04 July 2009

Section 377

I had been staring at the news piece which quoted V.S Acharya, Home Minister of Karnataka as having said that homosexuality is unnatural. Another prominent political figure says that the LGBT community needs medical attention and not legal sanction. The Sree Rama Sene is determined to hold 'awareness' camps in college campuses. Well, i have gay and lesbian friends. Most of who lead a secret double life. Will the new verdict help them? I remember my college days when any student rumored to have a homosexual preference were insulted, hounded and outcast from the crowd. And the thugs who sanctioned these atrocities had nothing to do with politics, religion or had any scientific reason whatsoever to support their 'cause'. It was simply one of those scenarios were various groups forget their differences to unite on a common propaganda of hatred towards somebody or something. Logic simply does not work with them. They despise gay men and that is simply the way it is. I think i was on my way to work when a friend told me about the Delhi High Court's verdict on gay sex, Section 377 of IPC. The law which criminalized consensual sexual acts of adults in private, enacted by the British in 1860, had continued to exist in the law books of independent India long after it was removed from those of England. After 62 years of independence and the 8-year long legal battle(initiated by NGOs) the Indian judiciary has finally acknowledged that the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) community are after all human beings. Isn't that reason enough to celebrate? I suppose it is. But then again, i remain skeptical. The Hindu, Muslim and Islamic religious heads were quick to denounce the High Court verdict(and predictably so), the ministers warn that the Indian society is not 'ready' for such a liberal act and the police officials remain guarded in their response. Nevertheless, Friday's newspapers and tabloids screamed 'liberation' of the homosexual masses. Really? Do we really believe that a single law can successfully wipe out India's deeply rooted religious beliefs and prejudices? Do we really think that our friends would be able to lead an openly gay life without facing humiliations and suffer discrimination? Would this help the transsexuals find jobs? Is this going to help the lesbian and gay youth of the country, reveal their sexual preferences to their own families? Is the verdict going to make the LGBT community accepted in our society? I guess only time can tell, until then, we have work to do...

1 comment:

  1. Well it's a start I suppose in that homesexuality is now decriminalised, but of course, as you say, it's not going to wipe out prejudices.