Dear Justice Markandey Katju
Your recent post on Gay and Lesbian Relationships (LGBT) , created a lot of ruckus, as you tweeted , sadly , you were called a homophobic also, and then yourCLARIFICATION further aggravated the ire. I am writing to you, as to why it happened . Why were you labeled homophobe, Sexist and misogynist
According to you, homosexuality is a ‘unnatural ‘and “modern” phenomenon and must be ‘cured’ to give way to reproductive heterosexuality.In your opinion, at the heart of heterosexual bonding, companionship, love, lies procreative sex and the desire to keep the human race going. Therefore, you question , “Will a gay relationship or marriage serve nature’s requirement of continuing the species?”
So what is ‘natural’. It will mean, not only humans but all species who exists on planet earth . And we have seen that homosexuality is found in mammals, birds and even insects. Also I hate to break your conviction that homosexuality is “unnatural” and “not a disease”, the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 and the World Health Organization in 1992 did accept homosexuality as a ”normal” variant of human sexuality. That apart, if one reads the history of sexual practices across the world, one realises that same-sex sexual practices have been there since times immemorial and that sexual identity-based categories are only an early 20th century invention of American-European psychologists and sexologists.
Now before, you jump one me saying s AHA, dont give me western evidence on homsoexuality as , According to you, homosexuality is a “modern” phenomenon and must be ‘cured’ to give way to reproductive heterosexuality.
But hold on Sir, Unlike most civilizations of its time, the Indian society during the Vedic age and even before had an open mind-set on matters of homosexuality and “queer” issues. The statues of different temples justify the presence and acceptance of homosexuality in ancient India. Khajuraho temple in Madhya Pradesh, the Shiva temple in Bagali, Karnataka, the Rajarani temple in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha are a testimony to this fact
I would like to add that Hinduism and homosexuality are not strange bedfellows. Hindu texts have not shied away from addressing homosexuality The Hindu mythology has many incidents showcasing fluidity of sex, where same-sex interactions have often served a sacred purpose. And sometimes, the gods themselves have been part of these transformations and unions.Add to this, a portion of the Kama Sutra is dedicated to the fulfillment of sexual desires and encompasses the full range of human sexuality.
Homosexuality has never been considered a crime in Hindu culture. In fact, Lord Ayyappa was born of Hari-Hara (Vishnu and Shiva). Homosexuality, not a crime in any Smriti. Everyone has male and female elements. According to their dominance, tendencies show up and may change.
The androgynous form of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati better known as “Ardhanarishwar” is worshipped in full galore Ardhanarishwara means ‘The Lord who is half a woman, and half man’.
In the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu takes the form of Mohini, a beautiful enchantress, in order to trick the demons into giving up Amrita after the manthan. But Lord Shiva falls for Mohini, and they have a relationsip, with Shiva being fully aware of the real identity of Mohini. The result of this union was a son (Lord Ayyappa).
Shikhandi, in Mahabharata, was born a girl, Shikhandini, to Drupada, the king of Panchala. She was the reincarnation of Amba, who was rendered unmarriageable by Bhishma. She was granted her wish to be the cause of Bhishma’s death, and was reborn Shikhandini. But since a divine voice told Drupada to raise Shikhandini as a son, she was taught warfare. On the wedding night, Shikhandini’s wife discovered that her “husband” was female, and insulted her. Shikhandini fled, but met a yaksha who exchanged his sex with her. She then became a man, Shikhandi, whom during the Kurukshetra war, Bhishma recognised as Amba reborn and refused to fight ‘a woman’. After his death, Shikhandi’s masculinity was transferred back to the yaksha.
When Arjuna spurned the amorous advances of a nymph, Urvashi, she cursed him to become a ‘kliba’, or a ‘hijra’, a member of the third gender. Lord Krishna then tells Arjuna that this curse would be the perfect disguise for Arjuna during his last year of exile. Arjuna takes on the name Brihannala and dresses in women’s clothes for a year.
You also believe that the role of the woman in a heterosexual union is that of being a mother-homekeeper and the role of the man is that of the protector-giver.
With such a patriarchal statement, I wonder what are you trying to say . We all know Violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health rights are often deeply engrained in societal values pertaining to women’s sexuality.
Patriarchal concepts of women’s roles within the family mean that women are often valued based on their ability to reproduce.
Early marriage and pregnancy, or repeated pregnancies spaced too closely together, often as the result of efforts to produce male offspring because of the preference for sons, has a devastating impact on women’s health with sometimes fatal consequences. Women are also often blamed for infertility, suffering ostracism and being subjected various human rights violations as a result.
Patriarchy also controls women‟s reproductive power. In a patriarchal society women don‟t have control of reproduction, or to use contraception, terminate pregnancy and prefer to girl child
Further patriarchy not only forces women to be mothers of sons, it also determines the condition of their motherhood. This ideology of motherhood is considered one of the bases of women‟s oppression because it creates and strengthens the divide between private and public, it restricts women‟s mobility and growth and it reproduces male domination.
You further add in your Facebook post that “it is not men who pursue women, but women who pursue men. It is the Life Force which drives women to pursue and catch a mate, who will then look after her while she is performing nature’s serious and vital function of continuing the species”.
Also, procreation is just one reason why humans have sex. The other reasons are many like the pleasure of emotional, physical intimacy. Similar to the fact that food is not eaten just for survival but also because it gives pleasure. If procreation was the only reason then people would stop having sex after having progeny .
The icing on the cake is fact when you say you are not in favour of criminalising homosexuality but its not natural ?
The AHA moment, where i ask you-
Is it natural to be normal?
If yes, why would we need laws to maintain something natural?
In other words, if heterosexuality was normal, why would we need Section 377 to curtail same-sex intimacy
And them comes your gem —
Women who remain single are prone to have psychological problems.
Seriously, did you know that single women are not dependent on any man to provide for them . Infant many single men are providing for men . Should those men be shot because they decided to live off the woman and hence go against the nature? Also did you know that single is not necessarily divorcee or widow ,there are , particularly those who are single by choice. There is no dearth oft such women as they are now occupying jobs that were traditionally considered male domains or unfit for females. You rarely saw a woman waitressing a decade ago for instance; as this occupation was considered socially “inappropriate” for an Indian girl (airhostesses were regarded as glorified waitresses).As the job market has exploded, more women have become economically independent and are enjoying the freedom of living on their own terms. They don’t need to succumb to the social pressure to marry and live up to traditional expectations that disregard their individuality.
So, Justice Katju, Please WAKE- UP from your sexist slumber , and see the reality of woman empowerment.
I sincerely hope you find a psychologist soon, because now you are now definitely , prone to developing psychological problems.
Happy New Year and Get well soon
Kamayani Bali- Mahabal
Feminist and Human rights activist
PS- not so exhaustive list of temples you must visit for evidence collection
Also at Khajuraho, – At the Lakshmana temple in Khajuraho (954 CE), a man receives fellatio from a seated male as part of an orgiastic scene.
At the Shiva temple at Ambernath, constructed in 1060 CE, a badly weathered relief suggests an erotic interest between two women.
At the Rhajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, dating from the 10th or 11th century, a sculpture depicts two women engaged in oral sex.
A 12th century Shiva temple in Bagali, Karnataka depicts a scene of apparent oral sex between two males on a sculpture below the sikhara.
At Padhavli near Gwalior, a ruined temple from the 10th century shows a man within an orgiastic group receiving fellatio from another male.
An 11th century lifesize sandstone sculpture from Orissa, now in the Seattle Art Museum, shows Kama, god of love, shooting an arrow at two women who are embracing one another.
( Friends do add on the travel itinerary, as there are many more , in comments section :- )