Think Homosexuality Is Not A Part Of Our Culture? Think Again!
After a long and hard fight, the LGBTQI community in our country finally won against biased laws that decriminalised homosexuality. Yes, in a historic verdict, Section 377 was recently vetoed. This means that same-sex love is finally out of the closet. Unsurprisingly, many are of the belief that this is against our culture, which upholds marriage and procreation within its bounds, which is based on heterosexual relationships. Same-sex love, according to far too many people in our country, is a “western concept.” But, if you make just a little effort, you will find that homosexuality was very much a part of ancient India. Any guesses why? Because it is a natural phenomenon, and not some twisted result of modernism.
Our country is predominantly Hindu. A close look at the sacred texts of Hinduism will reveal that homosexuality was never considered sinful or criminal, although some researchers state that the Manu Smriti, which is the main text of Hinduism, did prescribe corrective measures for homosexuality. That said, by and large, Hindu mythology is rather gender fluid, with indirect references to the same-sex encounters, third gender, and cross-dressing. In fact, the ancient Vedic system even allowed marriage between the homosexuals. The Kamasutra, the sacred text of sexuality, lesbians are referred to as “swarini,” and gay men, and “kliba”. Both homosexual men and women were documented as marrying each other.
But, who has the time to go back centuries, and study the literature the ripples of which are, indeed, felt among the so-called “liberals” of our country. We, the generation of straight up heterosexual love, are also the generation of quick-fixes. We don’t want to put in any effort into expanding our horizons. That’s okay. We understand. Which is why, we will give you a visual proof that is hard to look past – The temples of Khajurao. Known for its eroticism, the temples’ walls are carved with sculptures of all sorts of carnal love. The architecture dates back to the 12th Century, well before colonialism. While many other monuments have been destroyed, these have withstood the changing time. A leisurely walk through the monuments will show you that ancient India indulged in all sorts of sex we consider “vulgar” today – girl on girl, boy on boy, threesomes, orgies, cunnilingus, fellatio. You name it.
The third gender, or eunuchs, were an important part of the Mughal Kingdom. They were not ostracised, as they are today. On the contrary, they were an important part of the harem, and usually, one eunuch was appointed to be the primary caretaker and advisor of the queen, and often, of the king as well.
But, let’s keep it simple. Next time someone says that decriminalisation of Section 377 signals a breakdown of our culture, buy them a trip to Khajurao!