Everyone needs an enemy, it seems.
The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the illegality of gay sex falls into a new realm of "social cohesion" for big countries.
Russia was first, needing a new enemy after quashing everyone else, the Chechens being a prime example. Now India has joined in, reasserting that all religious differences can be set aside because we all agree that gays are bad.
Those fabulous people, covered in glitter and with rainbows dangling from fingertips, are, apparently, so dangerous that they are ranked with paedophiles, murderers or rapists.
Do geographically and populated big nations need an enemy? Those celebrating the Supreme Court verdict are certainly using the language of unity.
Associate of Baba Ramdev and a petitioner in the case, SK Tijarawala, said: "This is a [sic] historic judgment, where the Supreme Court has ruled to in favour of the traditions and values of Indian culture.
"Indians all over the world are happy today that their heritage has been properly respected."
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board agreed, with Zafaryab Jilani quoted as saying: "The Supreme Court has given this verdict to maintain the culture of this country."
He added that they had pointed out that homosexuality is not only against all religions but against the moral fibre of the country.
Zafaryab Jilani said, "They are just one percent of the population and they want all kinds of rights".
Heaven help any minority now. You're either in the majority, or you're legally screwed. . . likely for choosing who and how to screw in private.
"Personal Law" doesn't mean law for persons apparently, but instead law for the country, the majority, the unity of everyone against the few.
With this decision, India is now firmly wedged between the ass cheeks of the anti-gay nations. On one cheek, you have Russia, criminalising talking about homosexuality. On the other, you have Iraq, with roaming gangs openly murdering gays or even anyone who looks like they might be, with the state turning a blind eye. Both countries face regular civil strife, division on religious and political grounds. And the people getting the brunt of state or mob violence are homosexuals.
And now you have India, which has effectively created a situation where you could probably pull a Russia and an Iraq and get away with both.
I shouldn't have to point out the absurdity of most rapists facing shorter sentences - if any - than two consenting men or women. That's effectively saying that an ability to CHOOSE how to live one's life is more criminal than take away choice from another human being.
But basing a country's social cohesion and unity around an enemy is a dangerous approach to endorse. What is there to prevent you - yes, I'm pointing directly at you - from being the next enemy India can rally against?
Since everyone's been talking about Nelson Mandela in the past week, it's worth considering South Africa.The nation has severe social and economic problems, inequality and violence. But what some commentators have pointed out is that the stable structures of the state are such that Mandela did achieve something. When he emerged from prison, he could have united black against white, as white had once been united against black. Instead he drove towards unity through freedom - for both the individual and the state.
India, today, wants unity through oppression. It's the easier version of apartheid because the gays are the minority. But oppression is just as bad no matter how many are oppressed. And oppression is the enemy behind which we should unite.
Updated Date: Dec 11, 2013 15:17 PM