NEW DELHI: A day after senior RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale announced a big shift in the Sangh’s position by remarking that homosexuality was not crime and sexual preferences were a personal choice, he revised his position to say it was a "socially immoral act” and demanded a ban on gay marriages.
If Hosable had created a flutter by articulating RSS’ position during a function organised by a media house on Thursday by saying It is not a crime as long as it does not affect the lives of others. Sexual preferences are personal issues.” This statement was seen as a signal to the government to allow decriminalisation of the section 377 of IPC (which defines punishement for unnatural sex).
However, on Friday morning Hosabale, one of the most influential leaders in the Sangh, nuanced his position, which many thought was a flip flop. Hosable took to twitter to say. “Homosexuality is not a crime, but socially immoral act in our society. No need to punish, but to be treated as a psychological case.”
“Gay marriage is institutionalization of homosexuality. It should be prohibited,” the RSS’ joint general secretary added.
Hosabale clarified as his earlier statement was seen a major ideological shift taken by the RSS, as it had maintained that it was an unnatural act.
Hosabale in his tweets repeated part of old position saying it was a psychological case, a position also taken up Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev.
Officially BJP refused to comment on Hosabale’s statement saying the RSS leader had himself said whatever he wanted to. In the past many senior BJP leaders had spoken against legalising of the gay marriages or decriminalisation of act.
BJP General Secretary, Ram Madhav, without commenting on Hosable’s statement retweeted latter’s both statements.
Hosable had reacted at an event when asked whether homosexuality was a crime as considered under Section 377 IPC, had said, "I don't think homosexuality should be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect the lives of others in society."
He had also said, "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."
Section 377 of Indian Penal Code terms homosexuality as unnatural and a criminal offence with a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. Going by the global trends in this regard, there have been demands within the country to decriminalise homosexuality.
Some BJP leaders have supported such demands for legalising gay marriages. Congress MP and former Minister Shashi Tharoor last week failed to introduce in Lok Sabha a private member's bill to decriminalize homosexuality after members opposed the move.