India’s leading English newspaper The Hindu was forced to retract a homophobic article from its website. On December 22, 2013, it had published an article titled “It is Nurture against Nature” written by Dr. Mohana Krishnaswamy in the “Open Pages” section, which attracted widespread criticism and protest.
In the said article, Dr.Mohana Krishnaswamy upheld the eugenics programs of the Nazi government, justified the Supreme Court re-criminalization of same sex relations and took Darwinian Theory as a basis to oppose homosexuality. Using such absurd and inhuman logic, she proposed that Section 377 of the IPC should stay so that it can reduce, if not completely eliminate, homosexuality, which in her opinion is due to inferior genes. She also wrote that criminalizing homosexuality will help reduce the spread of AIDS and maintain the sanctity of the “Institution of Marriage”.
As a response to the article, The Hindu was bombarded with letters and emails from its reader and supporters of LGBT right criticizing its action. Readers of the newspaper questioned whether a leading English daily should not have checked factual inaccuracies, of a topic that is highly sensitive and political? They also blamed The Hindu for promoting bigotry by allowing an article that is factually and scientifically inaccurate? “Its (the article’s) writer mixes poisonous pseudoscience, false logic, and a weird, wild-eyed invocation of eugenics, to weigh in on a current news topic that strikes at the rights and safety of millions of Indians,” wrote one reader Dr. Yogesh, a neonatologist from Bangalore. “Shouldn’t “The Hindu”, being a leading newspaper behaved in a socially responsible manner?” they asked.
On December 24, The Hindu first published a press note saying: “Submissions on the Open Page are the extended comments of readers and in no way do they reflect the views of The Hindu.” However, later on Dec 30, A.S. Panneerselvan, Readers’ Editor of The Hindu, published a note informing that the article had been retracted and that it “was an error in judgment on the part of the editor of Open Page, rather than any design on his part, to have this article published.” He also wrote, “The newspaper, indeed, took a critical stand against the apex court ruling… I believe, it is unfair to draw larger conclusions based on one misjudgment.”
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