Mohan Bhagwat Keeps Up With Times

Mohan Bhagwat also said that gay rights weren’t the only pressing issue which needed to be debated.

New Delhi: 

When the Supreme Court scrapped a part of the 157-year-old Section 377 allowing consensual gay sex between adults, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) agreed with the judgment that homosexuality was not a crime. However, it stressed its opposition towards “this kind of relationship” and maintained its stance that gay relationships aren’t “compatible with nature”.

So when the chief of the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, Mohan Bhagwat said that the LGBTQ community is very much part of the society and they should not be isolated, his statement got thumbs up from many.

“Times are changing and the society has to take a call on such issues,” Mr Bhagwat said at the Bhavishya ka Bharat – an RSS perspective, which concluded today. But he quickly switched topics saying that gay rights weren’t the only pressing issue which needed to be debated.

A Twitter user appreciated what seemed like a slight shift in the RSS’s stance and said, “Glad he’s stated it very clearly, accepting the changing social realities and respecting the Supreme Court judgement.”

Ealier this month, the Supreme Court had overruled its own 2013 decision and said Section 377, a controversial British-era ban on consensual gay sex, was irrational, indefensible and arbitrary.

“No one can escape from their individuality…Look for the rainbow in every cloud. Section 377 is arbitrary”,” said Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The RSS has traditionally frowned upon homosexuality, but its agreement with the Supreme Court ruling was seen by some as a significant shift.

In 2016, senior RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale had raised eyebrows when he said that one’s sexual preference cannot be a crime.

“I don’t think homosexuality should be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect the lives of others in society. Sexual preferences are private and personal,” Mr Hosabale said.

The very next day, he backtracked and posted this tweet: “Homosexuality is not a crime, but socially immoral act in our society. No need to punish, but to be treated as a psychological case.”

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