It was a big day for India on July 2nd 2009. India took a giant, although belated, step towards globalization when Delhi High Court, in land mark ruling said ‘Homosexuality not a crime’. This was a historic judgement to amend 149 old colonial era law Section 377 of IPC and decriminalize private consensual sex between adults of the same age. It is the biggest victory yet for gay rights and major milestone in the country’s social evolution. India became the 127th country to take the guilt out of homosexuality.

But let’s stop and have introspection of ourselves and of our victory. Is this right? What are we heading towards then? Perhaps a world whose not only homosexuality but also coitus between an individual and an animal i.e. between any two forms of nature is ethical. Isn’t this against the law of nature? Perhaps it is. My personal views suggest the same. I am ably supported by various leaders of religious communities, preachers, Sadhu’s and many others. Not orthodoxy but may be a long term vision is the basis of theirs for such a stand. Baba Ramdev, the spiritual and yoga guru also asserts that pollution, deforestation, etc are still harming the world then again this homosexuality is adding to the woes, especially in the spiritual and religion country like India. Is this what we are presenting to the new generation? This will surely create an illusion in their minds and lead them nowhere. This is not the way in which our civilisation should have headed.

This historic judgement was given by a bench comprising Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice S Muralidhar. The petition was filed in the year 2001 by NGO Naz foundation seeking a reading down of section 377. The matter was dismissed on the ground by Delhi High Court in Sep 04 that no cause had been made out. The former didn’t surrender and moved to the Supreme Court, the apex court in India against the HC order. The apex court in a dramatic action sent back the issue to the High court in April 06. After a long time, in July 2, 2009, the historic judgement came in which Delhi HC legalised gay sex among consenting adults. Points supporting this discussion are that almost unanimous medical and psychiatric opinions that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and is just another expression of human sexuality. Also, the LGBTs (lesbian, gays, bisexuals and transgender) can also enjoy equality and forget discrimination.

This verdict trigged protests from religious leader across the country, claiming that this world lead to ‘ruining’ of society and family values. On the other hand, as mentioned, workers and psychologists welcomed the order, describing it as “scientific and humane” .Political parties were divided in their approach. The CPM welcomed the judgement, while Samajwadi Party said it totally opposed it. Both Congress and BJP said they would have to study the order first.

Earlier, Sec 377 of IPC imposed a maximum penalty of life sentence on anybody who has ‘carnal intercourse‘against the order of nature, with any man, woman or animal. But since the 150 year old law in acted by British was overturned, it says that the act violates articles 21, 14 and 15 of the constitution. Article 21 deals with personal liberty, 14 with right to equality, and 15 is the right against discrimination (on ground of sex). The main benefit of the judgement to homosexuals is psychological as it reduces scope for their harassment. It may also over time reduce the social stigma. The verdict applies to the entire country according to the Supreme Court.

The final note according to me is that we, Indians, the torchbearers of civilization can’t afford to have this in our culture. We have to present a better and congenial world to our offsprings and this is certainly not an ingredient of it. Many people may term this thought or action plan as a reaction by an orthodox but that’s a different thing. Culture and civilization stand where they should be.

Thus, we should discourage ongoing process so that we get a better place to live in. Emotions and liberty can’t be extended to such a range by which others may suffer.

Bhartrihari Pandiya-