Sunday, December 15, 2013

Is Love a Crime?

Been thinking about the recent judgement regarding section 377, an archaic law introduced during the British rule, and wondering why do we have a problem with love? Whether it's the moral policing that keeps occurring across the nation or the family structure with their boundaries of love and marriage defined between certain communities, religious beliefs, language, caste, orientation, and so on, why do we humans have so many prejudices?

Who are we to judge that a consensual act between two adults of the same gender is criminal, whereas marital rape isn't? From time immemorial, we seem to be having a problem with love. Love marriages were frowned upon but entering an arranged marriage and sleeping with a perfect stranger on your wedding night was acceptable. Love is like a dirty word. Doesn't exist. Something to be frowned upon. We are a nation of over 1.3 billion but sex doesn't happen. Babies are not an effect of procreation, it's god who gives us babies. We are in a perpetual state of denial about love and sex.

Back to section 377, it's sad that the individual rights and freedom of the (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) LGBT community are at stake not only in India but as per reports all over the world. Even in countries like France, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Been hearing the term "unnatural" quite a bit  and wonder what gives us the right to define an act of mutual consent between the same sex as unnatural. If someone has a different orientation from your own, does that make it unnatural. What's definitely criminal and unnatural is when force is used. If it's rape, child abuse, that's a crime. Then why is an act of mutual consent being considered a crime?

Another argument that keeps coming up against LGBT rights is that it's against our culture. If culture dictates that it involves disrespecting our fellow human beings, we need to do away with such culture. Whether it's the system of sati, caste system and child marriage, reformers have fought these social evils. Where is the sanctity of this so called culture that persecutes minorities based on gender, social strata, religious beliefs, orientation and so on. Even our mythological tales and carvings in our temples such as Khajuraho depict that the LGBT community existed and were accepted even in ancient times.

So why did we become so intolerant? What makes us so insensitive towards the choices and preferences of other individuals, if it doesn't match our own beliefs? When will we learn to live and let live, and let love that transcends all boundaries such as nationality, religion, color, caste, orientation flourish?


Pratima said...

I could not agree more! Like somebody said on facebook, "For a country that has such a bad reputation for rape, you think the last thing they'd want to do was to make consensual sex illegal..."!

Chandrima Roy said...

There are many things in this world that are unnatural, and many times these unnatural things give birth to newer ideas, better vision and a whole new world. Getting back to gay sex which may be unnatural, it is no way a crime; especially, when there is consent between the people involved. Wish we learnt to mind our own business!