Presentation on theme: "H OMOSEXUALITY IN I NDIA - S OCIOLOGICAL P ERSPECTIVE."— Presentation transcript:
H OMOSEXUALITY IN I NDIA - S OCIOLOGICAL P ERSPECTIVE
T OPICS D ISCUSSED :- Introduction to Homosexuality Sexual Rights History & Hinduism Literature Cinema Current Scenario List of few gay activists in India Presence of Gay Dating sites Indian law Social Acceptance Field work 1) Survey on how much people know about homosexuality & how much they accept it 2) Case study of SAATHI – IIT Bombays on campus LGBT support group 3) Case study of a Gay Alumni of IIT Delhi 4) Case study of Close-set Gay student in IIT Delhi 5) Visiting Naaz Foundation 6) Visiting Samapathik Trust 7) Phone Interview of a Gay Activists - Harrish Iyer
I NTRODUCTION TO HOMOSEXUALITY
Who homosexuals are ? People with same-sex attraction both sexuality and emotionally, men having same sex attraction are known as gays while women with same sex attraction are called lesbians Reason for same-sex attraction ? Some recent studies done tell that brains of a gay guy and a straight girl have very much similarities, Its by birth neither by choice nor by upbringing, there are instances where twin brothers had different kind of sexual orientation – one of them was straight while other was gay Can you cure homosexuality ? Its not a disease to be cured, there is no scientific evidence over effectiveness over conversion therapies rather there are ethical questions involved on those therapies
SEXUAL RIGHTS Sexual rights are those minimum standards that are required for a person to experience and express their sexuality in a positive manner. They can only be realized and enjoyed in an environment that is free from discrimination, coercion and violence. Choice and mutual consent are cornerstones of such an environment. They include the right to- seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality; sexuality education; respect for bodily integrity; choosing your partner; decide to be sexually active or not; sexual relations with mutual consent; marriage with mutual consent; decide whether or not, and when, to have children; the highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services; pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life.
D EPICTION OF G AY SEX IN THE T EMPLE OF V ISWANATHA – K HAJURAHO 10 TH CENTURY AD History & Hinduism :-
A sacred text, the 4 th century Kama Sutra, emphasizes pleasure as the aim of intercourse. It categorizes men who desire other men as a third nature, further subdivides them into masculine and feminine types, and describes their lives and occupations (such as flower sellers, masseurs and hairdressers ). It provides a detailed description of oral sex between men, and also refers to long-term unions between men. Hindus regard all beings as manifestations of one universal Atman (Spirit ), Atman has no gender Hindu texts have discussed variations in gender and sexuality for over two millennia. Like the erotic sculptures on ancient Hindu temples at Khajuraho and Konarak, sacred texts in Sanskrit constitute irrefutable evidence that the whole range of sexual behavior was known to ancient Hindus Homosexuality has been prevalent across the Indian subcontinent throughout history, and that homosexuals were not necessarily considered inferior in any way.
When Europeans arrived in India, they were shocked by Hinduism, which they termed idolatrous, and by the range of sexual practices, including same-sex relations, which they labeled licentious. British colonial rulers wrote modern homophobia into education, law and politics. Most modern Hindus are ignorant of this rich history, and believe the popular myth that homosexuality was imported into India from West Rightwing Hindu groups, active both in India and the U.S., who aim to remake Hinduism as a militant nationalist religion, express virulent opposition to homosexuality, inaccurately claiming that it was unknown to ancient Hindus.
L ITERATURE - Kama sutraSame Sex love in India – Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai
L ITERATURE - Ismat Chughtais Lihaf (The Quilt), was the subject of an obscenity trial in the 1940s, for her delicate evocation of the relationship between two women. It was much later, in the 1980s and 1990s, that contemporary Indian writers picked up from where Chughtai had left off. Vijay Tendulkars Marathi play, Mitrachi Ghoshta, was considered revolutionary for the 1980s because it had a lesbian protagonist though it had a tragically conservative ending by todays standards, where the protagonist commits suicide out of despair. By 2003, R. Raj Raos novel, The Boyfriend had an increasingly self-aware, assertive audience, even though the police could still use creaking, colonial laws to prosecute and homosexual men in India. And there were first-person narratives too, such as Bindumadhav Khire Partner in 2005, an account in Marathi of growing up gay in middle-class Pune.
C INEMA :- D UNNO Y … N A J AANE K YON (2010 ) D OSTANA (2008)
Homosexuality has just recently entered the mainstream cinema,indian cinema has evolved a lot – depiction of first gay kiss in Dunno Y(2010), gay kiss by Rahul Bose in I am(2011), I am(2011) winning the national award indicate the changes Mumbai has one of its biggest pride events – Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival which was first held in 2010 in April and the next year from May 25–29, 2011. It is the first queer film festival that is held in a mainstream multiplex theater and screens LGBT films from all over the world. It has been recognized by Interpride as a pride event in India. Since last few years, specially after the movie DOSTANA – people are talking about it, but the films are actually stereotyping gays in feminine way, Very few films have actually touched the topic well, rest all are just showing it with humour.
C URRENT S CENARIO :- Delhi's fourth gay pride parade, held on Nov 28th, 2011
C URRENT S CENARIO :- ~4 % of any population is gay, the for India LGBT population comes around 5 crores Gay pride parades have started happening in major indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, etc every year with attendance of few thousands Days after the 2 July 2009 Delhi High Court verdict legalizing homosexuality, Pink Pages, India's first online LGBT magazine was released. On 16 April 2009, India's first gay magazine Bombay Dost, was re-launched in Mumbai.
L IST OF FEW G AY ACTIVISTS IN I NDIA - Ashok Rao KaviSridhar Rangayan Anjali GopalanHarrish Iyer
In 2005, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who hails from Rajpipla in the Gujarat, publicly came out as gay. He was quickly focussed by the Indian and the world media as the first openly gay royal. He appeared on the BBC Three's Undercover Princes.
Gay Magazines Published in India :- Pink PagesBombay Dost
P RESENCE OF G AY D ATING SITES - Homepage of Planetromeo – a famous gay dating site operated in India
Like wise social networking sites, there are many gay dating sites operated in India These dating sites provide a safer way for close-set gays to meet-up with local guys with same sexual orientation Some famous dating sites like planet-romeo have around 93000 members from all over India, 12000 of them are from Delhi alone, there are members even from small towns with few lacks of population With internet getting penetrated deeper into the rural areas, number of members is steadily increasing
L AW - British made section 377 in 1860 which criminalized homo-sex between two adults, After Independence like many other laws this law was also blindly copied in the constitution. Legal challenges to Section 377 On 2 July 2009, in the case of Naaz foundation, the High Court of Delhi struck down much of S. 377 of the Indian Penal Code as being unconstitutional. The Court held that to the extent S. 377 criminalised consensual non-vaginal sexual acts between adults, it violated an individual's fundamental rights to equality before the law, freedom from discrimination and to life and personal liberty under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India Constitution of India
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya, which is hearing a bunch of appeals filed against decriminalisation of gay sex, said that – these things should be seen in the light of changing times where phenomena of live-in relationship, single parents and artificial fertilisation have become normal. Several organisations have come out in support of decriminalising homosexuality in India, and pushed for tolerance and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.
C URRENT LAW :- Same-sex sexual activity legalsince 2009 Equal age of consent * Anti-discrimination laws in employment * Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services * Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) * Same-sex marriage(one single case in 2011) Recognition of same-sex couples* Both joint and step adoption by same-sex couples ? Gays allowed to serve in the military ? Right to change legal gender* Access to IVF for lesbians* MSMs allowed to donate blood*
S OCIAL A CCEPTANCE - Exceptional case of Father of a gay coming out for The support during Chennai Pride Parade
The law may change but most important thing with homosexuals life is the Social acceptance – Acceptance from family, relatives, friends, etc First of all Indian society is mum about sex, so homosexuality was not discussed publically even at the national level untill quiet recently – there is absolute silence about this issue at family level Recent Survey done by Humsafar trust reveals that 70% of gay men in Mumbai due to peer pressure end up marrying a girl ! Case study – Keshav Mitra (32), a software engineer was married to Mohini in 2004. Keshav could not respond to Mohini for seven odd months after marriage. This led to a lot of confusion and turmoil in their married life. The duo often ended up quarrelling and sexual frustration kept building up between them. One day, Keshav broke the news to Mohini that he was gay and had married her on account of family pressure but he could not get rid of his feelings for Hemant, a friend from college. He also said that he was romantically involved with Hemant for two years.
F IELD WORK 1) Survey 2) Case study of SAATHI – IIT Bombay 3)Case study of a Gay Alumni of IIT Delhi 4) Case Study of life of Close-set Gay Student of IIT-Delhi 5) Visit to Naaz foundation 6) Visit to Samapathik Trust 7) Interview of gay activist - Harrish Iyer
S URVEY :- Sample – around 100 students of IIT-Delhi in a age group of 17-24
SAATHI – IIT BOMBAY S ON CAMPUS S TUDENTS LGBT S UPPORT G ROUP
Nivvedan S. – Co-founder of SAATHI 3 rd year Computer Science In Aug 2011 few IITB students and alumni got permission from IITB director to start an on compus LGBT support group in the camus, thus became countrys first on campus LGBT support group The Support group is aimed at providing a safe and comfortable way for close-set Homosexual students in the campus to come to terms with their sexual orientation This group virtually works through its Website, Facebook page & google group Google group now has 140 members – Both straights & queers The group conducts some lgbt related Events like movie screening, essay writing, poster making, etc So IITB campus has started becoming aware of LGBT issues & increasing number of homosexual students are becoming open about their sexual orientation
C ASE STUDY OF A G AY A LUMNI OF IIT- D ELHI Balachandran Ramiah B-Tech Mech Engg Batch of 1982
R ECOLLECTION OF BEING A GAY STUDENT AT IIT D ELHI FROM THE 80 S I was only 16 when I joined (last batch of the five year course) the hostel; however, I was aware of my sexual orientation as gay since I was 15 and was very comfortable about the same. I had some trepidation joining the boys hostel at such a young age (but was comforted by the fact that my parents and home were only a couple of miles away at Chanakyapuri). I went through the usual ragging period at the hostel (nothing very severe as I was a mild mannered and well behaved kid who was generally liked by all); during my years at the hostel, I did not as such face any harassment by the fellow hostel mates as I was not óut publicly about my orientation though I was teased off and on for being too mild and a bit sissy; there were however some rumours about my liking boys but nothing serious as I was a topper in my class and people regarded me highly for my academic capabilities. It was true however that I used to feel extremely isolated and lonely as I could not relate to the other boys interest in girls, their small talk and I could not share my feelings with anybody. I was also not aware of any other gay student on campus or in my class (I am sure they were there, but everybody was in the closet and hiding); there was a very effeminate boy in my class but he chose not to stay in the hostel and became a day student.
I used to go through periods of depression, unable to socialise with people being open about who I was and it would have been great, in retrospect, if I had had a group or a community space on campus where I could have been myself, out as gay and pursuing my social interests. This did not happen till much later till I was a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania in the US where there was a LGBT support group for students on campus with library material and a counsellor for consultation and so on I do strongly believe that keeping with the times, IIT Delhi must facilitate an LGBT student group on campus to allow gay students –both men and women – a support space that will ensure that this minority group feels as much a part of campus activities as any other group. This has already happened on many campuses of higher learning in India, including IIT Bombay and I feel it is high time IIT Delhi facilitated the same In solidarity BalachandranRamiah Mechanical Enginnering, B Tech, IIT D Class 0f 1982
C ASE STUDY OF C LOSE - SET G AY STUDENT IN IIT D ELHI Hello friends, I am a PhD student In IIT Delhi, I am 29 years old and I am a gay by sexual orientation, but I would prefer not to reveal my identity, I have gone through that phase when you feel an inferiority complex and disgust with your own self because of your sexual orientation, At times I used to hate myself and even thought of committing suicide I feel most LGBTs go through same emotions and feelings, So if there is an LGBT support group which will provide emotional support to students so that they can concentrate on their studies
V ISIT TO N AAZ F OUNDATION :-
This NGO is dedicated to the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. Started in 1994 by Anjali Gopalan The foundation currently works on issues of sexuality rights. Her main concern is providing quality care to those living with the HIV infection, which she has done through founding and managing a care home for HIV-positive children and women. In 2000 she opened the countrys first holistic home cares for orphaned vulnerable HIV+ children and Women.
B INDU M ADHAV K HIRE G AY A CTIVIST (P UNE ) VISIT TO S AMAPATHIK T RUST Bindu Madhav Khire runs an NGO – Samapathik Trust working on HIV in homosexuals He also carries counselling for Closeset gays who want to come out To their parents He has written two books in Marathi -Partner & Indradhanu over gay issues Punes 1 st pride parade in Dec 2011 Was organised under his guidance
H ARRISH I YER – G AY RIGHTS A CTIVIST (M UMBAI ) ( I NTERVIEW ON PHONE ) What exactly homosexuality is ? Is it something un-natural? > Homosexuality is just the alternate form of sexuality as hetero-sexuality is & its observed in large no of animal species hence its quite natural Some gay activists like you are fighting for gay rights, What exactly the rights are ? > We are actually fighting against discrimination, against prejudice that gays are guys doing only sex, but are normal people, we are fighting for basic human rights of equality and freedom Should gay marriages be allowed in India ? > It should be allowed but its too early in india and many things are more important like social acceptance, thing to be in family and not to be thrown out of family just because you are gay, its long way for India but changes are happening and they are quiet visible