We are finally coming out of the “RAJ”. Repealing section 377 from Indian law is a step towards building a real open society based on the fundamental right of freedom and privacy.
It is a momentous day for India. We are finally breaking the shackles of the British rule by changing laws that were formed in the 19th century and coming out of it. A commendable job is done by the Supreme Court of India and the bench. Finally, section 377 goes down the drain. Read the judgment it is quite crisp and worth your time. The social media is slammed with people hailing the judgment, writing how great a step it is. So cool. I feel awesome.
Now taking a step back.
What is our reality?
In India, we don’t have respect for privacy (Public territory and intimate space) or probably we don’t understand the term in itself. Even if you are standing in a line people will stand right behind/ in front of you. You can feel their bodies. We were taught to keep one hand distance while standing in a line in school. All forgotten I guess.
Privacy is a right granted by the constitution and with whom one gets intimate is purely their discretion.
The law is repealed which is great but will the society accept it? Will normal people like you and me accept homosexuality? That is an important question and something we should think about. Passing a law is synonymous with empowering but do we want to be empowered is the question. I am very sure even within my friends I know folks who welcome the law but will not accept a gay friend. The Supreme Court gave us a foundation and now it is up to us to build upon it.
Building a more acceptable society. What we can do.
Our constitution gave us a firm foundation, now we need to build upon that. To really benefit from this judgment we need to bring in a change within ourselves and how we treat others who think differently from us. We also need to understand science and be more objective about ideas which do not chime in with us. In India, a large percentage of the population considers homosexuality and bisexuality as not natural, it does not matter if the law of land accepts it or not. People who recognize themselves with the above are silently and behind their backs mocked. We still don’t want our children to talk to anyone who has a different orientation. The word ‘He is a Gay’ is used in a derogatory sense in India. Though we have people who have excelled in their respective fields and have different sexual orientation. There is no dearth of role models.
Everyone hailing about the judgment should question themselves and try to understand the true meaning of supporting this. It means you are okay if your child says that she likes girls or he like boys and would spend their life with them. It also means that you are comfortable sharing your homosexual fantasies with your partner and vice versa. We need to get comfortable discussing such topics and be sure of accepting the reality. Having a scientific approach here will help us in understanding and accepting these ideas. If we study nature there are organisms that can change sex. Going back in history and trying to understand why heterosexual relationships were given importance can also be worth pondering. It was a way to procreate. Now with advancement in science and technology in place we don’t need a heterosexual relationship to procreate. You can have a child using IVF, surrogacy (it was prevalent before as well), adoption etc. Hence people can have more freedom in terms of the choices they make. And instead of living in a closet and getting frustrated every day can lead a normal life.
I believe the next step for us is to have more conversations around it and help the ideas spread. It should not be just for the metro areas it should reach to every nook and corner of the country. A better approach for any idea or thought process to spread is to include it as part of the education system. That will help build a generation which is exposed to different ideas and hence can better understand and be comfortable with the complexities and different behaviors around them.
“I am what I am. So take me as I am. No one can escape from their individuality.” – CJI Dipak Misra