Thursday, December 30, 2021

A gay time in India

In 2018 India's Supreme Court stuck down anti homosexual laws and it is no longer illegal to be gay in India. As is often the case, laws follow what has already happened. Of Australian Indian gay men, I've known many.

An openly gay judge and LGBTQI activist has been recommended for appointment by the Supreme Court of India to the position of Delhi High Court Judge.

Saurabh Kirpal. I don't know his politics or views, but I would guess he and I would agree on many matters.


Manvendra Singh Gohil is an Indian prince and very wealthy. In 1971 the status of Maharaja was reduced to commoner. Manvendra would have been a Maharaja. He came out as gay in I think 2006 and is a respected person. He does some very good charity work.

India has many problems but for the rich being gay does not seem to be a huge problem. We can only hope there is a good trickle down effect, in spite of the trickle down of wealth theory being thoroughly discredited.

26 comments:

  1. Why is it that the law is still so very different to people's beliefs. Often years behind...
    Sometimes I think that beliefs trickle up rather than down.

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    1. EC, as was proved by the gay marriage plebiscite. Maybe you are right about trickle up.

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  2. I think wealth protects people sometimes. It is a story as old as time. Here we have the son of a well to do man who was routinely stopped for drunk driving, yet got away with it for years. He finally was sentenced to jail time. He was 64.

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    1. Debby, undoubtedly wealth protects people. Such cases as you mention are disturbing.

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  3. It seems like this was a LONG time coming but it is good that even the most closed minded may be beginning to come around. It seems unfair that the rules and expectations are different based on social status but sadly that is a fact in our world. Maybe someday we will all JUST be equal. HUGS

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    1. Good comment Annsterw. Equality for all is highly desired.

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  4. No more Maharajas? Aww. Well at least they still have the memories and the money. Which never trickles down as far as I know, but maybe he does enough good with his charity work.

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    1. River, as in life, there were very good Maharajas and a number not so good. Kind of like politicians really.

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  5. You reminded me of the repressive abortion laws in Ireland where the wealthy women had only to swan into their top notch obgyns in Stephen's Green in Dublin and get the job done discreetly.

    Did you ever see Victim - that wonderful courageous movie by Dirk Bogarde? Highly recommend.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. In his autobiography, Dirk Bogarde always referred to his lover as his 'manager'. I think he feared losing all his female admirers.

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    2. In addition to Victim, Bogarde also played a gay man in Death in Venice.

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    3. WWW, it was the same here when abortions were illegal. I did see Victim, but so long ago and I can't remember now. From Indian immigration, Catholic power is on the rise here.

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  6. The long gold jacket is very handsome!

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    1. Yes Hels. I am sure he has much very nice drag for dressing up.

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    2. Her comment made me giggle. In all seriousness, I don't understand prejudice toward any sexual interest as long as it's consensual and in no way exploitative.

      Cheers, Andrew!

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  7. Ditto gay Asian men. I wonder if it because it is 'easier' to be gay here. Maybe I mean safer. I hope you get my drift, regardless.

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    1. Caro, I don't kid myself. It is hard for gay people full stop. Not so hard here, nor many western countries, but hard in many.

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  8. Homosexuality, when it had to do with one of their own, has always been winked at by the upper-class in Western countries, even as it supported politicians who passed anti-homosexuality laws. You know, you can't trust the peasants with same-sex relationships. Western countries have gotten past that (though it's still easier to be gay if you have deep pockets) and now it looks like it's happening in the eastern world as well.

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    1. A good and true wrap up Kirk. Thanks.

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  9. I think the opposite is true to what you have written. General social attitudes lag a long way behind the movement for reform of the law by the more educated class who have a say in that. Films on gay subjects cannot be shown and attract riots and cinemas have been burnt down.

    Even someone such as the novelist Vikram Seth has never explicitly come out though he finally became an advocate for the repeal of s 377 of the criminal code. Even then he focused his public statements on the entitlement to privacy. That is a very defensive framing of the issue.

    Then there is the position of the Hijra.

    There is a very depressing film, "Aligarh" available on SBS on demand. It deals with events in 2010 when a professor killed himself after being surprised (and photographed) by police when he was having sex with a rickshaw driver. It can't be shown in Aligarh.

    On a more cheerful note, I can heartily recommend a novel, "The Boyfriend" by R Raj Rao, published in 2003. It may be hard to track down (only 3 copies in Australian libraries according to the National Library's Australian Libraries Gateway). It starts with the middle class author alter-ego picking up the eponymous Dalit boyfriend at the pubic toilets at Mumbai's Churchlands Station. It's very funny but from memory there isn't a happy ending (I don't mean in the massage sense).

    India is still very much a country with MSM (men who have sex with men) rather than gay men, except for the relatively fortunate. Notwithstanding recent authoritarian crackdowns in China against sissy boys in the entertainment sector and a repositioning a la Putin of gay etc as a kind of cosmopolitan degeneracy, I would say conditions for LBGTQI*** in India are more adverse than for the same in China.

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    1. I don't know why MC, but your comment went to the spam folder.

      What you say is quite true, a mob mentality.

      The distinction between gay men and men who have sex with men in India is valuable, and applies to much of the sub continent and South East Asia.

      Boy band lads in China who wear makeup, look out. Rather awful about what is happening in Hong Kong.

      The Hjjar seem to be an accepted problem in life in India.

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  10. I was watching the TV recently when I realized the conversation was about the rights of the LGBTQ community and the Prejudice that exists.
    What was more, they talked about the reaction to Gay Men seemed to be stronger than the others.
    This surprised me. I thought long and hard about this. As I have a gay son and his partner, whom I adore.
    Why should this still be a problem in the world?
    There is so much hate, Andrew and that is such a waste.
    If two people are lucky enough to find love together then that is what's important!
    I'm a simple country girl. So perhaps I don't understand it all.

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    1. A gay son Maribeth? Perhaps you have mentioned him and I have forgotten.

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    2. Jon is my step-son, but I hate that term. He is a son and close friend to me.

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  11. The trickle down effect? It can easily be solved with incontinence pants.

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    1. Plug might be better YP. Didn't you become wealthy with Maggie's trickle downs?

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