A Fag End by Fag Friend

The word that’s on everyone’s lips is “fag”. The word on the lips is fine, but fag on the lips is unkind, says our beloved minister. It takes a man with real guts and gumption to stand against the puff lobby and fight for the rights of non smokers. In all organizations, I should admit that there has been a huge clout of smokers smoking off with zilch regard for the nonsmokers. I have resisted the temptation to scream my lungs off at smokers and dopers, many of them my very close associates, and being close I understood they would never understand. “How does it matter to you”, they’d ask. Well, it does, if you drink, you die. If you smoke I die with you… and I want to live. Smokers don’t care about the ones who inhale the smoke irrespective of whether they like it or not, and then when they get diseases like cancer and chronic bronchitis, smokers hush it and come-what-may would not believe that this is because of their vice. Some feel it’s’ wise to vice. Rebels without thought are worse than rebels without cause.

Of the many debating points, to justify directly or indirectly, one of my nonsmoking pals said, “But, they should ban the production of cigarettes instead”. Well said. But why can’t we welcome change and then push for more change. Let’s speculate…What would have been the case if they stopped the sale of cigarettes? Then, we would complain, “We should’ve not stopped the sale as there is still a huge demand, rather we should intensify awareness drives.” So, Ramadoss took a middle ground, he didn’t ban either, but made the smokers to walk an extra mile, to a zone “where one could decipher” that smoking was “possibly” permitted. Inconvenience, yes, it is for them. But then if not, its inconvenience to me who has no vice. Anyways, Lanka was not destroyed in a day. And when laws are flaunted, we would have to have alert citizens, who need to call the cop. I for once, have a reputation of putting up with the worst of circumstances, and when the pressure reaches the optimal level, I’d not think twice before calling the police, or for that matter taking the police to task if I see them break the rules, like I did once when I had spotted a constable chew gutka when gutka was banned. I don’t reason with it. And if I need to pay up for being vigilant, in terms of trauma, and joblessness… id face that as long as my heart is in the right place.

When a minister urges to kick-the-butt for the larger good of the society, we should get up and support. Anyways, we were the same people who say that the government does nothing. Aren’t we. And when it does, we turn myopic, and see it as an infringement on personal life. “People all over the world smoke.” Yes, they do. Butt, there is a big but. Is that the example that you need to follow? Is it wise to have a vice?

Now, let’s come to the next fag issue that interests Ramadoss and of course, me. Fags… I mean homosexuals. (I have not used the word Fag in the offensive sense here, but just as a colloquial lingo) There exists a draconian law “section 377″.

Here’s the description of this Section: (acknowledgments: Wikipedia)

Whoever voluntarily has ‘carnal intercourse’
‘against the order of nature’ with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with ‘imprisonment for life’, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section.

It’s interesting to note here that there is no mention of the words “Homosexual” or “Gay” or “Lesbian” or “Bisexual”. And as far as my knowledge goes, I don’t feel that there is any mention of the same anywhere in our law. What are funny, are the ‘clearly visible’ ambiguities.

‘Carnal intercourse’: Irrespective of whether it’s a man-man or man-woman could be imprisoned for life. So ‘straight’ers! love your husband, love your wife, but remember Law says, “Rear Idea is a bad idea”.

‘against the order of nature’: what’s against the order of nature? And how does law define ‘natural’ity of sex? For me ‘doing’ your pet Labrador is against the order of nature, but loving or making love with someone of your own gender isn’t. Not merely because I’m gay, but because, homosexuality is traced in other mammals too.

Minister Ramadoss doesn’t gain anything by speaking for gays, leave alone supporting them. But he spoke, and spoke without any pause for applause. He avowed and brought forth the clinical fact that homosexuals are more susceptible to HIV and HBV as anal-penal sex could leave tears in the anus or penis. And HIV spreads more due to blood-blood contact. He further added that giving the LGBT their due rights through a legitimate route, would facilitate a wider reach of HIV outreach programs to the needy homosexuals.

Let me speak in first person to not justify, but elucidate this. If I have a tear or a cut in my anus due to a sexual act with a person of my own gender where do I go? The medico, the friend, the acquaintance, anybody could betray inform the police that I have had a homosexual encounter. So, Id fret and neglect the issue as society and law would look down upon me if I told them of my fear and pain. So I dont get myself tested, let the virus breed in me as I help it breed to the others in sheer ignorance.

As Ramadoss touched upon this touchy issue, the age-old clichéd refuge to defend ones stance is deployed… “Indian Ethos and Culture”. These torch bearers should visit Khajuraho. And secondly, culturally if we have wronged should we continue to be so? I’d say child marriage, Sati, Widow Confinement, Gambling on Women could be interpreted as “culture” at one point of time. But didn’t we do away with these when times changed. Wouldn’t an antediluvian law of this nature help the growth of homophobia… do we have less evils in the society today, that we are staying mum over this. Or should we wait for the lava to develop and a volcano to erupt with many deaths and fear psychosis to finally take action against homophobia. Isn’t preemptive action in the form of a legal stance a better solution. Response to the stimuli doesn’t work always, does it?

It also should be noted that what 2 “consenting” adults do in the confines of their bedroom is their business and one shouldn’t monkey around with that.

It’s funny but true, as a survivor of child sex abuse, I had no apposite law that protected me. Convicts are tried under the rape law which speaks about “outraging the modesty of a woman” (huh! So, men have no modesty).

So we need to amend old laws and pave way for newer laws to make our society truly beautiful.

Would be wonderful to know your thoughts on the same. Do respond.

Jai Ramadoss! ∞ (especially for this initiative)


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