Jalandhar: April 22 – a day of celebration for Jalandhar based Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police, Manjit Kaur and his long-time same-sex partner, as they finally tied the knot in an auspicious ceremony accompanied by family and friends. Yes, same-sex marriage. Now, the very first thoughts that most of the people will get after reading this article is – How do they do it?(Yes ‘it’ here means Sex). Because that is how our developed human brain works, it has a huge repository for imagination yet in today’s society the smallest of issues somehow turns-up being related to sex.

However, some other minds which are not filled with such garbage would also ponder over some other issues which I will be raising here such as – Is it legal? Is the spectrum of same-sex marriage acceptable here in India? What should we know?

So let’s begin, In the month of April 44-yr-old, Manjit Kaur finally decided that she should take the step ahead and so got married to her lover, a 27-yr-old girl from Jalandhar. What made their marriage so remarkable, was the fact that although being a same-sex marriage in India, both the bride and groom’s families and friends were quite happy and excited about the whole affair. Not only was this a jubilant event for the newlyweds rather a more joyous venture for the whole LGBTQ community(Yeah there exists a community out there people).

LGBT netizens from around the world and India not only congratulated the pair but also praised them for their courage. And why shouldn’t they be praised, it requires a lot of grit to step up against the society and atrocities which are unfortunately yet to follow the lives of these two.

Same sex Marriage
Manjit Kaur with her bride. (Photo: HT)

But, this is not the first time such a love story ended in finally a marriage. Same-Sex marriage dates back to the 2002, when Mala Nagarajan and Vega Subramaniam, two women of Indian-origin, got married in a well-honored Hindu marriage ceremony in Maryland. Such a marriage, according to them, during that time was not legal in the eyes of law.

So what made them do such “Illegal” activities? When asked both of them replied, “It was love and a celebration to let everyone know our lifetime commitment to each other”. Yes Love – a four letter word which somehow people here have forgotten about. Love which has merely become a “timepass” according to some people who think they are obliged to have some form of entertainment in the form of love in their life. As we all know the perfect definition of marriage given by all elder people is – “Marriage is an institution formed by love, companionship, trust and understanding”. But I don’t think any of us really do understand the meaning of any of these words.

Lately the Indian Supreme Court made a decision to re-instate the ban on gay sex or Section 377. The Section-377 of the IPC (introduced by the British rule), criminalizes sexual activities “against order of nature”– including “homosexual”. Firstly, I mean c’mon people it’s a law which was introduced in the dinosaur ages and secondly, why is lovemaking being considered here as unnatural when two people are in mutual understanding of what’s going on. Love knows no boundaries, no definitions no explanations for its feelings.

Similarly, it does not define its existence, whether it happens between a man and woman, between two men or women, or love between a human and a animal. Love is just love.

As soon as the pictures of the lovely Punjabi couple (Manjit Kaur and her wife) became viral on social media, while the couple were applauded by a large number of people from around the globe, they faced some strong criticism and disregard from the socio-cultural torch bearers of the Indian society with comments such as “this is illegal”, “such people pollute our Indian culture and society”.

My question here is How? By getting married or is it by falling in love?

Whenever such incidents come to into light these people start behaving like vicious vipers ready to splurt out poisonous venom in the name of religion, culture, rights and laws. People which admit to the fact that they are lesbians or gays are either mocked or scorned for being so, while others which do not admit, bow-down to the pressures of family and either decide to end their lives on just live on like life-less bodies-putting in danger not only their lives rather the people involved with them.

Have we forgotten the concept of love, trust and all humanly feelings or has this whole plethora become just a political and social agenda?

Recently, Prime minister Modi said that we need to provide more laws and rights for the transgender. Then why not these people? Are they not humans? Do they not require normal human rights and laws which are given to any normal citizen of a country?

Although, I do not entirely blame the government for these loop-holes, instead of calling such incidents as impure, or unnatural and branding the couples as diseased, it’s time we help them, by at least allowing them to have normal lives like any Indian family. In July 2011, a court in Gurgoan legalized the same-sex marriage of a lesbian couple Beena and Savita, first of its kind to be accepted in law. Also, of late, the First Same-Sex Marriage Bureau of India was established by Benhur Samson, who is working with an NGO for people of the LGBTQ community.

Sometime ago, the famous Bollywood Director Mr. Karan Johar has adopted twin children- a boy and a girl, and as we all know (and have accepted) that Mr. Johar is gay. All these incidents are just stepping stones for the LGBTQ community in India, still there is a long-battle which needs to be fought by couples like Beena and Savita.

Alright maybe all cultural saviors of our society might make it hard for us to accept them but no people like us, people like you and me need to come to terms with the fact that such people exist-there are gays and lesbians. Some of you might even think that I am a lesbian as well, since I am writing about it , but that’s not it, however, I am definitely a human and yes I consider these people as humans also. I think it is time for us to address the elephant in the room. Just like Manjit Kaur has decided to step-up, it is time for us to step-up, shun the stupidity and give love a chance.

Note: Article by Bernadine Soman

 

Source: Hindustan Times

 

Tags: Jalandhar, Manjit Kaur, LGBTQ, Lesbian, Gay, Same-sex Marriage, Mala Nagarajan,Vega Subramaniam, Punjabi gay couple, Section 377, Beena and Savita, Gurgaon, Benhur Samson, Karan Johar

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