have been ordered to shut down…in any case with a curfew of 11:30 p.m. not much fun can be had by those who work hard and play hard.
Nightly curfews a hallmark of a virtuous society
The word curfew is associated with violence but it has taken on a different meaning in India as all Indian cities have curfews for discos and pubs. Bangalore has the most stringent one. In Delhi it’s midnight and it’s 12:30 in Kolkata and 1 a.m. in Mumbai. They say night life has been shut down in major Indian cities because most people work late and so they have little time to party. And in Mumbai policemen are deployed to ensure that bars close on time!!
Talking about sex is taboo
Film star Khushboo made the mistake of saying that that pre-marital sex is okay “provided safety measures are followed to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases”. She apparently also said that “no educated man would expect his wife to be a virgin” but hey, those were her views, and the moral police (political and other groups) should have left her alone. But as everyone knows she was hounded and so was tennis star Sania Mirza for defending her.
Too many policemen playing moral police
The police spend a lot of energy “protecting” Indian “culture” – ensuring that pubs and discos close on time, that couples do not canoodle in parks and that gays are put behind bars. Shockingly, about 400 policemen hang around in bars every night to ensure that the women go home at 9.30 pm!! These policemen should be patrolling the streets, not trying to please their political masters who get mileage from whipping up paranoia and passion about threats to some fraudulent notion of “Indian culture!”
And the politicians have an agenda…publicity. During a recent incident in Bhopal where a couple caught in a park was forced to marry, it was alleged that it was a staged drama by the Bajrang Dal and the woman “caught” was actually a member of Bajrang Dal’s women’s wing and was already married to the man. Bajrang Dal denied this and guess what they said in their defense?
If they (the couple) were married for four months, why did they meet in a park, under a tree on Valentine’s Day?
If this is the attitude towards hetrosexuality can you imagine what will happen if the government tries to change the gay law? The moral police will burn the country down!
(First is a film poster and the second photo is copyrighted to me)
Related Reading: Our reactions to people who are different
Transgender issues discussed on Tamil Television
Outrage over the “sexy” condom in India
Indian youth get their knowledge of sex from friends, porn and reading
Indians don’t like talking about sex
Mob mentality in India