Archive for the ‘Indian society and culture’ Category

Why this sudden fuss about Homosexuality: There are more inportant Issues that need Attention

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Why this Sudden Fuss about Homosexuality:

There are More Important Issues which Need Attention


Col (Retd) Bhaskar Sarkar VSM

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The amount of coverage given in the media about the Supreme Court ruling on homosexuality is amazing. It would appear from the hullabaloo that it is the most important issue facing our country at the moment, more important than rampant corruption in the police (Narainsain’s efforts to influence investigations against him), criminalization of politics, budget and current account deficit, coming elections etc.


Homosexuality is another aberration of individual freedom. Homosexuality, like other forms of sexual deviations and perversion are as old as the history of civilization. Various types of same sex relationships have existed for centuries. In China, during the Ming and Zhou Dynasties, females and males could bind themselves in contracts to members of the same sex. The occasions were celebrated with elaborate ceremonies. However, there was no religious ceremony binding the couple in matrimony. The first historical mention of the performance of same sex marriages in Europe occurred during the early Roman Empire. Emperor Nero is reported to have been ceremoniously married to one of his male slaves. But the so-called marriages between two Roman males or with a slave had no legal standing in Roman law. In 342 AD Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans issued a law, the “Theodosian Code,” prohibiting same sex marriage in Rome and sanctioned execution for those so married. Opposition to same sex marriage in Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) is based upon Old Testament passages that discuss the fate of Sodom (Genesis 19:4 – 19:11), Gods command that one shall “not lie with mankind, as with womankind” (Leviticus 18: 22), and direction that those that do “shall surely be put to death”. Same sex relations or marriages are not sanctioned in the Catholic Church or major branches of the Protestant Church. It is also not sanctioned in Orthodox Judaism or in Islam. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, with life imprisonment in Pakistan and severely punishable in many Muslim countries.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to legalize same sex relations and marriage. Pope John Paul II, the previous head of the Roman Catholic Church, criticized same sex marriage when it was introduced in the Netherlands. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI has maintained opposition to gay marriage, and categorized it amongst “the most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good today”. Some Christian groups have been vocal and politically active in opposing legalizing same sex relationships and marriage in the United States. In 2009, a group of Christian leaders from various denominations issued the “Manhattan Declaration”, a statement that united evangelicals and Catholic leaders in fighting abortion and gay marriage. As of November 2010, the Declaration had been signed by over 475,000 individuals. The Islamic view of marriage is that it is a contract (Nikah) between two parties where the man offers protection and maintenance to the woman in return for exclusive sexual and reproductive rights. Same sex marriages thus cannot be considered legal within the constraints of a Muslim marriage.

Since 2001, ten countries, Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden have legalized gay marriage. Same sex marriages are also performed and recognized in Mexico City and parts of the United States. About 250 million people (or 4% of the world population) live in areas that recognize same sex marriage.

The word “Marriage” comes from the Latin word “matrimonium”, and is an institution involving a mother or “mater” (Latin for mother). The idea implicit in the word is that a man takes a woman in marriage so that he may have children by her. Calling a gay union a marriage is an insult to the ancient institution of marriage. The basic intention of our forefathers in creating the institution of marriage was to ensure moral discipline in society and to ensure proper care and development of children in a stable family and social environment.


Legalization of same sex marriage or decriminalizing homosexuality normalizes homosexual behavior and encourages it. Sexual perversions and deviations should remain under cover of darkness or behind closed door. There is no need to specifically proscribe homosexuality and make it a criminal offence. At the same time, it is dangerous for a healthy family and society to encourage deviant sexual behavior by recognizing gay marriage or encouraging Homosexuality.

Support for homosexuality is not universal either in the world or in India. It has been banned recently in Russia. A high court in Australia has overturned a legislation permitting gay marriages in a part of that country. The support in India is not universal. Most of the media seems to support homosexuality which is sad. Leaders of an election shocked Congress in search of votes has jumped to criticize the Supreme Court judgment but whether it will pay any dividends or will go against them in the next poll only time will tell. BJP leaders are studiously silent for fear of offending their Hindu fundamentalist supporters. Leaders of parties hoping for support of the Muslim electorate are also silent. Even the Aam Admi Party is silent.

Sexual freedom both normal and deviant has been acceptable for the intellectuals and the elite. It is also acceptable in most areas of the US and Europe. It has never been appreciated by the ordinary citizens or the middle class society any where in the world. It is the Parliament and not the Supreme Court which passes or amends laws. Let the new Parliament take it up. Making the offense non-cognizable may meet the needs of all sections of the society.

Stealing Cars and Teasing Women: Can We Stop Being Shameless?

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Stealing Cars and Teasing Women: Can We Stop Being “Besharam”?

By Col (Retd) Bhaskar Sarkar VSM

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Theft of cars and motor cycles and crimes against women like eve teasing, rape, acid attacks and murder are the most frequently committed offenses in our society. Most of these crimes are committed by young men and juveniles. The media has been trying its best to convince Young India that they must respect women and not look at them as items to lust for. But there has been little effect on the youth of India.

Whereas there is a lot of coverage of crimes against women in the electronic media, there is hardly any coverage of thefts of cars and motorcycles. These thefts have no sensationalism and reporting them on television is not likely to increase TRP. These are reported in local news papers and the figures are quite alarming. In the small town of Alwar, (population about seven lakhs) on an average, four motor cycles are stolen every day and one motor vehicle every month.

Earning money for a luxurious life style through crime or prostitution is becoming more and more acceptable with the youth of India.

The Reason Why

Why is our society willing to accept the criminals and the corrupt? We love marry of our daughters to corrupt government servants, businessmen, politicians, and policemen. We elect corrupt people and goons as sarpanches of villages, office bearers of gram panchayets, councilors of municipalities, MLAs and MPs. We never hesitate to give a bribe if it is going to benefit us. Why does the society tolerate “Besharam” (shameless) criminal political leaders, government officials, hoarders, black marketers, tax cheats and godmen?

Importance We Attach to Wealth

I think the first reason is the importance our society attaches to wealth. How money is made is not important. In any case quick money is rarely made by honest means. But the size and number of cars and houses one owns, lavish parties and weddings that one throws, the number of laws one can break and get away with is what which determines the position of a person in society.

Influence of Cinema

The second reason is the character portrayed by popular personalities in our movies and serials. Cinema has a tremendous influence on Young India. Film heroes and heroines on the big and small screens are role models to millions of young minds. Yet what characters do they portray? Recently I went to see the movie “Besharam” (Shameless) with my wife. It was a traumatic experience. Ranveer Kapoor, the hero of the film, one of the most popular heroes and a youth icon conveyed the under mentioned messages through his role in the film:

- If you are uneducated and unemployed, it is all right to become a car thief to earn a living or support your family.

- If you like a girl, you should pursue her against her wishes, keep teasing her and finally she will fall in love with you. Unfortunately the happy endings are only in reel life. In real life, such pursuits end in devastating tragedies, particularly for the girl.

- Stuffing a socks into your under wear to make the male sex organ look bigger will attract girls who are all sex hungry.

- Fingering your crotch during dancing in the presence of women is a decent and done thing and should be adopted by all, young and old (Rishi Kapoor also does it in the end).

- Ranveer Kapoor makes a virtue of being “Besharam” and encourages Young India to be “Besharam”.


I believe that as individuals, societies and nations, we finally get what we deserve.

If we as a society tolerate criminalization of government servants, politicians and youth we will have no security for our homes, our possessions and our women.

If we encourage Young India to be “Besharam” (shameless), we will not have a clean and healthy society.

If we encourage eve teasing and pursuing women against their wishes, no woman in India will be safe.

Government must act to ban movies which send wrong messages to the youth of the country. It can ban advertising cigarettes and liquor. Why can it not ban advertising of deodorants which show women as depraved nymphomaniacs and contribute to crimes against women?

Will Ranveer Kapoor and other reel heroes become real life heroes by giving interviews on television channels that the message conveyed in film “Besharam” and other such film was not intended and totally wrong. Young India should not indulge in such behavior.

Will the directors and producers of cinema’s and soap operas on television stop making films like “Besharam”?