(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of ScoopWhoop)
Popular Bengali TV actor Disha Ganguly committed suicide. A few weeks later, Dr Priya Vedi, an anesthetist working with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) ended her life . Although, both are separate cases with no link whatsover, there seems to be a common string that connects these cases. And that’s the society.
Disha Ganguly was allegedly in a homosexual relationship with another woman. She was probably not able to handle the pressure which led to her suicide.
Her parents have, however, vehemently denied the charges and have said that she was about to get married to her boyfriend (a male TV actor). Nevertheless, it does not diminish the importance of raising certain questions.
Was the TV actor unable to accept her bi-sexual orientation? Was she afraid to confront her parents or her boyfriend? Is our society too harsh to outright reject bi-sexuality?
Whatever it was, nothing can justify her decision to end her life.
Likewise, the suicide note by Dr Priya Vedi clearly mentions that she was cheated by her husband, who appears to be a homosexual man. It also mentions harassment over dowry. But what is absurd is the way homosexuality is being discussed over the last few days across media and social media vis-a-vis these two cases.
Why has homosexuality been depicted as a sin? Her husband cheated on her. He was having sex outside marriage. He harassed her for dowry.
So, ultimately he is responsible. Why is his sexual orientation a topic of debate? A cheater is a cheater, irrespective of his sexual orientation.
Equal rights activist Harish Iyer sums it up well when he says, “Being gay is not a character certificate. Just like straight people, gay people can be angels and superheroes, and they can be nasty and scoundrels too. This one seems to belong to the latter”.
Dr Priya Vedi was an educated well qualified doctor, who worked for India’s premier health institution. She could have explored all options before going for the extreme step.
Why did she did not call off the marriage if she was unhappy with it?
What made her wait five years? Is divorce too unacceptable an option?
Is it worse than killing oneself?
The idea of the institution of marriage needs to be revisited as well. Marriage is undoubtedly a beautiful institution. But it is not the absolute.
Unfortunately, divorce in India is and has been treated as an act against Indian culture. Words like ‘sanctity’, ‘tradition’ and ‘culture’ take centre-stage. A divorcee, especially a woman, is viewed through lenses coloured with stigma and is treated like an outcast in our country.
These deaths should serve as a reminder that it is time real issues are addressed rather than the propagation of archaic opinions. No society can claim itself to be progressive if lives are being lost over sexual preferences.