Thursday, December 12, 2013

TOPICAL ISSUE Vanishing distinction between gay sex and animal sex

Vanishing distinction between gay sex and animal sex

Man, it is said, is a social animal. It is also said that sex is an animal instinct and a natural one too. Even animals do not go beyond the dictates of nature. Mutual consent is a precondition in consummation of a marriage and even among animals. Sex between two individuals of the opposite sex is the law of nature. Animals religiously abide by the law of nature; it is only human being who infringes it.

The reaction of different sections of society and political parties on the Supreme Court (SC) of India upholding the constitutional validity of the section 377 ("Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.") of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) borders on our liberal, permissive bent of mind influenced by western thought and culture. There is hardly any reason for so much hue and cry.

Section 377 was inserted in the IPC because the unnatural sex between individuals of the same sex, even if with consent, was considered to be a crime against the "cultural and religious values of the country". It was introduced just in keeping with the cultural and religious ethos of the Indian society.

While legalizing the gay marriage upsetting the provisions of Section 377, the Delhi High Court had erred in quoting to the speech of the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly in which he had said that equality before the law meant inclusiveness. First, Pandit Nehru is not a member of judiciary whose opinion should be quoted and followed. Political views need not overwhelm judicial judgement. Two, which law — social, religious or cultural — gives sanction to such an unnatural act? Third, there could be no "equality before the law" for the one who violates the law of the land and society and the one who respects it.

On the analogy of this logic, sex between a prostitute and her client in a kotha is as much with mutual consent as much in a hotel or some other place. Both involve some kind and element of consideration. Then how is prostitution a crime and other not? Is it not hypocrisy to call one a prostitute and the other a 'sex worker'?
Our courts have given consent to live-in relationship. Even this relationship is not free from the element of consideration whatever it may be.

In fact, our legal system and law of the land amount, in some form or the other, to an infringement or curtailment of human rights. If we give license to gay rights, one must, then, have the uninhibited license to freedom of speech, thought, action and reaction. But which society or government can afford to allow this unlimited freedom?

Gay rights can in no way be called human rights because gay sex transcends the contours of humanity to delve into the realm of animals. How can one distinguish between the sex rights of gays and those of animals?

Section 377 also prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". Would the government extend the freedom to have sex with animals if a person feels natural or unnatural sex with human beings is, to him or her, not satisfying and does not lead to ultimate bliss?

It is for political and electoral considerations that our political class can go to any extent. Gay rights are one. It is an instance where the will of a miniscule minority is going to overrule the majority opinion.

Secularism does not mean irreligiosity. It is on the unanimous petition of all the faiths in the country that the SC has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC on the grounds of "cultural and religious values of the country". Nothing can be secularly more sacrosanct than this instance. If our government, political parties and society is secular in the real sense of the term, it should stand by the SC verdict.


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