We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – BUDDHA
India, a land based on the concept of ‘unity in diversity’ consisting of different religions, numerous cultures, festivals, customs, etc. The land situated on the South-Asian region is the largest democracy in the world. It is also the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the TajMahal.
When it comes to world politics, India is a name often heard of because of its fast economic growth as well as developing pace. But when we look into depths, there is more to venture at and this venturing would result in understanding the positive side as well as the negative side of the country.
India has a dark past that witnessed many unfair practices in the society starting from killing of girl child to the sati system. In today’s era of 21st century, these practices have been reduced to minimum but still the dark shadow of these injustices has not been eradicated.
Some of the problems that could still be found in the nation are:
Poverty, illiteracy, terrorism, casteism, untouchibility, corruption, overpopulation, child marriage, starvation, child labour, gender inequality, dowry, domestic violence against women, sexual violence against women, sexual harassment of women at workplace, child sexual abuse, communalism, religious violence, marital rape, child trafficking, bonded labour and the list goes on and on…
These problems are not just limited to society but also to the mentality of the people as a whole. Every Indian should be well aware of the difference between ‘right and wrong’. In this, the role of parents and the teachers in schools can be really promising as they are the ones who instill morals and values in us from a very early age.
Many individuals never come up with their true identity because they are scared of the society’s stereotypical thinking and they strongely believe that they won’t be accepted. ‘Homosexual intercourse’ was declared “unnatural” which made it a criminal offence under chapter 16, section 377 of the Indian penal code, 1860. This is when India was still a colony under the British Empire. In 1947, India gained independence but homosexuality remained an offence. The society advocates that individuals should be able to be proud of who they are, but yet they judge homosexuals for being different. In a country where people are taught not to judge others on the basis of caste, religion or race from a very young age, why do the people still judge the homosexuals? The homosexuals are often judged, looked down upon; they are a part of this world and they have each and every right to live and express themselves.
As for lesbians and gays, it has been found that majority of the Indians do not support same sex relationships excluding the upcoming generations and ‘rights activists’. Being born in a democratic country like India that has its roots based on unity, everyone should have the liberty to live a life they want to without any criticism from others.
The global scenario of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) is mixed.
The UK presents a mixed scorecard when it comes to protecting sexual discrimination beyond the gender-defined minorities.Countries such as Belgium,Canada,France,Germany and Switzerland have more indeterminate definitions of sexual orientation or preference which might offer securityfor those individuals who see the gender variable assecondary to their sexual identity. On the west, Canada though refuses to define ‘sexual orientation’ and itmight include sadomasochists as well. From 1985, France has used “moeur” or lifestyles in their legislation, “way of life” by Switzerland since 1999 in their new constitution and some German states simply refer to the “sexual identity” category. According to the international experts of 2006 who adopted the Yogyakarta principles, sexual orientation refers to everyone’s capacity of emotion, affection, sexual attraction to individuals of an opposite gender or same sex or more than one gender.
In China, wherein they have openly including the Government hasaccepted the transgender community. Although gender reassignment is still considered a taboo there, and therestrict restrictions on this particular aspect. The new guidelines state that an individual must apply for a gender change before undergoing any gender changing surgery. It is also expected that the person must also live openly in the society for a number of years as the gender with which they are identified before the surgery. Theycannot have a criminal record, must be over the age of twenty and unmarried, and must have gone through aconsiderable amount of therapy. The individual opting for gender change must also inform their immediate family about his/her plans for surgery.
Saudi Arabia has a different scene altogether. It has a very strict and male dominated society which meansmuscularity is viewed superior to feminist. This is the same in some countries but it’s very apparent in Saudi Arabia.Even genders are usually separated at a young age and they go to different schools and this makes it worse for the LGBT.
The upliftment of a society depends on various factors including eradications of numerous societal injustices (child marriage, gender inequality, domestic violence, discrimination, etc.). These have been instilled in the society since ages and can only be abolished with proper planning and efforts by all.As a youth the change I would like to implement for upliftment of the society is that being born as a human everyone has the right to live and be attracted towards both the sex and moreover every individual’s identity should be heard of and respected equally as they are not different but rather that is what they are.
All we need is ‘change of mind sets’ and upbringing of innovative ideas that can help in making the people realize the vital need of recognizing these people who need help in being what they are. And I myself believe that a day will come when every individual, irrespective of gender or sexuality, will live together in harmony and peace.
And yes, that day is not so far!
Author Details : –
Name- Jahnab Pran Kashyap
Bio- A cultural enthusiast, singer and a member of German-Indian Partnership Program, who loves to speak and express thoughts.