They’ve failed religion, caste failed them, courts can’t: Devdutt Pattanaik on same-sex marriage

“I believe the court exists to allow people to love,” said author, illustrator and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik as he championed the cause of same-sex marriage and argued that Hindu culture should be understood beyond left and right lenses. .

In an Instagram conversation with InUth editor Premankur Biswas, Pattanaik said: “Courts must allow LGBTQ + children to settle. Religion failed them, castes failed them, but the courts cannot fail them. Change cannot happen overnight, but the court must start the process. “

At the next Delhi High Court hearing on the recognition of same-sex marriage following the downward reading of Article 377, Pattanaik asked, “If a young man wants to spend his life with another man and wants to hand over his property to this man, why would the court have a problem with that? Are they against people’s freedom?

“The Indian government says love doesn’t matter, only men and women can get married. If you have sex outside of marriage, this is also a problem. But to a gay and lesbian couple, it’s saying, “you can have sex, but you can’t get married.” It is a very strange idea. You are basically saying that these human beings can have a sexual relationship and not a romantic and social relationship, ”he added.

The Center raised objections to same-sex marriage stating that marriage in India necessarily depends on “age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethics and societal values”.

However, Pattanaik, in his recently launched book, “Marriage: 100 Stories of India’s Favorite Ritual,” examines the fluidity of marriage and the concept of family in Hindu scriptures and folklore.

For example, there is a single father, Rishi Kaanva adopting Shakuntala, or the six Kritikas raising Kartikeya. “The point is, Indians are used to seeing various ways the gods speak to us. They do not follow heteronormative principles at all. They don’t follow patriarchal systems in ritualistic contexts, ”says Pattanaik.

“Both the left and the right are trying to classify Hinduism into a very strange thing. The left will only look at him through a caste lens. The right will only look at him through the prism of Brahmanic supremacy. These are very limited ways of understanding Hinduism, ”Pattanaik argued.

Giving examples of the fusion of different rituals in a wedding ceremony, such as the mangalsutra of South India, the sindoor of the Harappa and the saptapadi of the Vedas, Pattanaik said: “The peculiarity of Hindu culture is that you can’t find standardization. It is always adapted to the context. He added, “So if the culture is diverse and vibrant, the law should also be diverse and vibrant. “

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