Dubbed in Kathmandu
So, I have often wondered if it’s possible that there are some closet gays or lesbians I know – who are able to successfully hide their proclivities with a garb of hetro-sexual behaviour (in our society – even a lack of interest in women or vice-versa is often considered “normal”). I feel a little handicapped at not being endowed with my good “buddy” Farhad Wadia’s extra sensory powers of recognizing gays and ‘hookers’ in a crowd – ( who proudly claims that he has a "GAYDAR" - short for Gay RADAR, but he is not a HOMOphobe and has many gay friends - for the record!!). Now this inquiry in my mind is not arising – as you might suspect - out of any prurient interest but a genuine social ( if not sociological ) concern.
the 'unsuitable' question
We do have a Leila Seth writing in her autobiography about how she coped on coming to know that her son is gay. And, the other day I heard Vikram Seth talk about it openly in a Barkha Dutt show on NDTV ( Read: Morality cannot overshadow fundamental rights) . But, then every mother isn’t a former Chief Justice of High Court, just as every son isn’t an internationally acclaimed celebrity author. So, how do ordinary people in our societal context handle such a sensitive issue?
the 'Man of Steel' and his AK-47
The bottom line being, according to me, why blame the government ? – as a society we still have a very long way to go before accepting persons of alternative sexual orientation and give them their rightful place in society. It will be a while before MSM and WSW become a part of our lexicon. Many who are crying hoarse on the subject – other than those who are directly affected – are at best doing a lip service to their cause. But, I guess we have to make a beginning somewhere. And, to that extent – I admire the very open-minded and bold stance taken by the judges of the Delhi High Court hearing the petition.
I can see some of you are convinced that, I must be in the throes of acute MLC (mid-life crisis) to take up such a topic for my blog. I admit that, so far I have steadfastly steered clear of issues of personal choice or preferences. But, I was emboldened after reading a blog of my young cousin on how to chose the perfect bra. Check-out: Rheality Check (click here)
Ambassador Deb Mukharji's Letter to the Secretary,
Vivekakanda International, New Delhi **
Shri Mukul Kanitkar, Secretary
International Delhi **
You may recall the invitation to me to speak at the
Vivekananda Kendra International in Chanakyapuri on July 2, 2008, on the current
developments in Nepal at your monthly Vimarsha programme. May I say that I
was greatly impressed by the courtesy and the efficiency of all
At the conclusion of my talk I was presented with a book
in gift wrapping which I was able to see only weeks later due to my absence from
Delhi and other pre-occupations. The book is titled 'Expressions of
Christianity:with a focus on India', published by Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan
The book is a compilation of articles which, in
short, viciously denigrates Christians and Christianity. The individual
pieces of information could be factually correct, as may have been the
information in Mother India of Katherine Mayo, described by Gandhiji as an
inspector of drains. While it is an unfortunate and inescapable fact that there
are people and organisations who may feel that the denigration of others
enhances themselves, I would like to place on record my deepest sense of shock
and humiliation that this kind of material is being published and distributed
under the banner of the name of one of the greatest sons of India.
May I add that such activity directly contravenes what you
mentioned to me in your introductory letter, and I quote, "In 1993 when this
precious plot of land was allotted to Kendra in the prime diplomatic area of
Chanakyapuri; the grand vision of a centre for inter-civilizational dialogue and
spreading of Sanatana thought to the humanity was envisaged." There cannot be
dialogue on the basis of denigration and hatred.
Needless to say,
such hate literature acquires some relevance in the context of what is happening
in Orissa and Karnataka today.
I would like to inform you that this
letter is being forwarded to other Indian citizens who may feel
Deb Mukharji 15.10.2008.
** Vivekananda International Centre, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi is a branch of the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari and is in no way connected to the Ramakrishna Mission and Math