Here’s the thing, we are Indians and homophobia comes naturally to us. Why are we making such a sweeping statement, you ask?
On being asked whether BJP politicians shy away from Rahul Gandhi after he hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the parliament, Nishikant Dubey, BJP MP from Godda, said that most politicians of his party ‘indeed’ maintain a distance from the Congress President, fearing that their ‘wives might divorce’ them on account that the Supreme Court hasn’t yet scrapped Section 377.
Here is what he said:
#WATCH: Yes we do fear hugging Rahul Gandhi as our wives might divorce us after that. Also, Section 377 hasn’t been scrapped as yet. If he gets married, we will hug him: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Rahul Gandhi statement ‘Now BJP MPs take 2 steps back thinking I’ll hug them’ pic.twitter.com/gUVMeyjcgw
— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2018
He also added that they would only hug Gandhi if and when he gets married.
Dubey’s statements take us back to 2016 when Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was trying to get a private member’s bill to amend Section 377 considered in the parliament. While Tharoor was trying to get the bill to a vote, it was Dubey who demanded a division, thereby halting the bill in its tracks. Tharoor was then ridiculed for having attempted to even get the bill to a vote, many politicians commenting that ‘Tharoor may need it, not us’.
Some on Twitter expressed their shock at his recent comments and countered it with the below arguments:
Ohh.. does the world also feel the same ?
Is BJP MP targetting the PM indirectly ?? pic.twitter.com/c0IxR78Vti
— Vaibhav (@Vaibhav_AAP) July 26, 2018
What if he marries a woman and then ditches his wife in the first night, and then hugs every foreign leader like this here? pic.twitter.com/3Dy6KIHFqM
— Jacob (@Jacobji01) July 26, 2018
To counter his view with the fact that the Prime Minister himself is known for hugging leaders of foreign countries would be as homophobic and not really help the cause of sensitising. It just makes Section 377 a political tool for leaders to bring each other down and in turn, put the LGBT rights in India on the reverse gear. What, in fact, needs to be done is call out such instances of homophobia on the spot.
Dubey’s statements also come as a sharp reminder that though the laws may be on the verge of being changed again, it may take decades to weed out homophobia in people’s minds.