Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hindutva votaries criticize Ramdev, support LGBT rights, say Hinduism "never opposed" homosexuality

By Our Representative
Baba Ramdev calling homosexuality a "disease" and a “mental disorder” against the backdrop of the gruesome killings in Orlando, in which 49 were killed. has sparked a row among some of the most well-known votaries of Hindutva joining those who stand by LGBT rights.
While top journalist Burkha Dutt (@bdutt), soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment expressing shock at Orlando killings, said, "Our empathy more meaningful if we at least scrap 377", who who has sharply criticised Ramdev is Rupa Subramanya ‏(@rupasubramanya), a top Dutt critic, who has been involved in incessant arguments on twitter with her.
Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, a colonial era law, calls homosexuality an "unnatural offence", explaining as, "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 a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine."
In reply to a query posed by Counterview on Twitter on what she thought of Ramdev's view that homosexuality is a disease, Subramanya, an economist and a commentator, apart from being a prolific twitteratti, hsaid "Is Ramdev the Jesus/Prophet Mo of Hinduism? Referring to Hindu scriptures to justify his homophobia? Get your head out of your ass."
Subramanya retweeted someone who said, "I support gay rights and wish to see homosexuality decriminalised. But that won't prevent Islamist from killing gays", adding elsewhere, "A top Saudi cleric in May 2016 said 'Homosexuality not a deviation from Islam, should not be punished'." The Orlando shooter
is known to have called himself an ISIS supporter.
While some of Subramanya's prolific followers, who are not a few, tried to justify Ramdev saying, "To his credit, Ramdev only talks about homosexuality being curable" ‏(@ParinVShah), others declared, "Ramdev is not even respected by most Hindus" (‏@Kunthavi5) calling her rhetoric "moronic".
Another Hindutva votary Girish Saxena (‏@Girish_Saxena_), speaking in the context of the LGTB row, advised those who site Ramdev's example as a Hindutva sample, "Referring to Hinduism thy won't refer Vivekanand, Aurobindo, Vedas, Geeta but they refer to Sadhvi Prachi."
Saxena did not stop here. He advised those who oppose lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights to "visit Khajuraho and other temples, read books”, even as asking Baba Ramdev to "never give any statement who is homophobic." He further said, "In India, in last 5.000 yrs there's not a single incident where a LGBT is killed just because he's a LGBT."
One of the top supporters of  LGBT rights in the Modi Cabinet is known to be Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had caused a stir on saying, "When millions of people the world over are having alternative sexual preferences, it is too late in the day to propound a view that they should be jailed. The Delhi High Court's view appears more acceptable," he said.
Jaitley was referring to the 2009 Delhi High Court judgment which called Article 377 unconstitutional. The judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court, which said it was Parliament's prerogative to repeal or not repeal Section 377 of te IPC.
Divisions among the Hindutva enthusiasts on LGBT are not new. There have been sharp differences on the subject even within the RSS.
Earlier this year, RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, declared “homosexuality should not be a crime”, though apparently under pressure, he later amended that comment by saying it was a "socially immoral act" that should be treated as a "psychological" case – a view held by Ramdev, too.

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