RSS Reiterates It Will Oppose Gay Rights In India

RSS supporters carrying out a rally

RSS supporters carrying out a rally

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological body of BJP that often dictates policy matters for the party, has reiterated that it will oppose gay rights or decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, along with live-in relationships. The RSS made its stand on both homosexuality and live-in relations clear during the presentation of the annual report of its activities for 2013-14 at a meeting that began on Friday at the Rashtrothana Vidya Kendra.

RSS has emphasised that it will not compromise on “moral values, social system and traditions in the name of individual freedom” when it comes to issues like “live-in relationships” and “homosexuality”. Senior members of the organisation also expressed hope that the BJP will be able to form the Government after the general elections to be held shortly. They also tool pride in the fact that Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, was aswayamsevak (RSS member).

RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said during the presentation that “in the past year, two issues had come up for discussion before society — live-in relationships and homosexuality — which led to arguments, both in favour and against, on according legal sanction to such relationships. Before extending legality to such things, we have to keep in mind the long-time deleterious effect it will have on our social life. Law accords security to the individual. However, a society that goes by its traditions, conventions, culture and life-values, cannot be secured through law. Only guidance based on dharmic and social thought can ensure security to social life.”

The report also mentioned that the RSS was gaining in popularity among younger people through the Internet, an indication of increasing communalisation of the country’s youth. Previously, RSS chief Mohanrao Bhagwat had also said that rapes occur in India, not Bharat, implying that rapes occur in cities because of the western dress worn by girls there and villages do not experience such sexual violence or rapes. RSS mouthpiece Organiser had recently come out with a homophobic article as well.

On the issue of homosexuality, BJP had initially maintained silence after the Supreme Court re-criminalised homosexuality but soon BJP chief Rajnath Singh made it clear that the BJP will oppose any move to decriminalise homosexuality in the country. However, in a recent NDTV interview, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had said that he agrees with the Delhi High Court judgement more and that within BJP, there were different opinions on the issue. Interestingly, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has maintained silence on this issue so far.

Sukhdeep Singh