TW: Queerphobic Content
The Maharashtra Legislative Council on 28th of December passed the Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016 (Third Amendment) Bill which gives more powers to the Higher and Technical Education Minister with regard to the state-run varsities.
As per the bill,
“There shall be a board of equal opportunity in each University which shall be responsible to plan, monitor, guide and coordinate various development and welfare programs, schemes, regulations and policies in regard to the welfare, development and social protection of teachers, non-teaching employees and students belonging to various categories of weaker section of the society, minorities, women, LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and others).”
a. It also proposes the appointment of the Higher and Technical Education Minister as pro-chancellor of the universities.
b. The bill allows the minister to make recommendations to the governor who is the chancellor of the universities.
c. As per the amendment, vice-chancellors will not be appointed directly by the governor and he can only approve the names recommended by the state government.
The bill, tabled by Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, was cleared by the upper house by voice vote following its passage in the Assembly earlier in the evening.
What Is BJP Leader Sudhir Mungantiwar’s Problem With The Amendment?
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar objected to provisions to include LGBTQIA community members.
“Are you going to hire lesbians and gays as members? Shouldn’t a joint medical committee be set up on this? It mentions bisexual and asexual relations. However, no one has yet defined these,” he said. “Even someone who has sex with an animal can become a member, as per the government’s proposal. Will the animal certify to their sexual relationship?” he asked.
Not stopping there, he asked if the government would consider those who have sex with animals as ‘asexual’ and appoint them too, to universities.
“Will you appoint homosexuals as members? Will someone write that I am gay, that I am attracted to homosexuality? Who will prove this, the secretary, the minister, minister of state? Are you going to prove it? Then there is another ‘asexual’ relationship that no one has yet defined,” he suggested.
Maharashtra Govt’s Reply To Sudhir Mungantiwar’s Queer Phobic Remarks.
Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant strongly defended the state government’s move, saying that the Supreme Court had said everyone should have equal opportunity. “This is not the first time such a law has been enacted in Maharashtra. Many states have enacted the law. Every element should have equal opportunity. Rather than exaggerating something, LGBTQ should be given greater opportunities. The bill has been introduced only after discussions with scholars from all over India”.
This Is What Congress Had To Say,
The state Congress general secretary, Sachin Sawant, criticised Mungantiwar and claimed that “RSS-minded people, who want to take India to the darkness of regressive thoughts, won’t understand that there is no connection between intelligence and sexuality. Many scientists, thinkers and painters who brought about the most positive and progressive changes in the world belonged to LGBTQ”.
This is just another addition to the long list of Queerphobic, regressive and extremely harmful outlook of BJP Members. Time to do some hard thinking for 2024 Indian General Elections.