There is a bizarre and disturbing case out of India where an Indian man has been criminally charged after his wife filmed homosexual liaisons in their home and took the evidence to the police. It is a crime punishable by life in prison to engage in homosexual relations in India. The case is an insight not only into the abusive Indian criminal code but the traditions of such arranged marriages. What is interesting is that the wife, a dentist, has also charged her in-laws with a crime after alleging that they had to know that their son was gay before the marriage.
The wife said that after their marriage, she developed some suspicions. That would seem mild given the fact that the husband refused to touch her, insisted on sleeping in separate rooms, and wore what she described as lady-like underwear and wear make up. They lived separately (working in different cities) for the first six months of their marriage. The husband, a 32-year old engineer with the financial services department of Infosys, would often return home early and the wife heard that men were coming to the house. She said that the continual use of pink lip gloss began to raise her suspicions. However, she says that, when she raised the problems with her in-laws, they told her that it was her fault.
She decided to set up hidden cameras for when she would be going to out of town for 10 days. She ended up capturing scenes of homosexual sex. One can understand the effort to confirm her suspicions, but the next step was unexpected. She burned a CD and then burned her husband by going to the police.
The husband was charged under the infamous section 377 of the criminal code. The section was declared unconstitutional by the Delhi High Court in July 2009, but the Supreme Court later overturned that ruling.
It remains astonishing to me that a nation with India would maintain such a law. However, the case also highlights the dangers of arraigned marriages. My maternal grandparents had such an arraigned marriage within their Sicilian community. They can be successful, but such marriages often reflect sexist or abusive treatment of girls in many cultures. It is also the denial of one of the most important decisions of a person’s life in selecting a partner.
What is interesting is the use of these arranged marriages for professionals. I once watched mothers bartering in a park in Beijing over arranging dates for their respective adult professional children. Chinese professionals are viewed as too busy to date and mothers continue to arrange marriages.
The wife in this case is understandably upset by an arraigned marriage gone bad. However, to convert the matter into a criminal charge is a terrible decision. The husband was wrong to get married to her if he is gay. However, the central problem is with the archaic tradition of arranged marriages. In any case, the use of an abusive criminal provision goes well beyond the reasonable, even for a shocked and legitimately angry spouse.
Source: Bangalore Mirror