Want a Roller Coaster Ride into the Past? Join India!

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Rakesh Kumar Duan, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On the 25th of March 2015, the Times of India published an article about India joining Pakistan & 42 others in a vote against gay rights at UN, in support of a Russian-drafted resolution that proposed removing benefits for same-sex partners of UN staff, but the resolution failed to pass in the General Assembly committee after 80 nations opposed it.

This step was totally against India’s stance as a progressive nation. An article in Scoopwhoop.com quoted,” It would interest you to note the countries India stood with while voicing itself against progress. China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. While we express our outrage freely over Saudi’s regressive attitude towards its women, and seem less than in-love with Pakistan, we made our stance clear in the UN.”

The same article also quoted : “While I’m willing to consider the fact that a country that has criminalised gay-sex cannot possibly appear to hold a double-standard internationally, we could have abstained from voting. A total of 37 countries did.

Interestingly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been a strong proponent of equal rights to all UN staffers, regardless of their sexual orientation. Why shouldn’t he be? Why must ANY organisation, least of all UN which must set an example to the world, pry into the bedrooms of their employees?”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said,” It is an outrage that in our modern world, so many countries continue to criminalize people simply for loving another human being of the same sex. Laws rooted in 19th century prejudices are fueling 21st century hate.”

Already India has a draconian, ancient law in place in the form of Section 377 that declares gay sex as unnatural and therefore illegal. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860, introduced during the British rule of India, criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”, including homosexual acts. So, it’s not wrong to say that we have not gained freedom from the British rule yet. Britain, or the modern day UK, has long since decriminalized homosexuality and as a matter of fact, Britain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT communities. But we, the Indians, are still stuck with the age-old archaic law and mentality. And that is what makes it hysterical when we complain why India is still developing and not developed like the USA or the UK.

By projecting itself as a homophobic nation globally, India not only has let down scores of LGBT individuals in the country, but sadly also made a mark in the global arena as a regressive nation.

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