Things can get weird in India. Often, much weirder than Donald Trump’s hairstyle or the current government’s promises to digitise an entire country instead of curbing down farmer suicides. In a country that often runs after schemes and grand plans for an economic turn-around for the poor, selling common sense- something as natural as accepting the LGBT community- may seem like an insurmountable problem despite having tons and tons of ‘educated masses’.
Then, in the midst of all this, to fathom that a mainstream newspaper even had the audacity, since intellect is available somewhere invisibly on an online shop- to publish an ad that claimed to ‘cure’ homosexuality is tough. Maybe, tougher than decoding what exactly does the term ‘Hindutva’ mean. And something that has more power at being bizarre than any of Ranveer Singh’s show-stopping costumes.
Anyhow, a mainstream newspaper proudly published an advertisement that claimed a healer knew how to heal the ‘problem’ of being a gay or a lesbian. The ad was clearly targeted to, although unspecifiably so to aggrieved parents in the country about the ‘condition’ of their children- who are gays or lesbians.
In fact, the healer even claimed to take care or resolve the problem- as if, the LGBT are a problem and not tax evaders- right before the “marriage.” Whether this interests you or not, it’s recommended to read what the newspaper ad actually shared.
“IS YOUR Son/Daughter Gay/Lesbian. Before Marriage. Know from us. Call 9811056357…”
For normalcy to prevail, do not call on the number. You may want to listen instead to another speech by the Prime Minister and fall asleep.
Here’s the real deal. And, if it could be said, the fun part!
In the immediate aftermath of the advertisement going viral, some normal person did actually make a call to figure out the sheer phoney nature of the person behind the terribly shocking ad.
This was, of course, a sting operation on the phone.
Speaking to the person on phone, who, within a minute or two of posing as the ‘healer’, the “mother in disguise on the call” was told that her son was suffering from “within.” This was after a polite enquiry was made by the Gurgaon-based healer about the temperamental nature of the boy. When told by the ‘mom’ that the boy was in fact, quite well behaved, the proclaimer suggested that he wasn’t confiding about his problem to anyone else and hence boiling within.
The lack of incoherence in the conversation was only beginning to tell. In the next few lines, for some reason that even God himself wouldn’t know, the healer declared confidently that around 40 per cent of all males in the US are gay. And then, in the immediate aftermath of dropping a goofball, the Gurgaon speaker shared that what might have “aggravated and led to the problem” would have been giving the boy a cell-phone.
If, by this time you haven’t wept in disbelief, there’s more to follow. The self-proclaimed healer of gays and lesbians told the caller that because the cellphones of today have a high quantity of ultraviolet rays, the same lead to converting normal boys or men into gays.
Thankfully, he did not offer anything spectacular regarding bestiality or it being caused as a result of watching Big Boss on the television, or for that matter, by drinking iced-tea.
The best part was the final submission. Promising the lady that he’d ‘treat’ her son, the healer offered to transfer some energies- obviously without involving the Swiss Bank or using the Aadhaar Card :)- into the gay boy’s body. What these energies are weren’t specified but it was sure that the man seemed confident to bring about a turnaround into the ‘diseased’.
On a serious note, if this is exactly what goes on around in Indian media, then one wonders, when and where will change for the better begin. The day we stop pointing fingers at gays and lesbians and began accepting them as any other person we know of, things may get better. Till then, the print associations may do a great deal of favour for the extremely well-read country to stop publishing such needless ads.
That may be the first step toward healing something truly idiotic.