Two betel leaves, a small bottle of mustard oil, 10 grammes of sweets, two silver coins and blessings of ‘Maa Kaali’ are what you need to ‘cure’ homosexuality, according to some quacks in Noida who run their ‘clinics’ with loudspeakers to solicit ‘patients’.
Ajit, a vaidya who runs his ‘clinic’ from a roadside tent in Sector 63, claims he has been ‘curing’ sexual problems of men and women for the past 10 years. The man, who is in his 30s, said he received this mystical power from his now deceased guruji who was a renowned expert for ‘gupt rog’ (sexually transmitted diseases) in Haridwar.
He further claimed that more than a dozen worried fathers and wailing mothers consult him every month for homosexuality-related ‘problems’ of their children.
“A man is made for woman and vice versa, any change in this equation is an unnatural addiction that needs to be get rid of and only we can get you the cure,” Ajit said as a small loudspeaker atop his tent blared recorded quotes of wisdom from his guru.
For such babas and vaidyas, homosexuality is a ‘bad influence’ if found in minors and a ‘terrible addiction’ if present in adults.
When this correspondent approached Ajit, masquerading as the elder brother of a 16-year-old who was caught in a compromising situation with another boy, he offered both tantra-mantra and Ayurveda as a cure.
“Your brother is lucky that his wayward behaviour was discovered before it turned into a terrible addiction. We will perform pooja for the boy, asking Maa Kaali to get rid of this problem and in a week’s time, he will be cured,” said Ajit.
For the pooja ceremony, Ajit demanded two silver coins, a small bottle of mustard oil, two betel leaves and 10 grammes of sweets. He claimed that this is an offering to Kali and it should be given to him in exact measurement as he asked.
“All you have to do then is to give the sweet offered in the pooja to your brother and he will never think of boys again in his lifetime,” he added.
However, an Ayurveda cure is expensive and recommended for adults for whom homosexuality is an ‘addiction’.
“The ayurvedic tonic will cost around Rs 4,000 and it has to be ordered from Haridwar. The tonic will also work on your brother but it a strong dose recommended only for adults who are addicted to men,” said Ajit.
Similarly, Bairwa, another quack who runs a similar clinic in Sector 62, claims tantra can ‘cure’ a man from homosexuality but the ‘patient’ has to be present during the pooja ceremony.
“Bring the patient to me, he needs blessings from Maa Kaali so that the evil vibes can be removed. We will also need to sacrifice an animal but that can be done by my students. We will charge Rs 5,000 in total,” said Bairwa.
Ajit and Bairwa are among the 10 odd quacks who operate in Sector 62 and 63 of Noida that have a large population of rickshaw pullers, daily wage labourers, construction workers and those who work in factories and office.
From irregular menstruation, piles and gonorrhoea to black magic and homosexuality, these babas claim to cure almost every ‘evil disease’ under the sun. Often, they rely on ayurvedic ‘chooran’ (powder) for physical illness and tantra comes handy for more evil diseases such as black magic, impotency and homosexuality.
Dr AK Agarwal, president of Indian Medical Association, Noida branch, said that such quacks operate freely and without any fear of the law.
“They should be tried under quackery law but unfortunately the police, administration or judiciary let them function scot-free. The medical practitioners are scrutinised both by the administration and media but these quacks who fool gullible people are allowed to operate in the open,” Dr Agarwal said.
Purnima Gupta, a women’s rights and LGBTQ activist, explained the reason behind families seeking ‘cure’ for such people who fall under the queer framework.
“India has always been a heteronomous society where patriarchy has defined roles for men and women. Anybody who doesn’t fall under their defined framework of normal and healthy relationship is deemed as sick and unnatural. The rich and educated people seek psychiatrists and the poor and illiterate go to such babas but the mentality is the same,” Gupta said.