When the results of Assembly Elections were declared last Sunday, it was distinctly evident that the people of this country are thinkers, observers and conscious decision takers. They look forward to bring progressive changes into the social and political system and if necessary, can embrace new age beliefs too.
Within three days since the announcement of the Election results and the aam junta opting for new waves of change, the Supreme Court’s ruling comes as a disappointing setback against the rights to equality and non-discrimination. The Supreme Court’s reinstated ban on gay sex hinting the 1861 colonial era Penal Code has pushed back the morals of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) community and liberalism alike by several decades. Section 377 is clearly a legacy of British Rule and it is a disturbing observation that the Indian Constitution is yet to evolve from a century old mindset.
The latest ruling by India’s highest judicial setup on the same-sex conduct between two consenting adults has ruled out and reversed the landmark 2009 Delhi High Court decision. The revised Law & Order now looks at it as a punishable offence with consequences as dire as life imprisonment as well.
The opinions reflected on the social media forums in reaction to the ruling have divided views from netizens all over the world. Several Human Rights Organizations have raised their voice calling it “a wrong and retrograde approach to the fundamental rights” and defining this as “a day of mourning for all Indians”. At the same time several leaders from religious groups have expressed their supportive statements citing homosexuality as “a western phenomenon that has polluted the minds of the Indian youth”.
On being asked about their opinions on the Supreme Court’s ruling, FIIB-ians expressed their views:
“The ruling comes as the most insensitive form of ‘justice’ where we are relying on age old practices for something which should be a personal choice and not at the discretion of others. I am highly disappointed with the ruling!” – Akshita Agrawal
“It is interference into an individual’s life. Being a gay or lesbian does not harm any human. How does ‘nature of balance’ matter if people are not happy?” – Priyanka Singh
Sticking onto an ancient Legislation is not in conformity to the 21st century thought marathon. We are walking hand in hand with other developing nations of the world with an unprecedented vision towards becoming a Global Leader while achieving towering progress in sectors of Management, Science and Technology. At such glorious times of development, such kind of a decision is a body blow to people’s rights to equality, privacy and dignity.
The Indian Lawmakers have decided to skip one historic opportunity in revamping an old colonial era law, which could have become a brilliant example of progressive mentality of a Nation that is keen on embracing new changes. As the world looks on, only time will decide how just this decision is going to be!