The startling statements of Ghulam Nabi Azad about Indian homosexuals expose not only an idiot but also more importantly the cancerous ‘chamcha’ culture that grips the Congress.
I met Azad many years ago at a function hosted by Sonia Gandhi, who had then not even hinted of her ambitions.
He was pompous to the point of absurdity until Mrs Gandhi entered our midst.
I have never seen such a change in a person’s posture. He went from being the ‘Sultan of Greater India’ to a groveling buffoon. He nearly head-butted the floor with his whimpering bow.
I am sure if I had looked his knuckles would have been bright purple from the force he pushed together his ‘Namaskar.’
It was not dissimilar to someone on the brink of starvation begging at an intersection. When Mrs Gandhi left our circle, his fellow Ministers laughed their heads off and told him he was a ‘chumcha,’ admittedly an excellent one.
When you are assessed for your ability to kiss royal posteriors and the possession of obscure vote banks, you will always get an Azad. Individuals who are so removed from reality that you have to purchase tickets to their world to have a conversation.
His statements that homosexuals were hard to administrate because unlike prostitutes, they did not congregate in readily recognisable areas are sensationally bananas.
Azad, not yet even remotely discouraged, and then generously bestowed another profound pearl of wisdom. Homosexuality was not only unnatural but also that it was brought to India by foreigners.
Bring out the men in white coats with two straight jackets. One for Azad and one for Mrs Gandhi.
Investing any responsibility in this incompetent (that involves anything more complicated than the demands of a rickshaw puller) is equally mad.
Mrs Gandhi’s constant five cents that the windows to Government need to be cleaned and MPs held accountable is now a further heavily devalued currency.
The window has not been cleaned as so much as it has been smashed and we have had an unsettling peek at her bathroom cabinet.
If Azad had the intelligence to remember the mid sentence that his Empress was an erstwhile foreigner, he would have died from a major cardiac event. That he did not is very unfortunate because he continues to administer the mortally important health portfolio, for which clearly does not have the marbles, without a pinch of ambiguity.
This fact is cold steel solid when you consider where the statements were made- at an HIV conference. It was the equivalent of rocking up to a Holocaust Memorial in a Volkswagen or asking for a jumbo box of condoms at a Vatican Gift Shop.
Many of my dearest friends are Indian homosexuals. I am very proud to call them friends. For six years, I lived next to a Delhi Hijira colony full of characters. Their sexuality is only a part of their identity. Though I will indulge in some bigotry.
Some high achievers
My stereotype of an Indian homosexual is quite prejudiced in that I believe they are almost without exception above average citizens. High achievers in business and the corporate world with their strong sense of civil behaviour. I also believe in my prejudice that they have a predisposition for getting the job done right.
To alienate this community that could account for at least 50 million Indians is not the brightest move. Twice the population of Australia could be natural dancers and know their flared jeans from their skinny jeans.
A phenomenon I have witnessed is that a considerable amount of Indian students studying abroad has come out of the almirah (closet).
A gay friend very bravely went back to North Delhi, a Bastian of conservatism, and shaking like a leaf told his parents he was batting for the other team. His Father’s reaction would have been less violent if he told him he was batting for Pakistan.
Indians will forgive you for being gay but they will never forgive you for not procreating. His Father’s response, after having a stiff peg and lying down, was, “Beta, you have to stop being naughty and get serious.”
His Mother handed him some homeopathic medicine and told him about some girls she had lined up for his choice to marry.
Azad’s Jurassic attitudes help reinforce these impractical ideas.
The Congress leadership needs to purge itself of unqualified dinosaurs living in fractured realities. Ministers who hold position for their chumcha skills not any administrative flair.
Indian gays need to be recognised in a society that badly needs them.
They need to be embraced by competent members of the State and welcomed to share the exciting burden of lifting India higher and yet higher.
New Zealander Roy Lange, educated in New Delhi, is our Columnist based in Melbourne, Australia. He loves India and Indians!