India’s Rejection of Homosexuality has no Cultural Basis!

Proud Grand Mother

photo by Ramesh Lalwani

There has been a furious public response on the net over the law in Uganda that intends to impose the “death penalty” (death by stoning!) for homosexuality.  Uganda  probably won’t  implement the death penalty, at least not openly, given that western countries like the U.S. have threatened to withdraw millions of dollars in aid.

However there are at least 7 countries in the world which have the death penalty for homosexuality, and these include  Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Nigeria, Mauritania.   Now these nations haven’t faced the same threats from the western countries because — well some of them are sitting on large reserves of oil that literally runs the wheels of many western economies, and there may be other more important political interests than protecting the gay communities from the hideous destiny of being stoned to death.

And besides these countries, there are many more countries where homosexuality is still a criminal offense.  In India this law (Sect 377 of the Indian Penal Code) was struck down by the Delhi Court in 2009, and later in 2012, the Supreme Court of India observed that traditionally homosexuality was not an offense (legal or social) in India before the British rulers decided to impose a new law in India in 1860 criminalizing it.

Indeed while researching for my book Sex and Power, I was amazed at the normalcy with which both homosexuality and homosexual acts between individuals (regardless of their sexuality), was treated in ancient India.  It is depicted (more…)

Can Women Not Rape Other Women?

Recently India has been seriously pondering over the most ridiculous question.  Is Pinki Pramanik a rapist? Well, that’s not the stupid question.  The stupid question is:

Is Pinki Pramanik male or female, because she apparently can be charged with the rape she’s accused of, by her female partner, only if it’s proved she is male!!

Pinki Pramanik is an Indian track athlete who has won numerous medals for India for the women’s track races at various international events.   Earlier this year, her live-in partner, another woman, brought charges of rape against her.  Apparently this partner shared pictures of Pinki that showed she had ‘male’ genitalia.

An earlier test from a private clinic appears to establish Pinki as ‘male.’   However, the first test was held as inconclusive, Pinki was incarcerated and put through a gruesome public and media spectacle as she was paraded in and out of jail, and through various hospitals and labs – in a bid to establish her gender! 

She was put through every kind of humiliation conceivable.  A clip of her naked and exposed as medical authorities examined her, somehow made its way into the internet circuit.  (more…)

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