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AAP Silent On Decriminalizing Homosexuality #Sec377 #LGBT

AP takes care of aam aadmi, woos middle class, business Party Silent On Decriminalizing Gay Sex TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: In what appears to be a bid to reassure the middle classes and business, AAP’s manifesto promises simplification of trade procedures, steps to contain inflation and zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism while addressing its core interests.
The manifesto released on Thursday is a careful balancing act. While opposing terrorism, it also says terror cases against Muslim youth should be disposed of in six months. It advocates a review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act but does not outright commit to its repeal.
The social balancing is seen in the AAP manifesto’s silence on decriminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, despite the party’s previous pronouncements in support of gay sex.
As with its position that khaps are informal social institutions (while clarifying that it does not support criminal acts), the decision to drop decriminalization of gay sex seems intended to keep on the right side of social conservatives, particularly in rural areas. AAP sources said decriminalization of gay sex has not been included as the party has clarified its support to the issue previously.
The manifesto indicated that the party is trying not to write off the middle class vote in the wake of its controversial stint in office and promised a series of policy initiatives for governance. It said it would scrap DU’s four-year undergraduate programme and would protect the interests of women and Muslim youth. It said it was in favour of lowering of age for legislators from 25 to 21 years.
AAP reiterated its fivepoint agenda to tackle corruption that include bringing Jan Lokpal bill, Swaraj bill, citizens charter, simplification of government procedures and use of technology. The party also outlined its vision of Swaraj or self-governance by which mohalla sabhas and gram sabhas would be responsible for development in their area.
The 26-page manifesto is the fledgling party’s pitch for the national stage, setting its policy stance on 33 issues including agriculture, business, defence, media and internal security. Putting it in the public domain, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal said the manifesto was a “dynamic’’ document and would continue to evolve. The AAP leader said his party was “industry friendly” as creation of wealth was essential for overall development of the country but noted that it was against “crony capitalism”. TOUGH ON TERROR, HARD ON CORRUPTION
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC REFORM
TRADE | Pro-business and anti-crony capitalism, simplify procedures, but oppose FDI in retail
AGRICULTURE Improve access to credit and insurance to farmers
SOCIAL SECURITY Plan for unorganized sector, removal of contractual jobs
POLICY AND ADMINISTRATIONCORRUPTION | Bring Jan Lokpal bill, Swaraj bill, citizens charter, simplify govt procedures
POLICE | Non-registration of FIR in serious case to be criminal offence, law and order to be separated from investigation
POLLS | Bring back black money, parties to be brought under RTI, right to recall and right to reject planned, lower age for contesting elections from 25 to 21 yrs
SECURITY AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
DEFENCE POLICY Transparency in defence procurement, enhancing infrastructure in border areas
FOREIGN POLICY | Zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism, reduce public hostilities among neighbours
INTERNAL SECURITY Review AFSPA, Kashmir an integral part of India, long term solution to Naxalite issue

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India Elections – CPI-M asks for decriminalisation of Homosexuality #UID

CPI M  asks for decriminalisation of Sec 377  , remove death penalty and to stop implementation of AADHAAR in their manifesto

Flag of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Flag of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Major Constitutional & Legislative Reforms
 Amend Article 3 of the Constitution to provide for the consent of the
state legislature concerned before a state is to be bifurcated or
reorganized by parliament.
 Amend the Constitution to make parliamentary approval mandatory
for any international treaty.
Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and replace it with a
suitable law which provides a legal framework for the operation of
the armed forces without the draconian provisions.
 Amend Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code so that it does not
criminalize adult consensual relationships irrespective of sexual
orientation.
 Amend the Indian Penal Code and other statutes to remove the
death penalty from the statutes

 

AADHAAR

 Stop implementation of the Aadhaar project till it is approved by Parliament; initiating a privacy law and a data protection law to be passed by Parliament prior to implementation of Aadhaar

 Barring the use of Aadhaar in the provision of social services and reversing all decisions to make Aadhaar compulsory for the provision of any rights, economic and social services to citizens

 Constituting an independent high level expert panel for an appraisal of the technology of biometrics used in the project

 

Download the manifesto – click on the link 2014-manifesto-16LS

 

 

 

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#India – Homosexuality through ages ,The door was always open #Sec377 #LGBTQ

BY    DECEMBER 11, 2013, Kindle Magazine

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  • Fact: Homosexuality is considered taboo in modern Indian civic society.
  • Fact: India is home to over 5 million LGBT members, registered and unregistered.
  • Fact: India is one of the earliest cultures to have recognized homosexuality in its mythology, religious texts and society in general.
  • Fact: This is not the same India anymore.

India is now a country of active right-wing politics, which has failed to acknowledge her very own history and culture. From the time of Vatsyayana, all of L, G, B and T themes and practices have been acknowledged in Indian (then just Hindu) society.

Hinduism was probably the most accepting of all the religions in the world of homosexuality but that isn’t what one would learn if one had to take a look at modern India. According to the Indian judiciary, homosexuality is punishable to the extent of ‘life imprisonment’, the same sentence as some murders and rape. This cannot be imposed on the fact that it stems from the cultural influence that the other religions in India have had on society because Buddhism and even Islam in India acknowledge homosexuality to varying degrees. Moreover, the saffron brigade is probably the forerunner of the so-called social pruning and social cleansing programme that is being extensively implemented nation-wide, unofficially.

Hindu Mythology and teachings have had many characters, concepts and practices that are on the lines of LGBT themes. Mohini, Sikhandi, Vrihannala, Bhagiratha and Chaitanya are a few of the people and characters that Hinduism has celebrated in the past but today these themes are not acknowledged very easily or are given a very right-wing explanation.

Let us try to re-explore these themes:

Mohini is considered one of the 25 avatars of Lord Vishnu. Mohini took the female form of Vishnu and was the one who allured the ‘Daityas’ with her ‘bodily’ beauty and deceived them to seize the ‘amrita’ nectar for the Gods. Mohini is also the wife of Arjuna’s son Aarava and she chose to stay close to Arjuna’s bloodline from the time when she was in the male form of Lord Krishna. In other accounts, Mohini gave birth to ‘Shasta’ as a result of a union with Lord Shiva. However, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have had another accounted union and this time Lord Vishnu was in the form of the male ‘Kurma’ (turtle) avatar; the creation from this union was Swami Ayappa.

Arjuna’s son Aarava has quite a following in Tamil Nadu and especially amongst a community called the Aaravanis, who celebrate the Koovagam festival. Aravanis are transgenders, feminine and masculine homosexuals. The transgenders of this sect do not practice castration.

In fact in 2008 as an outstanding exception, the Karunanidhi Government was the first in the country to issue ration cards to transgender citizens in Tamil Nadu. The Ration Card is the primary definitive proof of identity for citizens in India. No sooner than the first batch of 18 applications were cleared, that too, in less than a day, applications to seek identity as ‘Third Gender’ marked in the sex column as T, distinct from the usual M and F have started pouring in.

In Tamil Nadu alone 40,000 Aravanis are estimated to have benefitted by this move implemented under the leadership of social welfare minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna, a ‘gynecologist’.

Going back to the robust Arjuna, one would have to talk about his one whole year as the ‘kliba’ or ‘third-sex’ Vrihannala. Arjuna in this form became a master of music and dance but the most important point here is how Maharaja Virata addressed Vrihannala as a female, accepting her transgender status, and that he was familiar with people of the third sex within his Vedic kingdom. He did not ridicule or belittle her, and he most certainly did not have her sent away or arrested. He also did not suggest that Vrihannala change her dress and behave as an ordinary male. Rather, he accepted her nature and offered her shelter and employment within his royal palace.

Also in the Mahabharata, Shikhandi was born female, but raised as a boy. Shikhandi’s father, King Drupada, had begged the god Mahadeva to give him a son, to which Mahadeva replied: “Thou shalt have a child who will be a female and male. Desist, O king, it will not be otherwise.” When Shikhandi comes of age and marries, Shikhandi’s wife “soon came to know that (Shikhandi) was a woman like herself.” Fleeing from the unnamed wife’s enraged father, Sikhandi encounters a male Yaksha (nature spirit) in the forest, and they agree to swap sexes. Now in a male body, Shikhandi proves to his father-in-law that he is truly male, after the latter sends “a number of young ladies of great beauty” to Shikhandi to test him. They report back that he is “a powerful person of the masculine sex,” and Shikhandi becomes a skilled and famous warrior, playing a pivotal role in the war.

In the Ramayana, when the famous king of the Sun Dynasty, Maharaja Dilipa died, the demigods become concerned that he did not have a son to continue his line. Lord Shiva therefore appeared before the king’s two widowed queens and commanded them, “You two make love together and by my blessings you will bear a beautiful son.” The two wives, with great affection for each other, executed Shiva’s order until one of them conceived a child. Unfortunately, however, the child was born boneless, but by the blessings of a sage, Astavakra, the child was restored to full health and continued the dynasty. Astavakra accordingly named the child “Bhagiratha” – he who was born from two vulvas (bhaga). Bhagiratha later became one of the most famous kings of India and is credited with bringing the Ganges River down to earth through his austerities.

Even the concepts of ‘Ardhanarishwara’, ‘Harihara’ and ‘Shivanarayana’ do not adhere to the strict gender demarcations that the right-wing politicians of India preach today. Even the judiciary of India does not consider these ancient acceptances in our culture as legitimate in the eyes of law.

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What about the 1.2 million Indian ‘hijras’, who live in the outskirts of society and social acceptance? The third sex is unique to India but institutional and social acceptance is minimal even though there are more members of the third sex in India than there are Jews and Armenians, who are constitutionally recognized. Other than the hijras and the Aaravans, other third sex communities include the Jogappas and the Sakhi-Bekhis. The Jogappan, associated with crossdressing, homosexuality and male prostitution come from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The jogappa are connected with Yellamma-devi, a popular Hindu deity of Durga, and include both feminine transgenders dressed as women as well as masculine types. Both serve as dancers and male prostitutes, and they are usually in charge of the temple devadasis.

The sakhi-bekhis are prominent throughout Bengal, Orissa and Uttar. They typically dress themselves as women in order to reinforce their identity as sakhis or girlfriends of Krishna and to attain the esteemed spiritual emotion known as sakhi-bhava. Such men are not always transgender or homosexual but in most cases they are. They generally worship Sri Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna, although some specifically worship Lord Chaitanya (the incarnation of Radha and Krishna combined) and are known as gauranga-nagaris.

In his book, ‘Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex’, Vaishnava monk Amara Das Wilhelm demonstrates how ancient expressions of Hinduism accommodated homosexual and transgender persons much more positively than we see in India today:

“Early Vedic teachings stressed responsible family life and asceticism but also tolerated different types of sexualities within general society.” The tritya prakriti was also well-accepted and adequately described in Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra.

This article aims at drawing a clear & definite line, charting the presence, acceptance & the relevance of the “other” or the transgender in our nation’s history & philosophy.
Will that inspire a change in the conformist mind-set? Or will it alter the stiff, ruthless version of Hinduism preached by the right-wing? The answer is lies in the hearts and mind of the people who choose to read this piece.
As the Mahatma had once said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”, if all the people of India have the acceptance that they once, did then India would reach a new ‘state’ of ‘love’.

Read more here- http://kindlemag.in/door-open-homosexuality-ages/

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Press Release- NAPM demands legal recognition of the natural right to life and love #Sec377 #LGBT

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

National Office : 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 011 2437 4535

For Immediate Release                                                                 14th December, 2013

 

Apex Court verdict re-criminalizing consensual same sex relationships unconstitutional and inhuman

 

NAPM demands legal recognition of the natural right to life and love of lakhs of gender diverse individuals

 

New Delhi, December 14 : As lakhs of individuals and groups across the country, celebrated the 4th anniversary of the historical judgement by Justice (Retd). A.P. Shah and Justice (Retd). Muralidharan of the Delhi High Court,  recognizing the natural right to life and life of gender diverse persons on the International Human Rights Day, the verdict of the Supreme Court, just a day after, on 11th December, comes as a serious blow to and blot on the Constitution of India which guarantees social, political, economic and cultural equality to all citizens and upholds the dignity of every individual as sacrosanct.

 

In a unjustifiable order, the Apex Court, overturned the Delhi High Court’s Judgement which held Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to be unconstitutional and upheld the right to consensual sexual relationships of lesbian, gay, transgender, bi-sexual and other gender variant individuals. Drawing from Gandhi, Marx and Ambedkar, the Delhi High Court judgment re-introduced the idea of inclusivity, which is at the heart of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court’s verdict rejecting the High Court’s judgment is blow to the lofty constitutional values and inalienable fundamental rights.

 

We, at the National Alliance of People’s Movements are deeply disturbed by this retrograde move of the Supreme Court, an institution, which continues to enjoy the faith of millions of people of this country and is looked upon as a beacon of hope in our democracy. We are of the clear opinion that the not just Section 377, but even the present order of the Apex Court, is in stark violation of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution and will be challenged by all progressive forces of this nation, through the Parliament and also on the streets.

 

We also strongly think that struggle of gender diverse individuals is not just for the right to consensual sexual relationships, but is for their very right to life and is inseparable from their personal, political, emotional and social well-being.  It is not just a ‘personal issue’, but an intense issue of political and human justice, which every one of us are deeply concerned about. For gender variant persons, every day is a struggle and we stand by the brave community of gender variant people who face violence and discrimination at homes, in the society and in their dealings with the State.

 

We would also like to note that any agency of the State, including the Judiciary, does not have the right to interfere with the right to life of any individual, except in accordance with law, that must be based on a clear constitutional premise. The right to live ones own life with dignity and without interference with the rights of others or without any disturbance to the society cannot be taken away by any law of the legislature, Parliament or order of the Courts.

 

In a State and society, which is not outraged enough even after the rape of thousands of women, where women and other gender diverse individuals still do not have the real freedom to move and express safely, where tribals gets displaced from their traditional land and resources in the name of ‘development’, where thousands of struggling urban poor are under-paid, sleep on the pavements, where a whole community gets killed because of their religious identity, violence on lakhs of gender variant individuals cannot be perpetuated in garb of ‘abstract morality’ !

 

This is neither a moment of sorrow nor defeat. It’s a moment for collective reflection and action, for us, as a nation. Just as thousands of farmers, adivasis, fish workers, labourers and others, refused to accept ‘defeat’ after the Supreme Court’s Judgement on Narmada in 2000, and intensified their legal and mass struggle for the right to life, the community of gender diverse individuals also shall stand up in this moment and assert their right to life, which is integral with the Constitution of India.

 

Continuing with the resolution adopted at our 8th biennial convention in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh,  (given below after this statement) NAPM joins hands with our friends celebrating diversity, plurality calls for a rainbow of resistances against injustice and violence. We also urge the gender diverse community to join hands with other social and political movements to built a nation beyond caste, class, creed, gender, race, religion and regional differences and challenge corporatization, communalism and corruption in every walk of life.

 

NAPM also urges and demands the Indian Parliament of India to completely remove Section 377 from the IPC, uphold the right to life of all gender diverse individuals and enact a comprehensive law for their social, political and economic well-being. UPA govt. should take urgent step to save LGBTQ rights file review petition in Supreme Court immediately .

 

 

Resolution on the LGBTQ Issues adopted at 8th bi-ennial Convention of NAPM, Badwani, October 26, 2010

We oppose persecution and discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender orientation in all forms and strive towards full social and political equality of all individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex and Queer (LGBTQ).

While welcoming the July 2nd 2009 judgment of the Delhi high court to decriminalize homosexuality NAPM recognizes that the LGBTQ community continues to be discriminated against in schools, colleges, workspaces, homes, the streets and before the law. We affirm that sexual orientation and gender identity are innate and cannot be consciously changed and we oppose attempts to convert LGBTQ individuals into heterosexuals or force them to conform to dominant notions of masculinity or femininity on the grounds of morality, religion or nature. We call for an official recognition of the LGBTQ community and demand changes in policies and laws that guarantee their rights not only to identity and dignity but also to welfare, protection from persecution and self-determination. These include affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for LGBTQ individuals in relation to education, employment, health, housing, livelihood and people oriented development. We strive to ensure that the LGBTQ community joins the political mainstream on the same level as other groups in society and value the empowerment and participation of the LGBTQ community in all fields including organizing within our own movements.

Therefore, we also call upon the movements, constituents of NAPM and other concerned friends to move towards greater sensitivity and awareness on LGBTQ issues;  by incorporating greater inclusiveness of LGBTQ voices, perspectives and concerns to the understanding of our struggles and the framing our demands. NAPM affirms that this is the way forward in the alliance building process we set out to do sixteen years back. More importantly it is the only way towards truly building a just society, which guarantees dignity, human rights, equality and people oriented development, which forms the heart of the struggles that come together in NAPM.

 

 

Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan – National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, MP; Gautam Bandopadhyay – Nadi Ghati Morcha, NAPM, Chhattisgarh; Vilas Bhongade, Suniti SR, Prasad Bagwe Suhas Kolhekar – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelakandan – NAPM Kerala; Ramakrishnan Raju, Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Bhupender Singh Rawat,Rajendra Ravi, Anita Kapoor – NAPM, Delhi; Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Sumit Wanjale, Madhuri Shivkar – Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan, NAPM, Mumbai; Manish Gupta – Jan Kalyan Upbhokta Samiti, NAPM, UP; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Krishnakant, Anand Mazhgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Madhuresh Kumar, Seela M Mahapatra, Meera – NAPM

 

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