Section 377 and the Rights of the LGBT in India

Yesterday, I was reading an article which was championing the need of gender equality. It said that both male and female should have equal rights in the mainstream society while laying special emphasis on women empowerment.

At that moment, I stopped for a second and put on my thinking cap. I started thinking about this vulnerable gender, the one which has been ostracized by many, the one which draws flak by the society for being an incompetent class, the one whose right is hardly spoken about, let alone do something about it.

I’m sure you are not thinking about women, right ? I am talking about the third gender. But let me discuss about the LGBT as a whole so as to be more inclusive. When you hear the word ‘empowerment’, if the first thing that strikes you is an image of a docile, weak and a tractable woman suffering from the atrocities of the general public, well, think over it again. What about the LGBT ? They are not on the level of women. They are not even on the level below women, to be more precise.

These are the oppressed ones, who are being subjected to humiliation and are being compelled by the society to conceal their very own identity, simply because of their sexual orientation.

Only to add insult to injury, there is even an established draconian law (Section 377) which states the sexual intercourse of the LGBT to be a criminal offense since it plausibly goes against the order of nature. I wonder how much relevance such a 150 year old provision which was implemented during the British colonial era holds in such a developing and progressive society of ours.

Image result for lgbt in india

The Supreme Court verdict regarding the right to privacy is a shot in the arm for the LGBT who have been literally pleading to the society to let them live with a life of dignity.

Let us look at the other side of the story. Mahatma Gandhi had publicly opposed the sexual activities of this minuscule population saying that it would be the most dangerous form of doctrine to preach. It is being said that promoting the sexual intercourse of LGBT will lead to a volatile situation which will result in an imbalance in the society. Though most of the major countries have embraced this change with open arms and even legalized same sex marriage (including Britain), but it is believed that it would be silly to adopt every western culture and changes into ours.

India is arguably not in a position to accept such a drastic possible change, though this statement would be contested by many (including me).

As far as Section 377 is concerned, I think it needs an amendment, not a repeal because it considers bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia and other such abominable and heinous acts to be a crime which I strongly support.

We should try to spread awareness regarding LGBT community and educate people about the same. It is worth mentioning that under the Clean India movement, toilets are being built even for the third gender. Movies like Fire, Kapoor and Sons, I Am, etc have played their part. And to all the ‘straight’ males who oppose them , let me just remind them that even we are not complete. We have XY set of sex chromosomes and only women are complete.

I guess that it is time for the society to remove those myopic lenses out of its eyes and see the reality as it is. There is no denying the fact that change is inevitable, but how quickly the society adapts itself to it, that is to be seen.

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