Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What seems to be the problem?

A few days ago, I ate something that would sound odd but was quite nice - mango sambar. Most of the few eyeballs that scan this blog probably know what both are, but just in case. This is a mango - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango and this is sambar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambar_%28dish%29 . And while I admit that it was pretty good, I am left wondering as to how many people would accept my culinary tastes.

This train of thought led me to Section 377, and the recent ruling by the Delhi High Court ruling the section to be unconstitutional. Frankly, I was surprised, because I didn't think it would happen. And the reactions were expected. Religious reactions apart, I found some reactions... Well I couldn't understand them. I don't know where to start.

First off; the claim that it is against culture and nature. Without debating the truth of these claims, I would like to proceed. We do a lot of things that are "against nature". We drive cars, we bathe - with soap, and the list goes on. "Animals" don't do these things. And what of the "against culture" argument? I must say I have my reservations about whether this is even a valid argument. There are many things that were "against culture" at one point.

Racism was part of culture, so was Sati ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sati_(practice) ), even bathing was not encouraged by Victorian culture. But back in the day, people rode horses - which is awesome, and the environment was also more respected (apparently). Now all I'm saying is that any practise must be examined on it's own merit and not on whether it's part of "culture". Culture is a dynamic entity, and there is no obligation to keep it static.

Then there's the standard "aping the west" argument. This is something of a moral panic, and again, ties back to the culture argument. Must we not adopt something just because it is prevalent in the west?

Then there's the "what are we going to legalise next" argument. Hmm. This is something of a slippery slope we're traversing. There are a lot of things to say about those activities that would be legalised, but then again - that's not what I'm talking about here.

Then there's the "children to be protected" argument. This makes no sense any way you look at it. Sex with a minor is illegal. Period. Non-consensual sex is rape. Now if a new law to prevent homosexual sex with minors was implemented, how will two laws deter offenders when one didn't? Section 377 still regulates sex with minors.

Then there's the genetic/non-genetic argument should not even be raised. A lot of things are genetic - the predisposition to out-group violence, incest avoidance and many more. Whether homosexuality is genetic or not should not be relevant and it should be debated without this in mind just as other behaviours are.

In the end why regulate an activity performed by consenting adults in the privacy of their quarters? It's not worth debate, because it's a question of a section of society wanting to do their thing. If tomorrow a section of society wants to jump up and down holding hands in their private quarters with whomever they like to jump with, then should we even debate regulating it?

In any case, whether people like it or not, whether people think it is "disgusting" or not, it is a question of tastes. And I wont let you take away my right to eat what I want - like my mango sambar (although I am told that it's quite a traditional dish, and a quick google search confirms this).