Subramanium Swamy and his quest of heteronormativity
BJP MP Subramanium Swamy has a long history of encounters with the LGBTQIA+ community. As a man that has had expansive opinions about literally every issue, this comes as no surprise. Mr Swamy has on countless occasions in the past expressed his concern over the growing visibility of the queer community due to reasons ranging from HIV to retaining Hindutva morality. On 26 June, he posted a new study, that supposedly supports his claim of homosexuality being a ‘genetic flaw’ and hence unnatural. While this post doesn’t really unfurl a new controversy, it just stirs up an old one – Mr Swamy and his endless quest of restoring heteronormativity.
Who is he?
Before we get into the puddle of these comments, it would be interesting to note his political stance. While currently, a high level member of the BJP, at one point he explicitly declared RSS to be a menace and Hindutva ideology as an corrosion of the secular fabric of this country. A graduate from Harvard, he is a staunch believer of homosexuality being unnatural and brahmins incapable of being chowkidars.
In his latest tweet he declared homosexuality is a genetic disorder, like having two thumbs in each hand. This analogy was backed by an article on the North Shore Research Institute in the US. In the mentioned study, 409 gay brothers were studied to find links, specifically a ‘gay gene’. The research, does by scientist Alan Sanders, actually claims that there was no single gene found for sexuality. It further went on to publish data on how homosexuality is not a choice.
Sanders “does not claim to have identified a single gene which ‘causes’ male homosexuality in humans and stresses that with complex human traits like sexual orientation there are many influencing factors, both genetic and environmental.”
A spate of homophobia
This is not the first time that Subramanium Swamy has put forward comments like this. In September 2018, soon after the decriminalization of section 377 he had declared homosexuality a medical condition. Adding to that, he believed investment in medical research to ‘cure’ this should be prioritised. He added, no body should be punished for this, but to accept it as normal would be wrong. He also expressed hope for a 7 judge bench to strike down this decision, made by a 5 judge bench.
On another occasion, he also elaborated on the deep links of homosexuality with the western world. He claims homosexuality is a western concept and violates Hindutva morality. Further, he called this to be a tactic to instil gay bars and create profits through FDI. Adding to that, homosexuality will increase HIV cases around the country, and therefore must be curtailed as a matter of public health.
Twitter users were quick to respond to his controversial tweet. Both, those who supported him and didn’t. While several beads of wisdom were passed around regarding this issue, it’s hard to tell whether this discourse will ever change its way.