The Telegraph, Calcutta slams pseudo-logic of GOI

The editorial in The telegraph, Calcutta, pulls no punches. We absolutely endorse it, and that’s why it’s our ‘Pick of the Week’

The mix of bigotry, cowardice and pseudo-logic shown by the Indian government in voting against, and then losing the vote, on the right of United Nations staff to benefits for spouses of the same sex is fostered by the bizarre history of Section 377 of the penal code in India. India happened to be in the august company of Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Syria and Saudi Arabia, among several other nations, in voting against the official recognition of same-sex unions by the UN. In a strangely two-faced evasiveness, the Indian government made the point that it was not voting against same sex couples so much as objecting to the unilateralism with which the UN secretary-general made this change in the UN’s regulations, imposing a uniformity for all UN staff that might be at odds with the laws of some member countries. By this logic, India was fighting for fairness and democracy rather than depriving human beings of their right to equality. This awkward attempt at masking discrminatory conservatism as righteousness will not be unfamiliar to those who have been following the peculiar history of the decriminalization and recriminalization of homosexuality (strictly speaking, sodomy) in India. The judiciary has given the third sex their Constitutional status as Other Backward Classes, yet their sexual identity remains at odds with their sexual behaviour in the eyes of the State, as long as intercourse “against the order of nature” between consenting adults remains a criminal offence in India. The Supreme Court has deemed a change of law as a matter of parliamentary debate. But the Indian State’s knee-jerk attitude to the entire matter shows a sort of visceral opposition to the idea of sexual justice that often speaks the rhetoric of nationalistic indignation.

Saudi Arabia, for instance, has objected to the UN’s decision openly on moral grounds, and there is a kind of consistency, however unpleasant, about such a position. India, with one eye to the world, does not quite wish to appear to it in all its bigoted glory on such a matter. Yet, it will not examine its official position on it, or even come clean on what it actually thinks after having done so on its own terms. A nation that is keen on proclaiming its sovereignty as a modern democracy cannot afford to appear so benighted and confused in its understanding of what equality is all about.

 

[Courtesy: the Telegraph of 30 march 2015]

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Posted by on March 30, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,India,Pick of the week,RAINBOW. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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