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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

IPC 377 and Homosexuality

                            Notes for my interview to "Religion Vision" produced by Anuj Sarma, ASMS, Film City, Noida (15.1.14)

1.  What is Dialectical Spiritualism?

Dialectical Spiritualism is a project to interpret the Vedic literature for developing alternative solutions to our social, political and economic problems. We already have many isms like liberalism, Marxism, feminism, environmentalism, Islamism, Confucianism, Hindutva, etc. We study all these ideologies, compare them to our literature and then arrive at conclusions.

2.      What is your opinion on IPC 377 and the Supreme Court judgment?

In many cases of sexual offences, child abuse and domestic violence, sodomy is used and it can be quite a traumatic experience for the victim. We must consider such acts as perverted sexual behaviour and strict punishment should be prescribed for them. I think that is the purpose of 377.

3.      What about consensual adult homosexual relationships?

Well, in case of consenting adults, when there is no victimisation, law has no business to interfere. 377 should not be applicable in these situations. From the perspective of dharma, our sexual orientations are due to the samskaras (impressions) of our past lives. So, someone can be a homosexual. What should he or she do? We have to respect their identity.

4.      Does dharma condone homosexuality?

Dharma means our duty to God. Only sex for procreation is prescribed by dharma. The rest of the sexual activities, whether homosexual or heterosexual, are for the sake of our own enjoyment. Hence, they have nothing to do with dharma. However, dharma does not support sexual repression. We need to find solutions. In the short term, we advocate moderation. But finally we have to transcend these orientations, only then we can end the cycle of birth and death. God has created sex to run the world. Indeed, sex is the binding energy that keeps the world together. But in the end, we need to get out of here, back to God.

Another point I want to make is that orientations are not permanent. They keep changing. Nothing is fixed. For instance, the caste system considers everyone’s orientation fixed at birth. However, the system is against the ancient Vedic literature, which has stories of how great sages like Vashishtha, Agastya, Valmiki and Vyasa were born of scandalous origins and demons like Hiranyakashipu and Ravana of sages. Our point is that all things are always changing. So, why should we get entangled in temporary identities? Why should we celebrate or condemn such identities? We really do not care whether someone is a homosexual or a heterosexual. Everyone must try to live according to dharma.

5.      Does spirituality consider homosexuality a taboo?

We do not consider homosexuality a taboo. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals must live according to dharma. God has created sex. If we take it as a responsibility, we shall come closer to God. Family is a product of sex. Just like we love our family, God loves us. By a child born of our sacred union, we can participate in God’s creation. Similarly, homosexuals may also seek love and sacrifice within their community. Every community has the right to have its own values, without causing inconvenience to the general society. What we are opposed to is the victimisation of young people by sexual abuse, indecent exposure, pornography and cult of violence.

6.      In Hindu mythology, Ayyappa is born of the homosexual union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

How can anyone be born of a homosexual union? The Ayyappa story is an attempt by the worshippers to prove that he has power of both Shiva and Vishnu. Besides, there are some scholars like Wendy Doniger who are obsessed with sexuality. They misrepresent Vedic literature. What can we say? Everyone sees the world through the prism of his or her heart.

1 comment:

  1. The 2nd para of point 4 relates to transitory nature of the world (Samsara). There are many things we cannot change in one lifetime, specifically genes we receive on birth.