Same-sex marriage in India: A group of former judges of high courts today (March 29) issued an open letter saying the legalisation of same-sex marriage in India will have a devastating impact on society at large. "We are a group of former Judges, the conscientious and concerned citizens of India, having been exasperated and agonised over the continuous onslaught against the basic tenets of Bharatiya marriage traditions and family system by vested interest groups, write to you to draw your kind attention towards one such issue- legalisation of same-sex marriage," the letter said.
The letter said the issue is being considered by the Supreme Court and has gained momentum in the recent past in the country after being referred to a Constitution Bench. "The people of the nation, hailing from various strata of society across regional and religious lines, are deeply shocked by this western-tinted outlook that is being superimposed on Bharatiya society and culture to weaken the family system," the letter said.
The group of former judges said the marriage as well as the family system in India is sui generis. They opined that legalising same-sex marriage will strike at the very root of the family system and thus will have a devastating impact on society at large. Unfortunately, certain versed interest groups having no knowledge and regard of the civilisational importance of marriage have approached the court praying for legalising ofsame-sex marriage. Any attempt at weakening a great and time-tested institution should be opposed vociferously by society, the letter said.
Attacks on India's cultural roots:
Indian cultural civilisation has constantly been attacked for centuries but survived against all odds. Now in independent India, the group of retired judges said it is facing attacks on its cultural roots by the superimposition of western thoughts, philosophies and practices. "The cancerous problems that the West is facing are sought to be imported into Bharat by vested interest groups through the misuse of the judiciary as an institution in the name of the right to choose. While perusing the discourse on the issue of same-sex marriage, it is pertinent to take lessons from nations across the globe, specifically, the American experience where as per its own official figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the HIV Surveillance Report, for 2019 and 2020, it has been reported that 70 per cent of new HIV-AIDS incidence in the country was amongst the gay and bisexual men," the letter said.
Ex judges' opinion on same-sex 'wedding':
Therefore, legalising same-sex marriage might lead to an exponential rise in the number of HIV-affected. Giving priority to the right to choice and personal liberty over the right to life may cause severe consequences in the future, said the group of former judges. They claimed recognition of same-sex marriage will change the entire gamut of all personal laws from marriage to adoption and succession. In the long run, there are serious concerns that the gene pool is also going to be weakened affecting the entire human race, especially in terms of collective herd immunity and progressive evolution. Instead of having wide-range discussions and deliberations amongst the stakeholders and without there being any vociferous demand from any section of society, such a hasty judicial intervention is unfortunate, and totally unwarranted, stated the letter.
"In view of the above, it is our concerted opinion that such a sensitive issue concerning the society at large be debated in the Parliament and State legislature as well. Even before bringing such kind of law, the opinion of the society must be obtained to ensure that the law must represent the wish of the society and do not fulfil the desire of few elite sections of the society," read the letter by the former judges.
"We thus respectfully urge the conscious members of the society including those who are pursuing the issue of same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court to refrain from doing so in the best interest of Indian society and culture," urged the group of retired judges. The 21 signatories of the open letter include former Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Justice (retired) SN Jha, Justice (retired) MM Kumar, former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Gujarat Lokayukta Justice (retired) SM Soni and Justice (retired) SN Dhingra.
(With agencies inputs)
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