Bharatiya Population Policy: Ek teer bahut nishane


Bharatiya Population Policy: Ek teer bahut nishane (one stone, many birds)!

Newsletter May-Aug 2004

Sunday 11th July 2004 (A Saheli Correspondent): On World Population Day, taking into account the insurmountable problem of India's ever-multiplying population, in a stunning move, both the ruly and unruly members of the past, present and future governments joined hands and legs to declare: “since all our efforts to control our people count have gone bust (like that defective condom!), we hereby announce the abolition of section 377 - LESBIANISM KARO, JANTA KE NUMBER ROKO!" (Practice Lesbianism and Control Population!)

A list of incentive schemes has been read out - most appreciated amongst them is the availability of a ration card and cheap housing loans for most active lesbians! Promotions, increments and paid vacations are also a part of this incentive package. The move to remove dildos from the negative list of imports, and that too with zero customs duty, was hailed by the industry.

Said Julie, an official who spoke under no condition of anonymity, “lesbianism karney ko mangta hai!" (we should practice lesbianism) We need more and more women (self-identified, biological or otherwise) to come forward and exercise this choice. Only they can save a billion plus people from the disgrace of being known as a nation whose million malls in Gurgaon and NOIDA cannot dish out enough entertainment to keep people "suitably away" from each other.” Giving strength to the Minister’s views was Saraswati (name unchanged), "Kuch aur entertainment hi nahi hai hum middle class ke pass, kab tak saas-bahu ke soap dekhte rahenge - hamare bare mein to koi sochta hi nahi hai." (We middle-class women have no entertainment, whatsoever. There is a limit to how long we can watch “saas-bahu” soaps. No one seems to be thinking about us).

Gone are the days when lesbians were looked upon with disdain - now every family is proud to have one or two. Our team visited the maternity ward of a hospital, where a beaming couple with tears in their eyes told us "she will grow up and save the world's resources". However, the representative of a multinational doing clinical trials in the very same hospital told us agitatedly "this move will not be tolerated! This is a kick on our livelihood! It denies us our fundamental rights to test our contraceptives on women". He informed us that the Indian chapter of HADDI (Hazardous Drugchara Defendants, International) has organized a protest at Jantar Mantar, following which they shall hand over a memorandum to the relevant Ministry.

"We have finally found a light", read the title of the official memo from our very own sarkari body CAH (‘Create AIDS Hype). They told us, "lesbianism karo, aur AIDS se mat daro", (be lesbian, fear not AIDS) pointing out that women loving women are at a lower risk of contracting the “dreaded virus”. "Madam, we have hit many birds with one stone", commented one safari-suited official, eager not to miss his two seconds of fame.

The LGBTK community has welcomed this move, but are now determined to fight for the rights of heterosexuals. “We work for the rights of marginalized sexualities" said a spokesperson. “The provision to penalize heterosexual unions that lead to reproduction of non-lesbian babies is one of the draconian measures that will be resisted”. The other measure that came in for criticism is the section prohibiting public display of “affection” between people of the opposite sex on grounds of adverse influence on young people. “We are questioning the very definition of “affection” in the proposed Bill,” said the activist who preferred to remain anonymous.

Well, last seen sidelined gay men were strategizing, while hordes of bharatiya lesbians were on their way to get ration cards.