You thought it was a Baba Ramdev special. But err, no.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who once famously suggested we Indians watch TV instead of having sex at night in our innovative one-of-its-kind solution to our population ‘problem’, has said that homosexuality is a ‘Western disease’ and needs to be ‘cured’. Apparently, it’s not Indian. It’s also unnatural. The difference between Azad and Ramdev is that Azad is a direct representative of the Indian people and his views do a lot more damage than Arrow Baba incessantly repeating his medico-spiritual blah-blah on what homosexuality is or isn’t.
The statements have, as expected, received coverage in the foreign press. This does us no good and re-inforces India’s binding with archaic and uber-conservative medieval-era beliefs. The Health Minister seems bereft of rational advice and random sprouting of such public statements is what has actually helped create the Congress of today. This cannot be expected of a leader of a ministry so critical to the widespread acceptance of homosexuality in India.
Sadly, public statements in India are hardly ever well-thought out or researched. The power levied on to a person tends to create a misunderstanding in the mind that thinking can end, simply because the authority is that person himself. If such ignorance becomes commonplace, then India’s leaders are likely to match the views of non-thinking commoners or even groups that drive any agenda. Especially, the anti-gay ones. What one needs at this point in time is caution.
And add tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality to the mix, too.