In the world’s largest democracy and second most populated country, where we talk about advancement of the generation, uplifting marginalised of the society, of equality, and freedom of expression and where we also have discrimination against the sexual minorities.
On 11th December, 2013, Supreme Court reversed the ruling of Delhi high court making homosexuality a criminal act. Gay sex is illegal and has now become a crime in this country where you can be punished with life imprisonment.
The most controversial section of IPC (Indian Penal Code) is Section 377. However, there are many people who are still unaware about this section 377 and what exactly it means.
Section 377 of the Indian constitution describes homosexual act as an “unnatural” and “immoral” and is taken as an offensive act against Indian culture. It was unified into IPC in 1860 by defining as; whoever voluntarily has voluptuous intercourse against nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with life imprisonment or either imprisonment for ten years under description of term and shall be also liable for fine.
It’s really upsetting that the system is itself contradicting its own section of Indian constitution. Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Indian constitution talks about right of equality, freedom of expression and personal liberty to each and every citizen. Section 377 talks about imprisonment for lifetime if you’ll have even physical relation with same sexes. On one side we talk about equality and freedom and on other side we talk about not giving personal spaces to the sexual minorities who are also seen with disgust and condemned across the country.
We live in a country where we talk about empowerment but we still feel embarrassed on talking about sex and sexual topic in any form. Sixty five years after our freedom we are still a hypocritical culture. Our media, TV and films are open about sex, but vast sections of society still scorn us if we want to exercise sexual freedom. The police can catch you and fine you 1200/- bucks if a boy – girl couple in a park, indulge in anything they consider “indecent” or “immoral”.
The courts, and by extension the police, have always tried to interfere and dictate. Pre-marital relations among couples of consenting age, can now be deemed marriage. So in most respects our laws are against freedom. Can it be any surprise then that any thing which is not “traditional” and not strictly as per ancient customs, is punishable?
So basically having physical relations which are “unnatural” is a crime. It is punishable with a term up to life, as much as raping a girl. It doesn’t matter that homosexuality or heterosexuality is genetically programmed within us. One may be partly homosexual.
The new supreme court ruling has made them criminals overnight!