It is fun reading our main stream newspapers, isn’t it? How they blatantly hype things around homosexuality and have this fantastic capacity for making something as irrelevant as Sonia Gandhi’s fart look like our not-so-perfect world has been bombarded with nuclear bombs.
But.. I digress.
Not Sonia Gandhi. But the other Gandhi. The long dead Gandhi. Is back on the front page. Mahatma Gandhi is back with yet another one of his experiments with truth. Or more correctly, the possible truth, if one goes by Joesph Lelyveld’s review of “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India”.
Thousands of books have been written on Mahatma Gandhi with each new one claiming to have discovered an unknown facet of his eventful life. When reviews of Pulitzer prize winner Joseph Lelyveld’s “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India” hit the newspapers in England and US claiming that the book says Gandhi was a bisexual and had a German-Jewish bodybuilder lover in Hermann Kallenbach it created immediate sensation.
But as the Daily Mail’s review of the book created a storm in cyberspace, there was a barrage of protests not just from Gandhians who said this was “blasphemy”, but from the book’s author himself who denied having suggested anything of the sort. [TOI]
I have no clue what cyberspace-storm the news article is referring to and do Gandhians really exist in this day and age? Barring our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his (Sonia) Gandhism, of course.
As always the only ones trying to cash in on the bandwagon are the Media and our Politicians. They are outraged. And who cares if one can’t read but hey, they want it banned! Unfortunately for them the country couldn’t care much because we are busy Bleeding Blue. Cricket. Religion. So freaking true!
At the eye of the storm is the burning question: was Gandhi Bisexual or not! Who cares! Will it make any difference to the Queer Politics in our nation in the current scenario? Nope. Will it make easier to step out of the closet? I don’t think so.
What it has done in fact is yet again brought out the homophobic mentality of those (apparently) in charge of our welfare. Even after decriminalization of IPC 377, our existence continues to remain offensive.
A parting shot for a certain Ms. Shobhaa De – “Even if Gandhi were Gay, it does not make him a Gay Icon, by default. Just like your passion for Leopard Print Saris does not necessarily make you a Fashion Icon. Thank you”.