By Calvin Palmer
Last week’s ruling by the Delhi High Court in India to decriminalize homosexual acts has come under fire from a yoga expert.
Swami Baba Ramdev has filed a petition with the Supreme Court claiming that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured by yoga.
“It can be treated like any other congenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises) and other meditation techniques,” he said in the challenge.
Last week’s judgment reversing a colonial-era ban on homosexuality has met with widespread opposition among many religious groups and conservatives who say same-sex relationships threaten the fabric of traditional Indian society.
Ramdev, who has a wide following among millions of middle-class Hindus who regularly tune into his healthy living TV programs on television, said homosexuality caused “mental bankruptcy” and was “against God and creation.”
His petition follows one filed by astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal, arguing that if gay sex is legalised, “tomorrow people might seek permission for having sex with animals”.
Kaushal said in his petition that India’s ancient scriptures and values did not permit homosexuality and argued that the recent court judgement would lead to the spread of HIV and Aids.
The Chief Justice of India, K Balakrishnan, who heard the petition, said the colonial-era law had rarely been used against homosexuals and mainly targeted pedophilia.
He asked the government and rights groups which had campaigned against the law to respond to the petition.
Under the Indian legal system, any person can challenge a court decision in a higher court.