#Unitedagainst377-Is Rainbow Shining after dark ages
The Indian LGBTQ+ community is fighting their war with the archaic law of section 377 of Indian Penal Code – which categorized consensual intercourse between two adults of the same sex as an unnatural offence is termed as ‘against the law of nature’, and can be punishable for lifetime imprisonment, for years.
The battle against section 377:
In 2009, Delhi HC, in its landmark decision decriminalized homosexuality among consenting adults. Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, is violative of Articles 21, 14, and 15 of the Constitution.
In 2013, Supreme Court of India strikes down the judgment of Delhi high court, and again criminalizing homosexuality, bringing back section 377. This is followed by a Global Day of Rage demonstrations organized in over 30 cities worldwide to protest against Section 377.
In July 2018, a five-judge Constitution bench is hearing the petitions. The Centre Government, setbacks saying that it will accept the decision of SC. While SC asked the petitioner to present legal documents to show section 377 is unconstitutional. Also, SC clarifies that they want to protect adult consensual relationships which do give a light of hope to the LGBTQ+ community of India.
Today, homosexuality and queer identities may be acceptable to more Indian youths than ever before, but there is no denying to the fact that people of LGBTQ+ community still struggles for acceptance of their sexuality and freedom to openly express their gender choices, along with bullying, blackmails and abuses – mental and physical.
The scenario of gay men looks more upbeat than transgender people or lesbian women in the era of social media where a lot of initiatives have been taken in creating awareness of LGBT and their rights. Transphobia is much prevalent as homophobia in the country. Cruelties and abuses and discrimination are still there even after NALSA giving the transgender their equal rights. In rural India, people have their own ways of dealing with the LGBTQ+ community, starting from honor killings to corrective rapes. LGBT voices at urban areas that are heard through several platforms – online and real-world form an important part of LGBT activism, while the rural LGBT voices remained unheard.
Scarping of section 377 is utmost necessary, as it will give us the legal support to put an end to all the horrors.
The religious leaders are always there against our basic rights in the name of culture, while they ignorantly deny the fact of Khajuraho, temples of Hampi, Shikhandi from Mahabharath and the Aravani legends in the south which are very much part of our native culture. While section 377, was brought by the British to our country along with homophobia.
Now it’s time to scrap the archaic law – section 377, which violates the basic rights of individual and Articles 14, 15 and 21 of Indian constitution. The hearing of petitions in SC against section 377 has given a ray of hope to the LGBTQ+ community.
“The current hearings in the SC have given us the feeling that the five-judge bench might be leaning towards a favorable judgment for the LGBTQIA+ community in India. That said, it would be silly to celebrate something before it happens. We’re hopeful and trust our judiciary to do us justice at least this time. It’s been far too long for a democracy -I can’t even believe that we’re still criminalized for something as innate as our sexuality.” Says Romal Laissram, Founder, Queer Arts Movement India (QAMI).
Now we all stand united against section 377, in a hope to get the justice and our rights.
A poem to give voice to the cause by Sauvik Acharjee.
Enough of Section 377!
Enough of section 377!
Is the yawp of the human right today.
Enough of hatred wrapped in religious values!
Each and one wearing the mask of religion,
Without any logic, denying us our rights.
Enough of the slangs of homophobia,
Love howls for the right today.
Enough of the archaic law!
That defiles the righteous human today.
Enough of the society that shouts slogans in name of culture,
While holding back to a law which is a gift from our three hundred – years – old oppressors.
Today each life which is humane,
Call out – enough of section 377.