Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s bigotry, it turns out, isn't just limited to Muslims. It extends to other minorities as well.
Homosexuals, to be precise.
The president of the Janata Party of India, taking a Twitter break from his usual round of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi-bashing, decided to go after gays for a change.
Responding to a tweet by @Skulltalk saying “I have decided to turn gay so that TWO men from my family can serve Bharat Mata”, Mr. Swamy tweeted “You need to go to a hospital. Being gay is a mental disorder.”
When health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad called homosexuality “unnatural” and a “disease” that had come to us “from foreign shores” he got rightly slammed for being an ignoramus. Mr Azad often puts his foot in his mouth. He’d once asked people to watch television instead of producing children. The BJP moved a privilege motion against him for saying the RSS was “pursuing terror”. Instead of working to create conditions that would discourage brain drain he came up with a hare-brained scheme to try and force Indian students going to the US for medical studies to furnish bonds to the government.
In short, he doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being the brightest bulb in the room.
Dr. Swamy cannot hide behind that defence. The man, after all, is an economist who got his Ph D from Harvard, an institution that has low tolerance for fools. And he’s taught at both IIT and Harvard for years. But Swamy proved, as @SkullTalk said, that the “best of education is NULL if one is arrogant, volatile and closeminded.”
At least a red-faced Azad tried to backtrack and trot out the usual excuses of having being misunderstood and quoted out of context.
The irrepressible Dr. Swamy just decided to brazen it out instead. The first tweet could have been dismissed as ignorance. One could say the economist didn’t know that the American Psychiatrist Association stopped calling homosexuality a disorder since 1973. Or that the World Health Organization has called it a “normal variant” of human sexuality since 1992. Even the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in an editorial in its 2012 issue says “the argument that homosexuality is a stable phenomenon is based on the consistency of same-sex attractions, the failure of attempts to change and the lack of success with treatments to alter orientation.” Perhaps Dr. Swamy, busy as he was combing Indian mythology for insulting terms for Sonia Gandhi, missed out on all those developments.
But his next few tweets quickly revealed his good old fashioned homophobia.
He airily dismissed a flurry of Twitter rebuffs to his post by tweeting “Looks like most CRTs are queer.” CRT, in the convoluted private Swamy-lexicon, refers to Congress supporters. Then he went on to toss a barb at Rahul Gandhi saying “Buddhu has made being Gay as a minimum qualification for Cong membership. Dubai approves.”
In the world according to Swamy, Gay is not just a “disorder” but it’s also an insult to be tossed at his choice enemy, the Congress. Even Bollywood’s mincing gay caricatures don’t descend to those ludicrous depths. By fusing his Congress-bashing with gay-bashing Dr. Swamy revealed himself to be a man who does not let facts get in the way of prejudice.
The silver lining to the whole episode though is the quick and firm pushback he got on Twitter.
@riffraaf tweeted: “@Swamy39 No, it’s not a mental disorder. The sooner you get over your ignorance and get educated, the better. @hiyer added: I think swamy you need to get educated. Let’s meeet. I offer free counseling to homophobes.”
It’s unlikely Dr. Swamy will take him up on it. The man isn't known for apologizing about much. He's probably busy coining up a new colourful denigrating term for homosexuals to go with the assortment he already bandies about for the other targets of his ire with such gay abandon. Porkis, Buddhu, Tadakka or TDK, Vishkanya or VK.
Might one suggest Dr. Swamy take a break from that and read what the Delhi High Court said landmark judgement decriminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults? Here is an excerpt.
If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be the underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness.’ The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognising a role in society for everyone.
That’s everyone, as in Hindus, Muslims, men, women, LGBT, third sex, everyone.
But then “inclusiveness” was never Dr. Swamy’s strong suit.
Updated Date: May 28, 2013 20:21 PM