Friday, 20 March 2015

Gender pluralism in India

Isn't It Time We Remove the archaic Article 377, which was brought in by the British Govt. in 1860... 
It does not go well with the Indian values. Homosexuality and transgender-ism was not looked down upon and was accepted in ancient Indian society.

We need to revive those values.

Ancient Indian culture, as depicted by our mythology was extremely plural and diverse. There was respect for everybody - because they believed in divinity being manifested in every form.

There are several examples of transgender, sex-conversion, third gender etc. in ancient Indian mythology:

1. Shikhandi: He was originally born as a girl child named 'Shikhandini' to Drupada - the king of Panchala. He plays a crucial role in Mahabharata.

2. Ardhanarishvara: S/he is made of both Shiva and his wife Parvati, - half man, half woman - usually depicted as split through the middle. 

3. Ila is an androgyne (a person who does not fit neatly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society) in Hindu mythology, known for his/her sex changes. As a man, he is known as Ila (Sanskrit: इल) or Sudyumna and as a woman, is called Ilā (Sanskrit: इला). 

4. Vishnu: Changes gender and becomes "Mohini" (the enchantress) to trick the demons into giving up "Amrita" the nectar of immortality. Vishnu as Mohini became pregnant from Shiva, and gave birth to Ayyappa. 

5. Sthunakarna: The yaksha who exchanged sex with Shikhandi.

6. Iravan/Aravan (he is the God of transgender community) married Vishnu. (who was that time in his Mohini avatar).

7. In Kama Sutra (written in the first millennium by Sage Vatsyayana), an entire is devoted to homosexual sex, it also categorizes men who desire other men as "third nature" and it does refer to long-term unions between men.

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