Well-known Indian TV personality and Yogi Swami Ramdev is back in the Indian press, once again arguing that homosexuality is a curable disease and that sufferers could seek a cure. “It can be treated like any other congenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayam and other meditation techniques,” he has argued in legal papers filed in an effort to reinstate the Indian law criminalizing homosexuality.

Ramdev has joined a group of conservative and religious Indian organizations that have petitioned the Delhi High Court to reconsider their 2009 ruling that overturned Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a remnant of British colonial rule that made homosexuality punishable by a prison term up to a life sentence.  Before the High Court had ruled, Ramdev publically defended the wisdom of the Indian sodomy law: “The verdict will encourage criminality and sick mentality.  This kind of thing is shameful and insulting.  We are blindly following the West in everything.  This is breaking the family system in India. Homosexuals are sick people, they should be sent to hospitals for treatment. If the government brings this law, I will take to the streets of Delhi in protest.”

The High Court ruled yesterday that it would consider the petitions in April (19 were filed, 15 opposing the Court’s order, 4 defending it): “We have read through all the 19 petitioners and there is substantial matter in all. Hence, we will hear all the 19 petitions.”

According to press reports in India, among the petitioners supporting the High Court’s ruling “were filmmaker Shyam Benegal, a group of 19 parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) schoolchildren, a group of mental health professionals and a group of teachers. The group of mental health professionals said opposing homosexuality saying it was criminal activity would result in irreparable psychological and mental harm to LGBT persons.

The group of parents was led by Mrs. Minna Saran, mother of Nishit Saran, a young gay filmmaker who died in a road accident. Nishit’s work documented his struggles in trying to come out about his sexuality, and fearing society’s reactions towards his family. This group of parents are pleading that criminalising homosexuality destroys families.”  More here.

How nice that Swami Ramdev is back in the international press on this issue, just in time for Valentine’s Day!


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