Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Die Section 377 Die

Section 377

That's the thought that comes to my mind when I think about Section 377. The recent flurry of activity surrounding it was most interesting to watch. The fact that it coincided with the Pride Marches held in various cities across India gave the media additional reason to cover it widely.

First there was news that the government wants 377 to go. Then we got to know that a meeting of the law minister, the health minister and the home minister has been scheduled along with the home ministers of the states to discuss 377. It is interesting to note that while most media organizations covered this news, none reported a date for this meeting or whether the government has in fact finalized one.

While the gay community was just about recovering from this "excellent" news, the media started reporting how the views of various religious organizations were also sought by the government. Why? We do not know, but as expected, all of them are against the repeal of 377.

That was bad enough, but to add insult to injury, news came along that while home minister P. Chidambaram and law minister Veerappa Moily are in favor of a repeal, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is not. Mr. Health Minister has apparently taken a stand totally opposite to his predecessor Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss.

Is this really surprising? Were we delusional enough to even start thinking that the government might want to go against the popular opinion, which in this case is definitely against what we are hoping for? So what was the need for the home minister to go into overdrive with regards to 377? Why the sudden need to take it up when they have been trying to push it under the carpet for the past several years?

Could it be that they want to take a decision before the Delhi High Court reaches a verdict? Could it be that they want to keep matters in their own hands instead of letting the judiciary go with the right way which will not exactly be the popular way? Does this mean the gay community India needs to brace itself to continue living a life of discrimination, rejection and outright hatred from our society?  A life without any hope?

Or could this recent flurry of activities be headed in the other direction? With a progressive woman heading the ruling party, could there be just a tiniest bit of hope for us? With a progressive and young PM-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi learning the ropes and readying himself for that gaddi, is it possible that he might tip the scale in our favor? He's almost 40 years old and unmarried so it is just possible that he actually might be in our camp and might be all for a repeal of Section 377?

Pipedream? Probably. The gay community in India better start preparing for the long haul. With politicians, politics is certainly going to happen and there are wheels within wheels.  We just do not know which direction those wheels might turn. I'll keep on praying that Section 377 dies soon enough but I'll not raise my expectations to avoid any disappointment and frustration.


Anonymous said...

From where i stand in Paris, France, this section 377 seems so retarded and archaic! It keeps the gay oriented indians in the shadow of an order long past. It doesnt protect anyone but on the countrary leads to putting lifes in danger which is in total opposition the declaration of Human Rights.
The indian gay community should stand up more for their own rights, have stars speak to the audiences, events organized..; for as long as this section remains, underground activity is sure to flourish amongst gay peaple, leading to a sdangerous preading of Aids as peaple ashamed of their sexual orientation tend to not be tested and pretend they dont have sexual activity... its a matter of life and death as well as well being and respect. The government has to be pushed towards the truth of a population who can not be denied! go for it guys!! Don't be ashamed! Fight for your rights!
Love to all readers of this great blog!
Alexandre F.

Anonymous said...

Culture changes with time . No one can stop a culture from changing.It evolves and strengthens with time. Homosexuality is not against any culture. It is our short comings ,selfishness and hypocrisy because of which we dont look beyond our own needs and orientation. Science has proved that homosexuality is not a preference but an orientation. Homosexuality exists in animals too. Who decides what's natural and unnatural? When what we do has been named as natural by us , we do not have any right to call what others do different as unnatural. Homosexuality is as old as the existance of man. No one can suppress the truth. It can only be delayed by resistance and non-acceptance. We need to look around and help others to be their true selves. In India most homosexuals live a dual life. They marry and have kids and live a life of lie till they die. We have such people in our family and our neighborhood. We should look beyond ourselves and help others lead a life of truth. Be a human in the true sense of the word.