An Open Letter to Subramanian Swamy, the Man Still in Denial of Sec 377 Verdict

Social Commentary

An Open Letter to Subramanian Swamy, the Man Still in Denial of Sec 377 Verdict

Illustration: Sushant Ahire/Arré

Dear Subbu,

(Can I call you Subbu? I just feel like we’re so close because you speak on my behalf so much.)

Every couple of months, some reporter makes the mistake of asking you a question about something unfolding in 21st-century India, like the existence of gay people. What they do not realise is that you don’t belong in 21st-century India. With your archaic opinions and deranged rants, you happen to be India’s finest imports from the Vedic era. So I think it’s high time someone wrote a heartfelt appeal to your sane side (yeah, still counting on that existing.)

Oh, who am I? Just a gay dude who is constantly worried that the garbage bag equivalent of a politician will one day walk into partner and I in our bedroom and deliver a sermon on how being gay is a “jeanetic prublem” that he doesn’t want to see. He may then bar me from petting my labrador, lest the dog mistake it for a romantic gesture, and proceed to get down with me 377-style.

You have a lot to say about a lot of things, Subbu, each more paranoid than the next. And with time, more and more people have let go of your company. You have to admit you’re a little at fault here. You’re like that friend now who hijacks every conversation, every event and makes it about himself.

But we can change that.

I want to tell you that I am here for you, Subbu. You can tell me all your nasty thoughts so others don’t have to hear them. I could have even offered you my shoulder to cry on, but that would count as us “flaunting” our indecent relationship. We can’t have that!

See now here’s the deal, we Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer folks don’t want a lot. We’re not greedy for the limelight (ok chalo, some of us are) and we don’t want the world’s sympathy either. All we want, is to be left alone. It might seem alien to you, but gender and sexuality is a concept that is still ever-expanding. Your septuagenarian brain might not be able to comprehend all of it – anyway, you’re a man who believes in the Ram Setu.

The amount of garbage that you’re capable of spewing could keep the BMC employed all year.

Despite your Vedic leanings, and your assertion that the Supreme Court ruling be overturned at the earliest, may I make an unpopular suggestion? A section like 377 should have gone a while ago. An archaic law, not only did it have a problem with how people choose to make love, but it also gave bigots like you a shield to hide behind while saying scathing things. But now that the dumbass law has been scrapped, we have more reasons to

flood the streets. Hold hands and cuddle up with the one we love because we want to.

Don’t get your you-know-what in a twist, dear Subbu. I am aware that you do not mince words; that’s just who you are, even if it means being fired by the Harvard University for those un-minced words. I agree words shouldn’t be minced at all, unless they come with pav and some chutney from a Mughlai restaurant. Your illustrious history of outspokenness has hurt many sentiments, many times.

One example: Back in 2015, you tweeted that gay people are “genetically handicapped”. In one go, you expertly hurt three sets of people: gays, ones with genuine disability, and people with brain cells. This allowed the folks devoid of brain cells to use your pithy tweet as a launch pad for more hate and abuse.

This isn’t even the first time you’ve opened your mouth without letting out a swathe of pus-filled bees, and gay folks are not your only target. You’ve made derogatory statements about members of the Dalit community. You have even called for the voting rights of Muslims to be reconsidered, and labelled your Muslim Twitter followers mental retards. (Once again a double blow to two different minority groups.) The amount of garbage that you’re capable of spewing could keep the BMC employed all year.

According to your Wikipedia page, you’re a smart fella: What with degrees in economics, law, and mathematics. Can’t help but notice a lack of Biology training in your illustrious career, but I’m sure you know best when you say homosexuality can’t exist in nature. Sure bro, someone let the LGBT community know so they can begin their move to the city.   

So stop trying so hard, Susu, because when a man of your stature and social media presence makes such half-arsed comments, it drives a young LGBTQ person deeper inside the closet. And it’s a dark and lonely place, that closet. And it’s bullies like you who make that closet seem more like a coffin.

The gay pride marches and everything else you consider foul happens for that very reason. It’s a simple law of action-reaction, and you with your PhD, should know what I’m talking about.

There’s another thing you should know about — that you and the gay community share something in common. Doctors and researchers have concluded that there is no cure for homosexuality. And there isn’t one for foot-in-mouth disease either. So I guess salvation evades us both.

But now that the Supreme Court has struck down the section you love so much, I will pray with all my double minority status that someday, you do get to have the last laugh. Because that will be confirmation that you have indeed lost all of your sanity.


A “genetically handicapped” human