The Supreme Court could not have given a wiser verdict, than quashing the Delhi High Court order of decriminalising gay sex in India and pushing the ball to lawmakers’ court. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1861 makes sexual activities “against the order of the nature” a punishable offence. The apex court, if had uphold the Delhi High Court verdict, would have to go overboard violating the Constitutional provision, influenced by the church during British era India. Ironically, the then rulers of the country are going to legalise same sex marriage in their own country in March next year. With the landmark decision, the UK has joined the group of 20 odd countries including the US, South Africa, Australia, France and Brazil, which have already legalised what the Vatican is in no mood to approve of.
In India, more than the church, it is the Hindu and Muslim religious gurus who are standing between the LGBT community and their “freedom”. This despite the fact that the so-called ban on gay or lesbian sex has its origin in a foreign country, which has already liberated its LGBT people. The gurus have also refused to see into the numerous references, which are not demeaning, to such people in the history. If it is religion they are defending, then they hold no ground. If it is article 377, then they have to look up to UK. But the fact is that politics in India is still largely religion centric. Even the “modern” Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) skipped remark on the SC verdict, saying they have “larger issues” to look after. The political parties can afford to offend the public of this country on any other issue, but not on religion!
There is protest for this or that reason in this country every day, in every place. This movement by LGBT community is not going to stop. One day, they will get their right in India too. The surging wave of legalising gay sex will one day conquer this country. If it has to be granted, in any case, why not now? Why the dilly-dally? Why waste public resources such a “smaller issue”?
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on Dec 14, 2013)