In distressing news coming in from Delhi, a family has disowned their homosexual atheist son because he opted for humanities instead of science.
This is one of many cases of prejudice against the “arts” that has plagued the Indian middle class.
“Saw it coming”
Ashish Jha, who will complete his matriculation in May was not surprised by his family’s reaction.
“We are a middle class family, always have been, I did not expect them to welcome my decision,” Ashish said. “The middle class is inclined towards the sciences and my parents have always been pro-engineering,” he added with a sigh.
The Jha family had accepted their son’s sexuality and religious beliefs (or lack thereof). “He has always been an atheist, always trying to find logic in faith.” Ashish’s mother said recalling the incident when her son ate chicken on a Tuesday.
Ashish’s father saw his son’s decision as a betrayal. “Is this what I get for my sacrifices?” he asked rhetorically. “Atheism, no problem, I myself skip pooja sometimes, hell I don’t even give good quality oil to the shani maharaj,” his father said, breaking into tears.
“He came out of the closet half a year ago and we supported him, I started dressing in multi-colour clothing to make him more comfortable.”
“But choosing arts instead of science, no, this is where I draw the line!” Mr. Jha said, furiously. “Neighbours have started ostracizing us, Jha ke ladke nei art lee hai, jhadu marega they taunt,” he described his shame.
Meanwhile, this incident has sparked a huge controversy in the online world. Internet users are lending their support by updating WhatsApp and Facebook status to “Je suis Ashish.” The hashtag “ForTheLoveOfHumanities” was one of Twitter’s top trend.
Ashish is now living with his friend who describes himself as “humanities sympathizer.” He is taking help from pro-humanities organizations that support people in such plight. The organization is also planning a pride parade to fight against such discrimination.