Roj Bahman Mah Amardad, 1383 Yz.
The last few days have witnessed a flurry of media coverage over the Supreme Court’s decision to re-instate Section 377 of the Constitution, which effectively criminalizes any deviant sexual behaviour, including homosexuality. While the entire media coverage has been biased and lopsided in favour of the LGBT movement, the Times of India has, for some unknown reason, gone totally overboard in its coverage. A visitor from another galaxy, far, far away, would perhaps wonder at the entire nation’s (or rather the entire nation’s media) focus on this issue, oblivious to the real dangers and challenges facing our nation – inflation, corruption, non-governance, income disparities, total absence of law and order and so on…
Day after day, we are being bombarded by eminent persons writing long articles on the ‘gross injustice’ meted out to the LGBT community. People from all walks of life – the chatterati, the glitterati, the party circuit, the page-3 hangers-on, criminal lawyers (pun intended), one-book-wonder authors, shrill feminists, the ubiquitous ‘social workers’, the eco-warriors, film stars, poets, musicians, fake-gurus, fitness-gurus, celebrity chefs…basically all the people who really have no business commenting on these topics have enlightened the dazed readers of the Times with their refreshingly bold, frank and ‘oh, darling, you’re such a sweetu’ views.
In all this, the Times itself has been overly and dismally vocal about its own ‘view’. [Since when did newspapers enlighten readers with their ‘views’? Are they supposed to give their views or let readers do the ‘viewing’?] Of course the Times has not been shy about self-promotion of the most dubious type, devoting acres of newsprint to its ‘awards’, ‘social movements’ and various other ‘initiatives’, all pushed along with paid-for articles and photographs.
But today’s Times View, given on page 10 of the Mumbai edition of the Times of India is so dismal, revolting, far-fetched, detached-from-reality and frankly, nauseating, that it deserves an award all by itself. In perhaps a journalistic first, the Times View, at 609 words is even longer than the actual news report of 452 words! Wah Times!
The dutiful Times reporter has filed his report about the remarks made by author Vikram Seth at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was honoured as one of the 25 ‘living legends’ as decided by a news channel. The intrepid author, seizing the moment to be immortalized for posterity in the official Gazette of India [which will remain long after the media group dissolves] said: ‘You may as well be yourself because really there is no one else you can be. We are here for such a ridiculously short time in this ridiculously trivial corner of the universe that if we aren’t ourselves, what’s the point of doing anything at all? So I would say in all matters, whether it’s your profession, whether it’s your beliefs or the person you love, you must go at heart with who you are. Not what someone else tells you, not what your clan tells you, not even what an unjust law tells you.’
I will leave readers of Frashogard to judge the incredibly ridiculous rant of this author and offer my sympathies to the President of India for having to put up with this nonsense. Sometimes I am sure he must be wishing he were in another age where he could just say ‘Off with his head…’
But what I am more concerned about is the Times View, written by some unknown minion of the Group. After ‘demolishing’ the arguments against homosexuality, the overworked, underpaid (or is it the other way around?) boffin strays into very dangerous territory: while countering the fact that the LGBT members were a ‘miniscule minority’, he writes: “But if, again for the sake of argument, we were to accept the “minuscule” argument, does that mean that our tiny Parsi community should have no protection under the Constitution? They are, after all, “minuscule” compared to Hindus, Muslims and several other religious and ethnic groups/denominations. What if someone tomorrow were to decide that cremations and burials were the only “natural” way to dispose of the dead? Would that make the Parsi tradition of disposing of their dead as the “unnatural” acts of a “minuscule” community? Should it be declared “criminal”? Should their dakhmas (towers of silence) be shut down and should Parsis who bid their loved ones goodbye in their own traditional way be thrown into jail?” To read the full report and Times view click here
Whoa whoa whoa…!!!
Did someone just compare a group indulging in unnatural, illegitimate, carnal behaviour with the world’s oldest religion, its Prophet of Prophets, His Avesta and the divinely ordained method of Dokhmenashini?
What is going on?
Who is this unnamed wizard who has exceeded the bounds of journalistic and moral decency and has the temerity to compare some Johnny-come-latelies with Zoroastrianism and its cherished, and world-acknowledged-as-ecologically-supreme method of disposal of the dead? Is he totally out of his mind or was he on a psychotropic high while writing?
I am appalled that this Times View passed the Editor’s red pen [unless it was the Editor himself who wrote this unmitigated disaster.] I wonder whether they would have the guts to write in the same vein about another religion? Or did the ‘miniscule size of our community and its legendary laid-back attitude embolden such a step?
I am not even beginning to go into the merits or demerits of the whole homosexuality question. That will come in another post I am still researching on. But I am extremely distressed, as will many readers of Frashogard, at this crass attempt to draw parallels between a community which has given all to its adopted nation and a degenerate movement.
I request readers of Frashogard to forcefully write to the Times Group to protest this grotesque twisting of facts and the totally far-stretched-out logic (totally illogical, in my view) being used to support the LGBT movement.
Shame on you, Times Group, shame!
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram