Posts tagged ‘Sat Maharaj’

March 4, 2011

Interesting article on Hinduism and homosexuality in the context of Guyana

Via CAISO|GSPOTT

One often hears about the Christian religious right and its views on homosexuality and the position of mainstream Islam is fairly obvious too but what of the views of the over one billion Hindus? It seems the complex belief system of Hindus does not offer any easy answer on the subject.

This excellent article in Hinduism Today by Vidyaratha Kissoon takes a rare regional look at the subject in the case of Guyana. It is interesting to note that Trinidad & Tobago also has a sizable Hindu population and recently the Trinidad Express included the thoughts of a local Hindu leader on the matter:

“In response to this, Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Sat Maharaj, said although “the rest of the world is turning upside down to accommodate these people”, Trinidad and Tobago has more important things to address than “the rights of gays and lesbians”.

“We (as a Hindu organisation) recognise that there are these oddities in society that have odd behaviours, but we do not believe that is sufficient grounds to change the laws.

Notwithstanding the idiocly of such local views, the Guyana article notes that there is a diversity of opinion on the matter but many of those voices believe that there is no fundamental conflict between Hinduism and homosexuality:

“But community debate has uncovered a simple truth: there is no unified policy in Hinduism about homosexuality. In general, the matter is ruled by common sense, wisdom and tradition. But tradition can be a fluid concept, widely dependent on regional practices and collective memory; it shifts from generation to generation. One example is the strong influence of prudish British thought on Hindu morals in the last few centuries (see sidebar below).

“Indian culture has always had multiple expressions of gender identity and sexual orientation,” says Pandit Deodat Tillack, priest at the Shri Samayapuran Mariamma Temple. “The major festivals around Lord Aravan and the worship of Bahucharia Mata, called Murgi Mata in Guyana, reflect these views,” he claims. The festivals to Lord Aravan, are a favorite of the third-sex hijra in India, who attend en masse; Lord Krishna is believed to have assumed the form of Mohini to marry Aravan as a reward for his dedication. Bahucharia Mata is a patron Goddess of the hijra community.

Pandit Tillack’s views are echoed by many in Guyana. His colleague Pandit Rajin Balgobind feels that non-heterosexuals, who often question why they were born that way, should recognize that their sexual orientation is part of who they are. “Hindu scriptures do not discriminate against people; we are to be respected as our own decision makers. Everyone, including homosexual people, should lead disciplined lives that fulfill dharma, contribute to the well being of their society and do no harm to anyone.” In Balgobind’s opinion, sexual orientation falls into the category of kama (pleasure), one of the four goals of life, called purusharthas.

Read the rest of the article in Hinduism Today

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February 25, 2011

Biting satire from Kevin Baldeosingh in the Trinidad Express

Trinidad & Tobago’s preeminent satirist takes on the current call for equal rights legislation and  those who resist it. With his usual wit he draws an analogy between the current call and calls for equal rights from other groups in past. Like Jonathan Swift and his A Modest Proposal that urged the Irish to eat their children to solve the hunger problem , Kevin proves that satire can be the best way to get a point across.

“The law should not be changed to give equal rights to negroes, I mean homos. For one thing, pretending that they are equal to other human beings would encourage crime in the society. After all, negroes, I mean homos, were illegal persons in most parts of the civilised world up to the 19th century. When they were made legal, crime immediately started to rise, because it was no longer legal to kill the enslaved, I mean the depraved, and trying to legalise homos in Trinidad and Tobago would therefore worsen the crime rate. It is a well established theological and scientific fact that negroes, I mean homos, are prone to idleness, promiscuity, and violence. If we want to reduce crime, the police need to improve their detection rate, especially for sodomy.”

Read the rest of this soon to be classic piece  A Harangue on Homos here.

February 21, 2011

The Trinidad Express continues its coverage

The Trinidad Express is continuing its relentless coverage of  the call for national legislation to be amended so as to provide equal rights and protection for the LGBT community.  This comes on the heels of several other articles and a poll asking readers to vote on the issue.

“THE decriminalisation of homosexuality should have nothing to do with religion, says Dr Gabrielle Hosein, lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Developmental Studies at the University of the West Indies in St Augustine.

Hosein said while religious organisations are ready to hold their own positions based on religious texts, those religious positions should not be applied to persons who do not share those religious views.

“We are living in a multicultural society, so we need to live in a society where the views of different persons are not necessarily imposed on others,” Hosein said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Her comments came one day after Colin Robinson, spokesman for the Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), called on the Government to adopt a policy of equality for all, inclusive of those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.

Read more here.