Thursday, September 5, 2013

BGY for Magic; Nature; Sunlight

My most sincere apologies for not being able to post for the last two days, and a bigger apology for having to combine three posts into one. Work and studies have taken a serious toll the past few weeks and its been very hard to write. Yet, a commitment is a commitment. Ergo ...

The topic of marriage has always been a hell lot tricky. People have, for quite a while now, been trying to break free of caste/religion based shackles that constrict marriages across these boundaries. We have seen a lot of extreme cases, sometimes with the Khap Panchayats, fatwas and what not?! It certainly is a challenge for a lot of us to look beyond these limitations to truly have a matrimony with the person we love. That said, this challenge is a lot more Herculean when it comes to the union of two people of the same sex.

The first few years of the 21st century perhaps formed a significant phase in the recognition of marriage equality between people of the same sex. More than a dozen countries in the world today recognize same-sex marriages, the most significantly recent perhaps being New Zealand. In addition, a lot of countries recognize civil unions. And then there are countries that have a strict "Oh My God, no no, its a sin" attitude.

Ancient Chinese and Roman historical records mention male relationships.Medieval history has it that a Spanish church performed a same sex marriage between two men way back in 1061. In contemporary times, Denmark perhaps is the first country that recognized a legal relationship for same sex couples, back in 1989. Netherlands, in 2001, became the first country ever to give legal validity to same sex marriages. South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Norway are a few other countries that recognize same sex marriages by law. Mexico is perhaps one of the few countries that legalized adoption by same sex couples. The United Kingdom recognizes civil unions, but not marriages. And then there's Obama, who has been generally very supportive of this cause.

India is one of the many countries where discussing sexuality itself is considered a taboo. Well, discussing sex is looked down upon, let alone sexuality. However, a significant step was taken back in 2009 when the Delhi High Court read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes "sexual activity against the order of nature". This is largely perceived as a big milestone for the LGBT community's fight towards equality.

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of activists and support groups in India that patronize the cause for equality. Pride parades have been up and about in many Indian cities including our very own Chennai. There are a lot of NGOs and support groups that organize these Pride parades and like any event typically Indian, the parades are celebrated with much pomp and show; not to mention the colors and high spirits.

There is no doubt that India has a long way to go before it can even think about legalizing same sex marriages, let alone take any step towards it. That said, I do believe that in a way, this sometimes seems logical as well. A country that has a deep sense of cultural attachment; a country where emotions run deep and pounce hard; a society which has its own troubles to fathom; a community that still is fighting hard to provide respect for its citizens irrespective of caste, religion and color; a place that still strives to provide for security to both women and men; discussion of homosexuality is something way out of its league. Yet, positive strides are being achieved towards this, and things would take their own sweet time. But hope is what we as humans in general, and Indians in specific have in abundance. The country sure has a long way to go in this direction, but it will.

Blue symbolizes Magic (something that is in dire need in India)
Green stands for Nature (whose "definition", sometimes seems very flawed)
Yellow portrays Sunlight (brightness, if you can think)


  1. Profound. Why do you not write more often?

    1. Oh the troubles of being a professional by day and student by night - trust me Abhishek, it ain't easy :(

  2. Informative and and awakening post :) Three in one post :)

  3. Magic is definitely needed to change the minds of people in India and elsewhere. Your posts are quite riveting, Prash.

    Joy always,

  4. Very well written...
    I sometimes feel sad at the kind of respect that is being muted out to people who belong to the LGBT group...there is no humility in treating them...thats the basic things which needs to change!!