Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Section 377 vs Homosexuals vs Religions

A bit of background

Section 377 of Indian Penal Code

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes sexual activities ‘against the order of nature’ (discussed below). It includes homosexual acts between adults, fellatio (oral sex), anal penetration and sex with minors and animals.
This section is part of historic IPC of 1861 which was introduced in India by then ruling imperial British power.

Delhi High Court’s verdict

In 2009, a historic judgement was given by Delhi High Court which overturned the 150 year old section 377. The 105 page judgement legalizes consensual homosexual activities between adults. It also mentioned that section 377 is against the fundamental right of human citizens. It violates the article 14 of Indian Constitution which states that every citizen has equal opportunity of life and is equal before law. The court also said that the judgment is valid until the Parliament amends a law on this judgement.

Supreme Court’s verdict

On 11th Dec 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled out the Delhi High Court judgement and re-criminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults. The court also said that the Parliament should debate and decide on the matter.

This is to be noted that both judgments are contradicting on homosexual acts between adults. Other kind of sexual activities like fellatio, anal penetration and sex with minors and animals were a criminal offence in both the judgement and remain unchanged.

Interpreting the judgement, my way...

What is nature?

Nature is opposite of culture.

What is order of nature? 

In nature, 'might is right'. In nature big fish can eat small fish (matasya nyay). Order of nature is for animals. It is also called as the law of jungle.

Are we followers of nature? 

No! We are followers of culture. Culture protects and helps the helpless. Culture upholds dharma. Order of culture is for humans.

Why are there different orders for humans and animals? Aren't we all animals by instinct?

No, humans are superior beings than animals. We are Manavas who has Manas. Manas mean the power of thinking and imagining. This power to think and imagine differentiates humans from animals. Manavas are supposed to follow Manusmriti. Manu is the first Manav. In every age there is a Manu who writes Manusmriti which defines the code of conduct for humans. These code of conduct are different from order of nature (Matasya Nyay). Humans do not follow Matasya Nyay. It is for animals to follow it.

When courts say 'order of nature' which order do they mean? The one established by monotheist Prophets? or The one which the Hindus follow? or The one established by British?

Most of the Abrahamic monotheist religions follow their holy book. Allow me to call their respective holy books as a 'code of conduct' for time being. It is in these books defined how we should lead our life. So when 'order of nature' for a monotheist is referenced, it points to their respective holy book. 
But Hindus do not have such 'code of conduct'. Hindus have Smriti (words of Brahma, written by Manu) and Shruti (Vedas). Smriti is rigid whereas Shruti is libral. When there are differences in Smriti and Shruti then Shruti is considered as correct because it has higher spiritual authority. As in the case of caste system, un-touch-ability and degraded social position of women in society, Manusmiriti can be overlooked with the views from Vedas according to which all human beings are equal.
The difference in 'order of nature' for Judeo-Christian-Islamic and Hindus is that earlier books talks more about what NOT to do whereas later talks more about what to do. 
When court says 'order of nature' they mean the one established by British which is based on Bible's 'sex is sin' theory. British and Mughals imposed their 'sex is sin' theory on Hindus during their ~500 years long rule. Hindus were never shy in discussing sex and expressing love. Look at the Kamasutra and Khajuraho, you will understand what I am talking about. But this 'openness' towards sex was shattered by Mughal invaders and later British imperial power. Hindus have mentions of homosexuals, transgenders in their texts which existed much before birth of any Prophets. So homosexuality is not introduced in India by invaders. And hence we must not blame west for it.

Why do all religions have problem with sex?

In religions, sex is seen as anti-religion. Sex is seen as diversion from religion. Sex is distraction from God. Sex is illusion from spiritual path.
References are available in Hinduism where Shiva is distracted by sex and lust. Shiva is considered to be God of Yoga. He is NOT supposed to get distracted by worldly things like lust and sex but he eventually does, which is not good according to religion: 
  • Lord Shiva once was meditating and Kama, the god of sex (or sensuality) tried to distract him. Shiva opened his third eye and burnt down Kama to ashes.
  • Mohini (female form of Lord Vishnu) was so beautiful that Lord Shiva ran behind her crazily until he couples with her. Thus born gods (yes, I mean god not God) are called Aiyappa swami and Hanuman.
Similar well known incident from Bible (Old Testament for Muslims) considers Apple as a 'symbol of sin' because it distracted Adam and Eve who were happily living in Paradise. Thus born humans live in 'world' full of 'suffering and injustice'.
In most of the religions sex is permitted only after marriage. And yet the sex which involves non-sexual organs (or homosexual) is considered bad, anti-religion and anti-spiritual because this kind of sex is not aimed at conception (creativity/reproduction).

What do Bible and Quran say about homosexualilty?

According to the Old Testament (The Bible) the City of Prophet Lut (called as Sodom) was turned upside down because people residing in Sodom city were practicing upside down sexual things (in other words, they were homosexuals). These sinners (homosexuals) were then stoned with hard-baked clay by God. The scientific understanding of 'hard-baked clay' is volcanic eruption. This reference to old testament is also found in Quran.
Clearly both religions abolishes act of homosexuality.

What does Hindu literature say about homosexuality?

Most of the Hindu literature is full of anti-homosexual, anti-women, anti-low-caste stories and law. It is really dangerous job to find something supportive in favor of homosexuality. I would mention 10 points which do NOT reject homosexuality. Alert: I did NOT say I will mention 10 which favor homosexuality.
  1. When Rama returned back to Ayodhya he finds Hijras waiting for him at the gates of Ayodhya Nagari. When asked Hijras replied "Before leaving for vanvasa Ram said all men and women, please go back to city. Ram didn't mention what we should do who are neither man nor woman?". Ram was moved with their devotion. Ram folds his hands and requests Hijras to come back to city with him. This is a big tactical move by Ram. It implies that Ram welcomed Hijras to live with others in the society with equality. This is Ram Rajya (Which BJP promises?). Was Ram liberal? No, he was just being human. (Hint for Salman Khan fans)
  2. Shikhandi was born a girl and brought up as a boy by her parents. She manages to get male sex organ from a Yaksha in jungle and then returns back to society to prove his masculinity by having sex with woman. Is the sex between Shikhandi and woman a heterosexual act or lesbian act? You decide it. But for me it is more important that it is because of Shikhandi's presence in Mahabharata that Pandavas were able to win the battle. It was Krishna who asked Shikhandi to ride with him on his chariot along with Arjuna. This is another reference of Lord including a transsexual into mainstream society.
  3. Budh (not Budha) is son of Brahaspati (Jupiter). He was born by union of Chandra (moon) and Tara (wife of Brahaspati). Budh is considered to be neither male nor female. Budh married ila who was daughter of Manu. Ila was a man who became woman in later course of life. Is the sex between Budh and Ila a homosexual activity between transgenders? You decide it. But remember that their dynasty came to be known as Chandravanshi and Lord Krishna was a Yaduvanshi which is a sub-tree of Chandravanshi. So in other words Lord Krishna was born in a transgender clan!
  4. In order to ensure victory of Pandavas in Mahabharata, Aravan, the son of Arjun was to be sacrificed. But the last wish of Aravan was to marry a woman before dying. Since no woman would marry a man who is supposed to die next morning, Lord Krishna took form of Mohini, married Aravan and spend night with him in his bed. Next day Aravan was be-headed, sacrificed and later Pandavas won the battle and established dharma back in society.
  5. In scriptures and temple arts Lord Shiva is visualized as half man and half woman and thus called by the name Ardh-Nareshwar.
  6. In Mathura, Lord Shiva is worshiped as Gopeshwar (a woman). Shiva takes forms of a woman, wears clothes like woman and joins the group of gopis just to enjoy dance with Lord Krishna.
  7. In Nathdwara (Rajasthan), Krishna is dressed as a woman once every year. Just to remember his mother, his Radha and his own woman form Mohini.
  8. In Maharashtra, Vithal (another form of Lord Vishnu) is also called as Vithai = Vithal + Aayi = Vishnu + Mother.
  9. Temple scriptures in Konark, Khajuraho and Kanchipuram shows lesbian and gay acts. See below pictures.
  10. In Mahabharata, Bhishma tells Pandavas story of Bhangashvana who was the only person in this world to be called as father and mother both in one life time. Bhangashvana was born a man and was later cursed to be a woman by Indra. Bhangashvana produced children as man and woman both!
Gay act

Lesbian act

What made me write this blog?

I am not a regular blogger, this is my first time on what really mattersYet I decided to write my views on such a sensitive topic.
I am not a subject matter expert on section 377. I am also not good in my and other's religion and their beliefs. I know that there exists tons of material on Google and Wiki pages related to this topic. Yet I decided to pen down what I know and what I feel people should know about on this topic. 
Because these facts will raise questions in our mind. Questions which decides fate of 'others' who are not 'diseased' or 'mental'. Questions seeking wisdom...

Questions to you (and myself)?

  1. Where are the equal rights for LGBTs in India? Do they enjoy fundamental rights in India?
  2. Do Supreme Court mean to say that Shikhandi, Aravan, Mohini, Budh, Ardh-Nareshwar are criminals?
  3. Do Supreme Court mean to say that heterosexual people sitting in parliament are the best people to decide what a consent homosexual adult couple should do in their bed?
  4. Do Supreme Court mean to say that politician like Prakash Javadekar who ran away chanting 'Shiv Shiv Shiv' from media camera and Shatrughan Sinha who replied 'khamosh' when asked about section 377 verdict are the right people to make law on this sensitive subject?
  5. Do you think that majority should make law for minority? If yes, then are you ready for vice versa?
  6. Do you think that homosexuality is 'really' hurting cultural values of India?
  7. Do you think homosexuality in India is influenced by west?
  8. What should be written on passport of Hijras? Do supreme court even bother?
  9. Why not have something like 'British Civil Partnership' in India for homosexuals?
  10. Should we really follow verdict of Supreme Court? Remember that following law is NOT always beneficial to all. Consider the fact that Sita was banished in Ramayana in the name of upholding Dharma and Draupadi was disrobed in Mahabharata in the name of following law. 
  11. Should we follow Baba Ramdev who excludes homosexuals from society? Who claims that homosexuality is a 'bad habit' and can be cured by doing 3-6 months of Yoga lessons including pranayams and breathing exercise.
  12. Or should we follow Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who at-least confirms that homosexuality is not a 'crime' in Hinduism?
Disclaimer 1: I am not Sri Sri follower and Ramdev hater. I wake up with Baba's toothpaste in my mouth daily morning :-)
Disclaimer 2: Please excuse me for bad writing skills, insufficient knowledge, insulting your religion, hurting your sentiments, etc, etc.
Disclaimer 3: I am not Homo and I have a kid :P

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Joke-pal and Lokpal Game

After the IAC movement was being crushed with the apathy of Indian Media and also by the delayed actions of the government which had managed to test the attention span of followers. It is evident that Arvind Kejriwal's phenomenal success with the Aam Admi Party has managed to take the center stage in today's political landscape.

When the India Against Corruption team had split up with one group taking a political path and the other team taking the apolitical path. It was said that their paths are different but their goals are same and they would be maintaining a healthy understanding with each other's activities.

Anna Hazare following his Gandhian principles had taken a stand that he will not be supporting any political party. However, his constant stand against the Aam Admi Party looks more like a strong support for both BJP and Congress. At Ralegan Siddhi, during his fast protest for the Jan Lokpal Bill he took a clear stand against the Aam Admi Party's leader Gopal Rai and in support of VK Singh a BJP Leader. Anna Hazare had mentioned that no political party will share his stage during the protest. VK Signh with his strong alliances with the Bhartiya Janta Party was not in the right place, which was proved with the words he used.

VK Singh clearly made an attempt to taunt and defame the motives of AAP, reacting to which Gopal Rai tried to correct him and tell him to stick to the topic. Below is a news coverage by Zee News. Though Gopal Rai had committed the mistake of interrupting an ongoing speech, VK Singh had made the mistake of starting the political drama in the first place. The apathy of Indian media still stands against Aam Admi Party (AAP) which is evident in the below video.


It need not be said, the reaction of Anna Hazare to this incident was like a school teacher who would ask one out of two students misbehaving in the class to leave the class as a punishment.

I would like to highlight the Lokpal bill which the Lok Sabha is wishing to implement was coined as Joke-pal bill by Arvind Kejriwal, who was the main brain behind drafting the bill and the strategist of the IAC movement. Indian Media had been hiding this fact that the bill which Lok Sabha has passed and is under discussion in the Rajya Sabha is not the original bill which was being requested. Until today, when BJP has emerged to support a strong bill and not AAP. Refer the link below:


I had read this article yesterday when it was completely different. I would like to focus your attention to this point on the screen:

And soon BJP steals the stage in this agenda:


You can also notice similar lines in both the articles.

When Arvind Kejriwal had been shouting against it all the while. In the below 3 hours live coverage of the volunteers meet, we can listen to Arvind Kejriwal's un-cut speach from around 02:40:00, he clearly claims that the Government's Lokpal bill is a Joke-pal bill, which was not shown in many of the major News Channels in India.

(You can see the NDTV coverage of this speech and notice how they have shown what they felt important.

Does this scenario not contradict with what VK Singh was trying to taunt on - Give priority to the bill and not party and individual motives. At this point, not focusing on who should take the center stage on the matter I would like to share the differences between the two bills.

According to the Government's Lokpal Bill Parliamentary members would appoint the Lokpal Team. According to Jan Lokpal Bill, the Lokpal would be appointed by an independent recruitment process similar to the Election Commission or Civil Societies.

Below are the differences listed (Taking reference from Wikipedia)

The Jan Lokpal Bill
Government's Lokpal Bill
PM can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
PM can be investigated by Lokpal after she/he vacates office.
Can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.
Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".
Conduct of MPs
Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.
Lower bureaucracy
All public servants would be included.
Only senior officers (Group A) will be covered.
Anti-Corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
The Anti-Corruption wing of the CBI will be merged into the Lokpal.
The Anti-Corruption wing of the CBI cannot be merged into the Lokpal.
Removal of Lokpal members and Chair
Any person can bring a complaint to the Supreme Court, who can then recommend removal of any member to the President.
Any "aggrieved party" can raise a complaint to the President, who will refer the matter to the CJI.
Removal of Lokpal staff and officers
Complaints against Lokpal staff will be handled by independent boards set-up in each state, composed of retired bureaucrats, judges, and civil society members.
Lokpal will conduct inquiries into its own behavior.
Lokayukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.
All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralized Lokpal.
Whistleblower protection
Whistle-blowers are protected by Lokpal.
No protection granted to whistle-blowers by Lokpal.
Punishment for corruption
Lokpal can either directly impose penalties, or refer the matter to the courts. Penalties can include removal from office, imprisonment, and recovery of assets from those who benefited from the corruption.
Lokpal can only refer matters to the courts, not take any direct punitive actions. Penalties remain equivalent to those in current laws.
Investigatory powers
Lokpal can obtain wiretaps (to make a connection to a telegraph or telephone wire in order to obtain information secretly), issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders.
Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.
False, frivolous and vexatious complaints
Lokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of Rs 100,000.
Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can give 2–5 years imprisonment and fines of Rs 25,000 to 200,000.
NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption.
NGOs are within the scope and can be investigated.

If you have a basic understanding of the Indian Political scenario you would agree more that in fact it is the joke-pal bill.

The BJP Leaders are negotiating on the various norms of the bill and would come to consensus soon. The differences in the two bills are being talked about as a count. So if we have 10 differences listed, we might settle in for 5 differences. In such a case, we would need to deal with the 50% joke in this bill. Also is anybody bothered on how the Lokpal will be appointed?

Kiran Bedi today nodded with the Bill the government has passed and she is happy with the discussions that took place in the Rajya Sabha. I don't know what will be finally decided, but I know one thing, people who would be signing affirmatively for the bill would make sure they are saving their asses at all times!