Anbumani Ramadoss understands. In a stirring speech at the 17th International Conference on Aids in Mexico City on August 6, he stated without any ambiguity: “Section 377 of the IPC [Indian Penal Code], which criminalise men who have sex with men, must go.” Not only has that made India’s gay community gay, but they’re also mighty happy. Since then, the minister’s been thinking:
AUGUST 9, saturDAY: Oh, it’s still such an illiberal society here! There are people who still smoke and drink. Why can’t they just love one another without spreading bad habits that lead to diseases? Instead of smoking on screen, why can’t actors be seen wearing condoms in movies?
AUGUST 10, SunDAY: A perfectly pleasant Sunday has been destroyed. A bunch of eunuchs wanted to show their appreciation in the morning by putting up a performance. It was a little outré, considering in the end they wanted me to pay them for their show. Mr Kumar, are eunuchs homosexuals? What does the IPC say?
AUGUST 11, MONDAY: Hmm. The Prime Minister called asking me whether by decriminalising men who have sex with men will automatically lead to safer same-sex practices. Well, duh. Heterosexuals always use protection. Mr Kumar, don’t they? I mean, don’t we?
AUGUST 12, tuesDAY: On my way to the ministry, someone made strange eyes at me. Now why would a trucker smile at me in the middle of the road?
AUGUST 14, wednesDAY: What do you mean women who have sex with women? Don’t be silly, Mr Kumar. You stop watching those Latin American DVDs that you bought from Mexico immediately!
AUGUST 15, thursDAY: On a happy day like today, the truth’s dawned on me: Dr Venugopal is a homophobe! Get him out of AIIMS immediately!
AUGUST 16, friDAY: Let’s not scrap Section 377 altogether. Gay men who smoke must be arrested on the spot. Only then will heterosexuals get the message.