If you live in India or the US, your country just joined the band of bigots.
I recently realised that irony is an intriguing concept. The more you move right, it sort of loses its whole meaning and the word ceases to exist.
Don’t believe me? Consider this. You hate a group of people for a wide variety of reasons. Now, one would think at least some of those reasons are ideological differences, but when you are too far right of center, ideological differences don’t mean much as long as you get to be a super bigot. Why else would the conservative leaderships of two strong democracies decide to join hands with a group of countries they hate on a spiritual level?
I am talking about India and the US joining hands with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Bangladesh, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Botswana, Japan, China, Ethiopia, Burundi - very good company btw - to vote against the resolution on the death penalty at the September Session of the Human Rights Council.
This resolution condemned the “imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct such as apostasy, adultery and consensual same sex relations”. It also said that we should protect the rights of the people facing the death penalty and that the application of it should be limited to the “rarest of the rare” cases and that all the countries should ensure a non-discriminatory approach towards it.
India and the US join hands. Image source: static.annahar.com
Now, death penalty itself is a touchy topic for all of us and we’d have to cross over to an area grayer than Milind Soman’s hair to discuss it. So, let’s just stay away from it for now. But death penalty for renouncing your religion or cheating on your spouse or being gay? Where are we, the 16th century? Do you know who kills people for being gay in 2017? ISIS. Is that the league we want to be in?
No certainly not, and the 27 countries who voted for the resolution knew it and thanks to them the resolution has passed, in spite of our great nation’s failed efforts with Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt to water down the resolution multiple times.
Imagine being gay in the US or India and hearing this news. The hypocrisy of the people in power is unfathomable! I didn’t know the line ‘then move to Saudi Arabia, you libtard!’ came from a very caring and nurturing place. They didn’t actually hate that country, they really looked up to them and wanted all of us to be more like them this whole time! They only wanted what’s best for us and we misunderstood them. Go apologize to your alt-right uncle and share a fine glass of gau mutra with him right now.
But to be fair, India has a history of voting against death penalty resolutions no matter who was in power. But this particular resolution is not just about death penalty, it’s about human rights. My rights. It doesn’t even make sense to me or maybe I’m not seeing the bigger picture. How is voting ‘yes’ to the resolution and joining the progressive democracies in the world going to affect the Indian (or the US) government? Especially when no one in this country really pays attention to what’s going on at the UN. And even if they do, I don’t really see anyone getting offended knowing India voted for a resolution to put an end to the merciless killing of LGBTQ people in third world countries. Then again, your fellow countrymen can always surprise you.
Every time they talk about how lucky I am to be living in India and not somewhere like Saudi Arabia, I put a 2000 rupee note in a jar, so that I can pack up my shit and move to Canada.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com
By Arjun Raj
Cover photo Credit: celebuzz.com