There Is Same Sex Love And Marriage In Mahabharata And Kamasutra: Activist
CHENNAI, (IANS) – Indian transgender activist, writer, painter, poet, and motivational speaker Kalki Subramaniam is the founder of the Sahodhari Foundation which works for the rights of the transgender community. Kalki has been one of the key persons who fought for the legal rights of the community and won a landmark victory in 2014 in the Supreme Court which gave them the rights of ‘Third Gender’ and the right to identify as male, female, or third gender.
India’s foremost trans activist spoke on the same-sex marriage issue:
Q: What is your opinion on same-sex marriage?
Kalki: It is an individual right and I support it 100 percent.
Q: What difference will the legalization of same-sex marriage make to the gay and lesbian communities?
Kalki: Ours is a democratic country whose Constitution celebrates and respects an individual’s rights firmly. People who fear exclusion will be relieved and happy.
Q: Will same-sex marriage irreparably damage the social fabric of the country, as is alleged by the critics?
Kalki: No, it will not cause any harm to the existing system. Decades ago, people used to say women should not be educated, see what happened. Today more and more women are getting educated and becoming independent which is good and that is what a civilized society does. Women contribute to our country’s development in a huge way. Same way, if same-sex marriage is legalized, then gay and lesbian people could contribute even more to the country’s growth story.
Q: Will same-sex marriage affect the trans community?
Kalki: Same-sex marriages will not affect the transgender community. We have many issues which are a priority for us. Poverty is widespread in the transgender community. Employment, livelihood, health, housing, and inclusion are issues. Though we support same-sex marriage, our issues are different. For the transgender community, those are more important than marriage. Our very survival is an issue. Inclusion, our safety and security, education, jobs and means of livelihood, and access to health services are all still uncertain for us. Those are our priorities. Reservation in education and jobs is our priority. We need horizontal reservation for transgender people. That is our future. Marriage of course is very important, but we, the transgender people, have deeper concerns. Nonetheless, we support and stand up for same-sex marriage.
Q: Do the courts need to be decision-makers on such crucial social matters as same-sex marriage?
Kalki: For legal protection, we need the courts’ intervention. That is one of the major reasons why we need same-sex marriage legalization from the Supreme Court.
Q: People who support same-sex marriages point to the practice being recognized by the law in certain countries in the West. Your comment?
Kalki: That is no need to point to Western countries. Even in our famous epics such as Mahabharata and Kamasutra we see references to same-sex love and marriage.
Q: Several prominent religions and spiritual and religious leaders are against same-sex marriage. What is your message to them?
Kalki: I want to tell them that opposing same-sex love and marriage is what colonization has done to our country. I want to tell them “Please turn back and see your roots, you belong to a country that has believed in diversity and inclusion even in ancient times. Opposing LGBT communities’ right is what colonization has done to you”.