Updated: Feb 6
The Hindu religion is one of the oldest, most diverse and largest in the world. It has a history of over 4,000 years, and its followers number more than one billion people. The Hindu religion comprises many different schools of thought and belief systems with thousands of deities and deities that are considered to be manifestations of different aspects of nature.
The Hindu gods have been depicted in various ways throughout history, with some having homosexual relationships. One such example is Ardhanarishvara, whose right half is male and the left half is female and is created by the union of the god Shiva and goddess Parvati. This deity is celebrated and worshipped by the transgender community mainly. This form explains the relation between mortals and gods and between men and women. There are several other examples of gods who have been depicted as being attracted to each other.
In Ancient India, homosexuality was accepted as a natural part of life for those born with homosexual tendencies, but after the colonial arrival of Islam and Christianity, homosexuality became criminalised. Queerness in India has never been a foreign concept but queerphobia is something that the Islamic invasions and western influence brought to our country.
The Hindu religion has had a long history of accepting homosexuality as a natural expression of the human experience. In fact, there are several ancient Hindu scriptures (Brahmanda Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Mahabharata, etc.) that make reference to several gods with a homosexual character and beyond.
With the rise of colonialism in India, however, the Hindu community became victim to the colonial belief that homosexuality was criminal and unnatural. The Islamic clerics and then the Christian British imposed their own views on what was right and wrong for those born homosexuals.
The Hindu religion has a long history of accepting homosexuality as a natural part of life. The ancient Hindu texts (which are still studied by Hindus today) are full of references to gods with homosexual relationships, including Krishna, Shiva and Vishnu.
In contrast, the colonial belief that homosexuality is a crime was introduced by Islamic clerics and spread by the British. This belief has been used to justify oppression and discrimination against homosexuals in many parts of the world, including India. When it comes to Hindu beliefs, homosexuality was never a crime and thus, any statement which relates Hinduism and homosexuality as a crime, should be condemned.