Time travel is one of my hobbies, and this week, I chose a book,
Debating Patriarchy: The
The Hindu Code Bill—which among its key features abolished polygamy, provided for divorce and more—was met with tremendous resistance not only from large parts of society but also from defenders of the Hindu religion.
Sinha’s book notes several instances of this opposition. At a meeting organised by the RSS, a speaker reportedly called the bill an “atom-bomb” on Hindu society; an editor of a newspaper compared it to the Partition; and the
Nehru’s and Ambedkar’s reactions are predictable and well known. In contrast with his opponents, Nehru had a better opinion of the Hindu religion. “… The essential thing that kept Hindu society going has been a certain element in it, a certain capacity in it, to adapt itself to changed surroundings and to change,” he said. Ambedkar believed that “to leave inequality between class and class, sex and sex, which is the soul of Hindu society, untouched and to go on passing legislation relating to economic problems is to make a farce of our Constitution and to build a palace on a dung heap”.
Coming back to 2020, if you’re a fence-sitter on the issue of same-sex marriages because you have been fed the myth that only heterosexual parents are good for a child’s upbringing, I urge you to go through mountains of scientific, economic and sociological research available on the internet free of cost which either argues that there is no difference or that the children of same-sex parents fare better.
To resist same-sex marriage today, when even the Supreme Court has caught up with the times (in some respects) and decriminalised non-heterosexual relationships would be quite the travesty. Two people can love each other, live with each other as couples (a right being enforced by at least two high courts—Punjab and Odisha) but not marry each other? Why would you want to deny that to someone? I personally know countless cruel heterosexual marriages where I can’t help but wish the child was away from her parents. Do we take away a child from her parent’s custody if one parent dies, just so that a male+female parenting can be achieved? We don’t. Let’s hope that not just same-sex but all non-heterosexual couples don’t have to struggle as hard as they had to for decriminalisation of sexual acts. Children, families, societies and nations don’t need heteronormative institutions to survive. Accuse me of being uncharacteristically cheesy but what they need is love. Let’s not come in the way of that.