India is a land of unity in diversity. Yet, there is growing intolerance in all spheres. The government’s response to the fight for gay rights—seeking freedom from the absurd colonial hangover of a law that brands homosexuals as criminals—is another example of such intolerance. The sad irony is that legislators of our democracy are united in rejecting a change that recognizes diversity.
Both the Centre and Opposition leaders are bent on delaying the Delhi high court case that will decide the fate of gays here. The court reserved its verdict on Friday and asked for further responses to “support” the government’s unscientific claims about religious values, and of homosexual sex causing physical injury.
In the midst of all this, it is unlikely that the government noted a UN statement that new HIV/AIDS infections among gays is on the rise in India. The UN says the coverage of prevention services is twice as high in countries that recognize gay rights. India doesn’t even recognize gays.