SC gay sex ruling dubbed 'political', 'regressive'

Not many are hopeful of the parliament legalising gay sex

pujab

Puja Bhattacharjee | December 11, 2013




For years Joy had lived in the shadows. He struggled to be himself but the laws of the land forbade him to express his true identity. He longed to wear a skirt and makeup and carry a ladies handbag but harassment from people and the police made him resist his urges. Then in 2009, Delhi high court passed a historic judgment decriminalizing homosexuality. It was a euphoric moment for Joy and his family. Since then Joy felt no shame in identifying himself as a gay man.

Then on the morning of December 11, 2013, the ground was snatched from beneath his feet. The supreme court of India reversed the high court order. Joy and the rest of his community were back to square one.  

“The judgment sends a completely wrong message to the world. Human rights are suffering in this country,” says Madhura Chakraborty, co-founder Take Back the Night, Kolkata chapter.

Chakraborty feels that the way ahead is a long struggle. “The struggle must continue as it has continued before. I am not very hopeful of the parliament. We have to make more people aware,” she says.

“Every human being has the right to express their love. We were preparing to celebrate when the decision jolted us. The judgment is extremely regressive. The law represents social prejudice. The way right wing politics are making a comeback is a reason to worry for us,” says activist Dr Payoshni Mitra.

She adds the parliament is the next stop.

“We are devastated. We are trying to figure out what to do next. I have no hopes at the moment. We will have to rethink the entire situation,” says Paramita Chakrabarty, director, School of women’s studies, Jadavpur University.

Raina Roy a transgender woman says after the high court judgment the society was slowly changing. But post the supreme court judgment the police once again becomes tremendously powerful to harass them.

 “The judgment is very political in nature. The judgment came prior to the Lok sabha polls. But I am confident that this judgment will not last long,” she says.

Aniruddha Dutta,  an assistant professor at the University of Iowa and/or a researcher working on queer/trans issues in West Bengal summarizes discussions he has had in collaboration with trans communities in Kolkata in the following facebook post.

“While the SC richly deserves to be shamed, it’s not much use just blaming the Supreme Court. As many have pointed out, the campaign itself was deeply flawed to begin with. The petition and the positive verdict in 2009 itself deeply relied on the argument of privacy, thus protecting only a privileged few, and did not render any protection to public gender/sexual expression/identity, the most common target of violence and abuse. Even further, 377 as a law itself was very rarely used legally - a lot of police violence and arrests have been under other laws pertaining to public decency, sex work, etc., and most the cases of violence cited in the Naz petition and the 2009 judgment are only tangentially related to 377. Thus few people even within the police knew about it before the Naz petition and the ensuing case publicized it over the last decade or so. But now, the decade of publicity has made 377 from an obscure law into a potent weapon, which it wasn't so much initially. And now the effects will fall mostly on working class/lower caste trans*-gender variant-kothi-hijra people, who were never really consulted about strategy before 377 was made into this huge campaign mainly to benefit middle class gay/lesbian people who can afford to have sex in private."

Reactions on Twitter

“People have the right to sexuality. The SC has pushed us back to the Victorian, colonial era by upholding #377 & criminalising homosexuality,” wrote Siddharth Varadarajan.

“#377 verdict. When courts go with forces of patriarchal reaction rather than constitutional reason,” tweeted Kavitha Krishnan.

What a shocker from SC on #Sec377. A visionary judgement of Delhi HC set aside. Criminalising #LGBT deprives Indian citizens of liberty! -Sagarika Ghose

India banned love. Shame Shame! - Taslima Nasreen

The Supreme Court got it wrong today- Farhan Akhtar

So much for those believing the judiciary is 'the last bastion of common sense' in this country. -Rahul Bose
 

Comments

 

Other News

Jammu-Kashmir makes indelible mark on electoral history

In a massive stride for India’s electoral polity, Jammu and Kashmir has registered its highest poll participation in the last 35 years in the General Elections of 2024. The Combined Voter Turnout (VTR) at the polling stations for the entire union territory, which has 5 Lok Sabha seats

New study tracks heat wave; exposes dangerous trends in big cities

An unprecedented heat wave has been enveloping Indian cities, worsening the urban heat island effect, this summer. A new analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says there are far deeper and longer term evidences on the nature of this changing trend that is impacting the biggest cities of the

Phase 6: Voter turnout 59.06% at 7:45 PM

Polling in the sixth phase of General Elections 2024 which commenced across 58 PCs recorded an approximate voter turnout of 59.06% as of 7:45 pm Saturday. In spite of hot weather in certain parts of the country, voters were undeterred in their enthusiasm as they were seen queuing up patient

Banks not adhering to RBI guidelines, finds study

Banks across India are levying inconsistent service charges on basic savings accounts. A study, “Benchmarking Reasonableness of Service Charges by Banks in India”, uncovers and exposes inconsistencies in adherence to RBI mandates by banks. It finds some banks impose charges exceeding reasonable

“Mumbai Infra boom similar to that of Manhattan in 19th C”

Mumbai’s ongoing infrastructure boom – with a new coastal road, Atal Setu, metro lines and much more – creating transport corridors – is comparable to that of Manhattan in New York during 1811-1870, according to BMC commissioner Bhushan Gagrani. The iconic projects being implemented

Global Gandhi: How the Mahatma captured the world’s imagination

Gandhi’s Australia, Australia’s Gandhi By Thomas Weber Orient BlackSwan, 348 pages, Rs 1,800  

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter