Confronting Prejudice


Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not the law.

If I were to begin by naming the problems existent in our country today, in light of a system that is submerged entirely in corruption, I will succeed to a fair degree in generating despise in you towards our nation’s working. It is not news that many of these evils pertain due to the gorgeous amount of loopholes in the reverend legal system of India, while others exist due to lack of execution. On that score, India has succeeded in living up to yet another piece of law, held sancta by the 150 year old section 377 of the Indian Penal Code,  that criminalises activities “against the order of nature” , including homosexual acts.  Let us join the dots, we live in a society that is a democracy in name. Where freedom and equality are promised, and never delivered. And hitherto we have spun a law that absolutely repudiates rights to those considered ‘different’ in absence of effective law to guarantee equality at all in the first place.  We come from a nation with the longest constitution, where people live in peril, in bellow, with their rights- denied.

The Delhi High Court, in 2009, gave a verdict in favour of the filed PIL, reading down the section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, with respect to consensual homosexual acts between adults. In its ruling it prescribed:

If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness’. This Court believes that Indian Constitution reflects this value deeply ingrained in Indian society, nurtured over several generations. The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognising a role in society for everyone. Those perceived by the majority as ‘deviants’ or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracised.

Where society can display inclusiveness and understanding, such persons can be assured of a life of dignity and non-discrimination. This was the ‘spirit behind the Resolution’ of which Nehru spoke so passionately. In our view, Indian Constitutional law does not permit the statutory criminal law to be held captive by the popular misconceptions of who the LGBTs are. It cannot be forgotten that discrimination is antithesis of equality and that it is the recognition of equality which will foster the dignity of every individual.”

But we must remember that we come from a society of prejudice, where popular opinion beats the just, and where equality remains to be a word in black and white. And thus the Supreme Court ruling of 11 December 2013 has blown life again into the veneration of our so-called culture that was beginning to cripple.

Homosexuals are in the first place human beings. Just like you and I, and each individual, they have the liberty to make sexual choices. Persons and even governments often choose to justify their position on grounds of health. To them I ask, over every sexual act between males and females cataracts the possibility of AIDs, what law in queue would criminalise that? Individuals and governments rationalize their position on grounds of religion. To them I question, how do they deem religion, which itself is an interpretational nexus, fit enough to negate someone’s individual choices? To those who call it against nature, I rejoinder, that nature is not homophobic; nature is not and never will be tantamount to chauvinism.

What section 377 propels is discrimination, orthodox and injustice; an effort to paint the society one colour, which is practicality not possible. India remains diverse come what may. Culture and moral can simply not be the backbone of our legal system, for they themselves are subjective and individual in nature.  It appalls me to write this article, for I understand not, where this is taking us. In the world we live in, to open our minds to opinion is vital. But instead India chooses to make a transition that reverses equality, and in such grapple, we must confront what is dawning upon us, for I am afraid, if not, we will wake up in a country where bubble prejudice will be the law of the jungle.