Before we begin, let us admit that we live in a world and age which is going the opposite direction of progress. Don’t mistake me for a cynic but India and Indians (a majority to say the least) suffer from Homophobia and Transphobia.
The cultural disposition is such; it doesn’t allow much breathing space for free will and choice, especially when it comes to one’s sexual orientation! Not to mention the stigma that is attached and the treatment which is subjected to the one who dares to challenge the norms society calls ‘normal.’
Why am I saying all this? Well, because while we are marching in parades and raising placards for love/acceptance for all, there are still instances that reduces all the efforts, in a disservice.
According to Indian Express, JNU recently hosted spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for an event but it was his words that are raising a lot of eyebrows.
Answering to a student, who asked how he should deal with ill-treatment by his friends and family over his sexual orientation, the Godman said,
For the curious, Sri Sri delivered the 13th Nehru Memorial Lecture at JNU during the day, and another lecture in the evening, where he took questions from the audience.
Might I add, this is not the first time that Sri Sri has opined his views about homosexuality, especially in a country like India. In fact, he had tweeted earlier,
Nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences. To be branded a criminal for this is absurd.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 11, 2013
Now, I’m not sure what has caused the change of heart, but it is unfortunate, to say the least. Even considering that his statements were misconstrued, we have to be extra careful about words we chose, especially when we are still fighting the social evil that is homophobia.