Cyrus Broacha on same sex marriages in India and one’s right to choose

“Should I be allowed to legally marry a man in India or not?” asks the columnist as the country’s Supreme Court begins hearing about legalising same-sex marriages

April 21, 2023 10:42 pm | Updated April 22, 2023 10:39 am IST

Folks, I must congratulate myself for writing this article. Not only because no one else will but also, because I’m suffering from the same problem all Indian writers in English suffer from: It’s too damn hot. Writing in India must now be accepted as a form of cardio. Let me warn you if water loss continues at this speed, I won’t even last three paragraphs. Okay, stop it, that’s not a euphemism of any sort. Let’s move from my personal pain to amore acceptable general pain that stems from the question, “Should I be allowed to legally marry a man in India or not”?

Now although the person most keen on seeing this actually happen would be my wife Ayesha, (as of until yesterday, a fully functional female member of the species), we have to look at this question more from a legal standpoint, than a moralistic one. I would like to begin my defence for same-sex marriage in the words of India’s second greatest Indian writer in English after Chetan Bhagat, Billy Shakespeare.

In his award-winning play Maqbool, (translated into English as Macbeth), he clearly begins a quote with, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more……,” he then finishes the quote with the words ‘Jisko Jaisa’. (This full quote is only available in the first original edition of Maqbool, printed in Circa 1607). It is this phrase which holds the key in favour of S.S.M. (same-sex marriage, not be confused with S & M which is the result of conventional marriage), roughly translated from the original Hindustani, it reads, “For whoever, whatever”.

However, ‘Jisko Jaisa’ also sadly can be misused. An example of this was seen in U.P. the other day when three university-educated, God-fearing humanitarians unwittingly found loaded pistols in their pockets and then sort of accidentally shot and killed two largely infamous members of the political establishment and underworld, which nowadays gets commonly mistaken for one another. These pious, compassionate, young overachievers had no choice but to use the ‘Jisko Jaisa’ defence, for this act of shooting two unarmed, handcuffed men in a clear act of self-defence. In fact, in what appears to be a clear case of the law favouring the deceased, these three proponents of ‘Jisko Jaisa’, have been so ‘victimised’ after the event that they have not even been allowed to upload their thoughts on Insta. Perish the thought that we in India may be living in a world, where ‘Insta’, may not actually be a fundamental right?

Another common example of ‘Jisko Jaisa’ is VIPs stopping traffic while they are ferried across cities. This throws light on the evolution of the ‘Jisko Jaisa’ philosophy. Here we divide the society into two categories. One category of, ‘Jisko’ is more important than the others. Stand to reason that the ‘Jaisa’ will follow. Certain citizens’ ‘Jisko Jaisa’ must triumph over yours in a decent, civilised, equalitarian and progressive society. Those in the ‘A’ category include, but are not restricted to, politicians, gangsters, businessmen, actors, celebrities, Godmen, and mothers-in-law. Of course, if they belong to two or more categories simultaneously, then that particular, ‘Jisko Jaisa’, carries even more weight. For instance, if your mother-in-law is also a Godman, then to the top rank she goes. Please people this has to be the last paragraph.

Oxygen is less besides reading this will be twice as tiresome as writing. However, the verdict for S.S.M. goes, I appeal to all to allow for the most Indian of philosophers, ‘Jisko Jaisa’ to prevail. I mean who wants their child to grow up in a regressive society where a man can’t marry another man? (Although the second man could have initially been a woman, who become a man, but that’s a story for another day). Please join me in saying ‘Jisko Jaisa Zindabad’. Now please excuse me, I must have a bath.

The writer has dedicated his life to communism. Though only on weekends.

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