Homosexuality and Hinduism
Homosexuality has an ancient history in India. Ancient texts like Rig Veda (which dates back around 1500 BC), sculptures and vestiges depict sexual acts between women as revelations of a feminine world where sexuality was based on pleasure and fertility.
Currently, the issue of homosexuality within Hinduism is controversial, especially amongst Hindus in countries where homosexuality is generally accepted. Hindu views of homosexuality are varying and diverse, in part because the accepted Hindu religious texts do not explicitly mention homosexuality.
Homosexuality is also a complex matter in Hinduism because of the many types of religious life. In general, “twice-born” Hindus are prohibited from homosexual acts (maithunam pumsi), such as in Manusmrti 11:174, which mentions both men and women.
The famous Kama Sutra states that homosexual sex “is to be engaged in and enjoyed for its own sake as one of the arts.” In general, then, the Hindu evaluation of homosexuality depends heavily on the context.
However Opponents of homosexuality argues that the romantic love is only natural between a man and a woman, and it is impossible for two men or two women to experience the same form of love. Since romantic love is only possible between a man and a woman, sex between two men or two women can only be the product of lust, and lust is wrong; therefore homosexual activities are wrong.
On the other hand, proponents of homosexuality argues that nowhere in the Hindu sacred texts is romantic love excluded to all but a man and woman, so there are no religious grounds to make a statement to the contrary. Sexual expression within a loving relationship is encouraged by Hinduism because it is not an expression of lust, but an expression of love and devotion to each others’ happiness. Therefore, homosexuals in loving relationships (i.e. marriage) should be allowed to express their love sexually.#homosexuality #hinduism #Personal Favourites
A lot of taboos are being broken in Bollywood today. Kissing on screen is no longer frowned upon. Protagonists actually have grey shades. Having live-in relationships and pre-marital sex is no longer the preserve of villains.
And now the Indian film industry is set to break another barrier.
For years the word gay was all but banned in the oh-so-straight world of Bollywood, where heroes were always blue-blooded heterosexuals, with a harem of girls at their feet while heroines had eyes only for the opposite sex.Bollywood has gay and transsexual characters, they have been primarily ridiculed or abused.
It is perhaps a reflection of the way in which Indian society has become more open that even Bollywood is now being inclusive.
There are few positive portrayals of late like Onir’s My Brother Nikhil, Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., and Parvati Balagopalan’s Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula but they have been sporadic and not mainstream. There have also been a few independent films that deal with homosexuality like Sridhar Rangayan’s Gulabi Aaina – The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally, 68 Pages and Ashish Sawhney’s Happy Hookers. The first Indian film to deal openly with homosexual relations was Fire by Indian-Canadian director Deepa Mehta. With its 1997 release in India it stirred up a heated controversy throughout the country. Recently Bollywood has appeared more tolerant toward homosexual relationships and has begun to portray them in a better light, such as in Dostana and Men Not Allowed. Actors of Indian descent have played homosexual roles in foreign movies. Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth played gay roles opposite each other in Shamim Sarif’s I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen. Jimi Mistry played a man trying to come out to his mother in Ian Iqbal Rashid’s Touch of Pink.
Taken from Wikipedia.