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Homosexuality not a crime but socially immoral: RSS

Section 377 of Indian Penal Code terms homosexuality as unnatural and carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2016 11:04 IST
Homosexuality,RSS,RSS on homosexuality
Representative picture of a same-sex couple. Under the Indian law, homosexuality is a crime and carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. (Shutterstock)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)has said that homosexuality shouldn’t be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect others and sexual preferences are private and personal.

“I don’t think homosexuality should be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect the lives of others in society,” RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said at the India Today Conclave on Thursday.

His statement was in response to a question on whether homosexuality is a crime as considered under Article 377 IPC.

On Friday morning, Dattatreya reiterated his comments but maintained that gay sex is still socially ‘immoral.’

“Sexual preferences are private and personal. Why should RSS express its views in a public forum? RSS has no view on that. It is for people to have their way. Personal preference of sex is not discussed in RSS and we don’t even want to discuss that,” Dattatreya said on Thursday.

Section 377 of Indian Penal Code terms homosexuality as unnatural and carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. Going by the global trends in this regard, there have been demands in India to decriminalise homosexuality.

Read |Shashi Tharoor’s bill on homosexuality defeated in LS for 2nd time

Hosabale replied to a series of questions from RSS having a “remote control” over the Centre to AIMIM leader Owaisi’s refusal to chant pro-India slogan.

He said RSSsends “signals” to the BJP-led government at the Centre but dismissed suggestions it held a “remote control” over it.

“There is no control, but certainly remote is there. Remote is there, signal is there. RSS is not having any remote control on BJP or any other political party.

“RSS swayamsevaks are working actively and are participants in BJP. BJP also subscribes to certain views and ideology of RSS and the inspiration they take in public life. If family members come to RSS for suggestions, is it remote control or affection. There is no complaint from BJP and there is no wish from RSS,” Hosabale said.

Hosabale also said AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was an “anti-national” as he said he would not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, a slogan not coined by RSS but during the freedom struggle.

Asked if one was a ‘traitor’ by not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, he said, “Of course, he is an anti-national... All the political leaders except Owaisi’s party opposed what he said.”

“If someone says he/she does not want to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ at all, you are not allowing others also to not chant the slogan....If anybody says so, he is anti-national.”

Read | Won’t say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’: AIMIM’s Owaisi dares RSS chief Bhagwat

On beef eating, the RSS leader said one should respect the sensibilities of others too.

“Can’t you live without beef, can’t you respect the sensibilities of majority and respect feelings of other people also? Beef eating has not been acceptable in this country. Mahatma Gandhi was also against beef eating, he did not become communal, but RSS is communal,” he said.

The RSS leader expressed concern that anti-national activities are being spread in campuses in the country.

“Why anti-India feelings are being expressed in university campuses? If some students are raising slogans for breaking India into pieces and its destruction, if they raise slogans in favour of a criminal who has been hanged as per the law of the land, any nation in the world will not tolerate it. In India, being anti-national is not acceptable,” he said.

On why women are not there in RSS, he said, “It is only in field activities in public that women are not there, but in all other activities women are there. RSS is not averse to the idea of women participation in physical activities in RSS shakhas. It can happen... A day will come sooner than later. We are taking our own time for all this, anything can happen.”

First Published: Mar 18, 2016 08:59 IST