Sad Case of Intolerance…..?

What does one make of a case like SR Siras’ – a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who allegedly committed suicide because apparently the “shame” of being a homosexual consumed him.

Now SR Siras was reader and chairman of Modern Indian Languages at AMU. He had been teaching at the university for a good 20Β  odd years. Recently, about a month ago, he was suspended from his duties by the Vice Chancellor of the university on the pretext of having being involved in “grave misconduct” by indulging in “consensual” homosexual activities within the “privacy” of his home. (Consensual and privacy are two key words to be noted here – but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to pay attention to them.)

This suspension came as a result of a complaint by students of AMU who had planted spy cams in Siras’ home and presented it as evidence while demanding his suspension.

A few questions here.

Why is it that, what SR Siras does in the privacy of his home should be a matter of concern to absolutely anybody ??

Who gives anyone the right to infringe on someone Else’s privacy so much so that you rig the place with cameras ?? Imagine what it would feel like if it was done to you……

Why is it so important that the sexual orientation of a person must decide his/her place in the society ??

Does the sexual orientation of a person affect their competency ?? Doesn’t look like it – especially since Siras was chairman of Modern Indian Languages at AMU.

And so why should anything be decided or concluded about someone who might not have the same sexual preferences as majority of the masses do??

How does someone else’s choice of sexual orientation affect you?? And if it doesn’t then why get so itchy about that choice and make it your problem??

Or is it that just being open and honest about it and accepting it is the problem ??

Why the intolerance ??

Is it because of religion? Maybe, since its written in some old old texts that homosexuality is a sin, so its just taken for granted that its an intolerable offense. But in today’s time and age, does it really make sense to judge someone on those pretexts. Now even the Indian legal system is accepting of this.

Its sad to see that such an event would occur in a place of education – where one would expect higher levels of tolerance and understanding and a more open outlook.

Siras was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his house. The police is still working on finding the cause of death. Many would like to believe and do – that he committed suicide due to the “shame” of being homosexual. But isn’t this murder? When you ostracize someone for being a little different. For making a choice you wouldn’t and for defending his stand on that.

Even though the Indian Legal system has decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults, why then do cases like these still crop up, where at the end of the day its not about what the law says but what the society at large feels about it. If this has to be the case, then why have such a prominent legal system in the country…..people are just waiting to pass judgements on actions that don’t fall within their purview of acceptable conduct.


12 thoughts on “Sad Case of Intolerance…..?

  1. A thought provoking Post for sure and i completely agree with the idea of “murder” than “suicide”. I hope we move forward rather than clinging to some obsolete “society standards”.


  2. Even aftr the amendment of section 377…dis kind of unfortunate events are happening..

    Article 21 of the Constitution of India, Nov 1949 states, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”…..

    Now wht kind of violation of the law Mr. Siras was creating?? The governing body of the university should have resticated the students first, on account of framing the cameras.

    Binny its really a big question u hve asked is it a “Murder” or “Suicide”


    • The irony is, that even tho the constitution states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty: – it seems everyone else has taken the “liberty to intrude into your personal life and pass judgments”.


  3. We may think that we are living in a modern era, but the social bigotries still hinged to us like the tentacles of an octopus, and we are yet to be liberated from the medieval prejudices. We still live in a society where every other person believes that he has the right to moral police. It’s not how well our constitution is written, it’s about how well the society is prepared to follow it out. Reform on paper is no reform. A very well written and thought provoking article. Keep it up Binny


    • Thanks Deb.
      Changing times seem to be getting under the skin! The openness is giving society an itch. I think its largely a matter of allowing an individual the space and right to exercise his/her choices. Like you said, a whole lot need to be liberated from the medieval prejudices yet!


  4. Well
    Weird things happen. Asking questions like why, should be would be could be ….may be it is required maybe not maybe who know. I dont have anything against homosexuality except for the fact that if a guy tries it on me I am goona kill him for sure πŸ™‚ But in this case which you put up binny its about ones freedom of choice and privacy. I dont think any one has the right to mingle with that…but people do. Murtafa s in Middle east…the so called moral police, or how about the famous phone tapping of water gate scandel….some turns out to be path breaking investigation some turns out lame and brutal like the one u said rite now…….but where to draw the line when u never know that the kid next door may turn out to be a LeT terrorist…..

    Any way I really dont have a clue..
    Sexual orientation is something which cant be forced upon….
    Privacy is something which should not be breached…..
    Even it is said that Both Hercules and Achillies were bisexual
    But then again the aspect remains

    TO add a lighter touch on this….one question always bugs me

    What happens to the world if every man is Gay and every woman is Lesbian….Will that be the Judgement Day


    • Well Roby,
      what i was trying to talk about is the right and the freedom to be whatever it is you want to be and choose to be and “feel” like being – as long as its not at the expense of anyone else.
      I dont want to take it to the level of terrorism, coz that is a whole new dimension.
      The thing that troubled me about this incident was that a life was lost because some people didn’t agree with his choice of sexual orientation – whether it affected them or not. Its simply intolerance of an individual’s independent choice and it leaves me thinking about the extent of freedom each one of us gets to exercise too. Be it about anything.
      It agitates me in a way that almost gives me a feeling of suffocation. And its SAD!!


  5. Thats the sad part aint that so…But why take sexual orientation…few days back a girl was killed by her family for having a boyfrd whome she wanted to marry from other caste…..
    We live in such society girl…perhaps it will require more than u and me writing blogs to stop it but surely it is sad…
    I met an Aid at Action guy in Patna few days back who told me how a lady who was the wife of some secretary in govt department was murdered by Sadhu Yadav for fighting for dalits land right in Bihar…….So what happened to Sadhu Yadav after that …?nothing ….but the lady s dead….thier aint no justice and thats the sad part


    • i agree roby. i was just addressing a lone case that i happened to read about.
      the other incidents u mentioned are equally bad. i guess the central point in those too is that there some level of “intolerance” towards individual choice and decision. its either at the family level, society level or political level and justice is far behind yet!


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