National

Cultural Mayhem: An Argument Against Legalisation Of Same-sex Marriage

Vinod Bansal, national spokesperson of VHP argues that if there is an attempt to name same-sex union as marriage, it would definitely be deemed as a bid to taint the sacred wow of 'vivaha'.

Traditional Teachings: Indian calender art depicting acceptable social behaviour for children
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Indian knowledge, science, traditions, rituals and cultural beliefs are now accepted throughout the world. While on the one hand, people who are fed up with a consumerist lifestyle are giving up their Western culture and adapting Indian samskaras (socio-cultural practices) and beliefs, on the other, a handful of people are hell-bent on making a mockery of Indian values to get legal recognition for immodest, unnatural and anti-cultural vices. Unfortunately, some of our so-called intellectuals, lawyers and judges also seem to be playing the role of their champions. Yes, we are talking about recognising the unnatural union of two homosexuals as “marriage”.

Samskaras are the core of Indian values and social system. Sixteen such rites have been mentioned in the Indian tradition, which include Garbhadhana (conceiving a child), Pumsavana (nurturing the foetus), Sīmantonnayana (late pregnancy ritual), Jatakarma (birth), Namakarana (naming the child), Nishkramana (baby’s first outing), Annaprashana (first solid food), Chudakarana (first haircut), Karnavedha (ear-piercing), Upanayana (entry into school), Vedarambha (beginning of Vedas education), Samavartana (graduation), Vivaha (marriage), Vanaprastha (beginning of asceticism) and Antyeshti (last rites). However, out of these, Vivaha is the only rite which involves two people. This is called the vivaha samskara, because it needs both a man and a woman. The main purpose of this samskara is to produce children and through them, develop the society and nation.

Marriage has been celebrated as a festivity in our culture since ancient times. There are eight types of marriages—Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa and Paishacha. Of this, the Brahma marriage is the highest form. However, even the lowest form of marriage requires both genders. Even if you put aside Hindu beliefs, all the other faiths, sects and communities of the world also acknowledge marriage between only men and women.

In India, legal recognition to marriage is granted under different laws in accordance with different religions. All these laws have been established through the powers granted to Parliament under Section 246 of the Constitution. The Special Marriage Act, 1954, is for those who are not covered under these laws. Under this law, followers of two different faiths can follow their own religion and get married without having to convert. However, no law has any provision to recognise two people of the same sex as husband and wife. No religion in the world recognises same-sex marriage. Now, let us ponder on the consequences of recognising the union of two gay persons.

If same-sex marriage is recognised, how will reproduction occur? Why would anyone give them a child to adopt? Will the law allow such couples to adopt a child? Even if they adopt children, will they not be affected by the behaviour and conduct of homosexuals? When the child goes to school, what will be registered as the name of the mother and the father? If there is no reproduction, the so-called couple’s behaviour towards the child and their ill-effects on the latter would be terrible beyond imagination. How will the children and adults learn the family morals that are essential for a peaceful life and a society based on order and morality? How will rituals, worship and religious rites be conducted without a couple consisting of a husband and wife? The children will lose the complex web of relationships. Ties such as brother-sister, father-mother, uncle-aunt, grandfather-grandmother will cease to exist, destroying the driving force underlying a person’s life. In what manner will the adoptee inherit the parents’ property?

No law has any provision to recognise two people of the same sex as husband and wife. No religion in the world recognises same-sex marriage

This unnatural conduct against nature will promote adultery, violence, disease, discontent and illicit acts in society. Another point to ponder: they have been talking of same-sex vivaha, but nobody has mentioned same-sex nikah (Islamic marriage). Why is that?

But attempts to destroy Indian culture, morals and modesty are not new. As part of a conspiracy, the picture of Lord Ram’s court was removed from the original copy of the Constitution. Later, the words “secular and socialist” were inserted into the preamble in an unauthorised manner. The honourable Supreme Court then legally recognised “sex between two adults”. Subsequently, live-in relationships, sex outside marriage (adultery) and homosexual acts were removed from the category of crimes. There have also been attempts to attack the rights of the scheduled castes (SC) by granting reservations to SC people who have converted to other religions.

Now, there is a major conspiracy to grant a sacred word like marriage to unnatural conduct among gays. In the future, will there be a struggle to recognise (sexual) relations with animals? In the last few years, strange arguments have been made in the name of ending gender-based discrimination: why should there be different toilets for men and women? Why should there be separate hostels for boys and girls? If boys can roam around topless, why not girls? And so on.

The Indian constitution is committed to protecting the basic rights of every person, even if the person is a sinner, miscreant and an enemy of Indian culture. Even though homosexual conduct is unnatural, immodest and against Indian beliefs, our law or people do not disrespect these persons in any way. However, if there is an attempt to name this conduct as marriage even after this, it would definitely be deemed as a bid to taint the sacred wow of vivaha. It does not matter how those homosexuals live inside their own house, be it like a married couple, but Indian society will never accept them as a husband and wife. In this context, a handful of people are not only wasting the valuable time of the honourable Supreme Court, they are also infringing upon the legislative powers of the representatives elected by Indian citizens. How can the court perform a duty given to Parliament?

Secondly, can a few people or judges decide on such a matter? Thirdly, is it justified to hold a rapid, daily hearing of this matter, while ignoring important issues such as free education, health, employment, environmental conservation and population control? Is it not illogical and an insult to the popular Hindu psyche devoted to Lord Ram to compare this case with the Ram Janmabhoomi issue? This is a very sensitive and complicated issue, and one should keep in mind that the so-called “protection of rights” should not trigger “production of riots”.

(Views expressed are personal)

(This appeared in the print as 'Cultural Mayhem')

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Vinod Bansal is the national spokesperson of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad

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