Tuesday November 13, 2018
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Section 377 : Does It Really Has Anything To Do With Indian Culture?

The modern Indian approach towards homosexuality is hardly the one derived from Indian culture

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Gay pride Flag
Rainbow Flag represents LGBT community, VOA
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By Ruchika Verma

  • Section 377 of IPC is one of the most controversial matters in India
  • The law criminalises the unnatural acts of sexual activities
  • Homosexuality is illegal under the IPC Section 377

Section 377, which criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature,” which includes homosexual relationships as well, has been a matter of debate for a long time now. In a rather progressive nation like India, this section represents nothing but backwardness.

Section 377 is one of the reasons why LGBTQ community gets harassed.
Section 377 is one of the reasons why LGBTQ community gets harassed.

The modern Indian approach towards homosexuality is hardly the one derived from Indian culture, rather it is a product of British colonialization, which brought the section into being during their rule over India.

LGBTQ rights are used as nothing but a propaganda by political parties to gain votes. The media coverage is also about nothing else, but either community members getting harassed or a politician spewing out absurdities about the LGBTQ community. The reasons which the rigid nationalists of our country give in support of Section 377 are even more absurd. they try to create a connection where there is neither scope nor need.

Also Read: Section 377 criminalising ‘unnatural sex’ may be scrapped, says Sadananda Gowda

Indian Culture and Section 377 – Is there really a connection? 

The truth is, there isn’t. Those who go against homosexuality in the name of Indian culture are surely not properly aware of our ancient texts. Indian culture, especially Hinduism has always been more fluid in its ideology than the British who ruled India for more than a century.

Indian culture has always recognised sexuality properly. Our scriptures are a great example of that. Be it the famous Kamasutra or the Vedas, sexuality was never a taboo until Mughals and Britishers came into the picture.

Indian culture nowhere says that homosexuality is wrong or unethical.
Indian culture nowhere says that homosexuality is wrong or unethical.

Nowhere in Indian culture, there is a scripture which validates the ill-treatment of LGBTQ community. What we don’t release is the fact that the weight of colonialism still hangs heavily over our heads, suspended in mid-air, dividing people who believe in totally two different ideologies.

Our ancestors recognised the need for changes in their law, sadly, our modern generation can not. Section 377 of the Indian penal code dates back to 1861, and it is now high time that a change is implemented.

LGBT community needs to be accepted just as much as any other community. Pixabay
LGBT community needs to be accepted just as much as any other community. Pixabay

It is no hidden fact that Indian culture was far more modern in its approach than the Roman or British one. However, that’s the case of the past. With time progressing, India has only regressed in the matters relating to sexuality and women.

Be it society’s way of controlling a certain section of society, or politicians who never step back from banking upon such matters, India needs to recognise that the Section 377 is totally wrong in its approach of homosexual people.

Section 377 and the problems with it

Also Read: How did Rainbow Flag attain the Prestige of representing the LGBT Community? 

Section 377 goes against the ‘unnatural’ sexual activities, which involves unnatural sexual acts performed on humans and animals. the key term in the section is “against the order of nature.”

Homosexuality, unfortunately, is against the nature in India. It is not treated as an identity or the orientation of a person, rather many radicals claim it to be an ‘illness.’ What’s more interesting, is the fact that there is no norm which defines these ‘unnatural acts.’

The IPC Section 377 is the reason why homosexuality in India is a taboo today. Despite, several protests and peaceful rallies, India’s pride just keeps on going down. Homosexuals live in a constant fear which is a violation of humanity in itself.

pride flag
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. Wikimedia Commons

The law needs to be constantly modified in order to be effective. With the change in time, a modification is law is also needed. However, Indian Supreme Court seems to be ignoring the fact. It is going along with the old beliefs which are better cast away.

The IPC Section 377 needs not to get removed, however, an amendment is definitely needed. Homosexuality is not a crime, it is just human nature which needs to accept. To be or not be is not a choice, it is an orientation. And orientation doesn’t see legal or illegal.

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Decriminalization of LGBTQ Should Not be Misinterpreted

The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex.

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LGBTQ
Decriminalization of LGBTQ should not be misinterpreted

By Salil Gewali

For scientists their each new day is filled with wonder. It’s no amazement that their pace of understanding a species is way behind with the new creatures they just encounter the next day. Some creatures have eyes on the tail while some breath through their skin. Some never die even if you cut them into half, rather they become two and four! Their behaviors, their survival adventures and their innate instincts are amazingly diversified.

Hence one is too surprised why it took us until 21st century to decriminalize LGBTQ. How do we have authority and competency to see flaw in God creation? Frankly speaking, we have not “fully” understood even one petal of a flower and how and why it comes into being with such beauty, fragrance, shape and size. Therefore, it’s always good on our part to just practice to say “wow” in amazement. That we can start right from each morning when we open our eyes. Because we individuals have not even been able to understand our “own body” and its incredible structures and its endless functions that help keep us hale and hearty.

LGBTQ
One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

Therefore, it’s total foolishness to expect others to fit in with our lines of thought and behavioral orientation. Due to the dogmatic rigidity to accept LGBTQ, the creation of God, we have clearly committed a great sin. We have hurt them all through. Not just that, we have belittled their existence on this planet. Ethically, there will not be a greater offence than this. This way we have only challenged the creation of God. One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

 Yes, what happens within the confinement of four-wall is none of anyone’s business. Sex is always private affairs which is, in fact, the culmination of love with mutual submission.  Of course, one has to be careful differentiating between good and bad. True, love has made this world beautiful, nay, livable. Of course, what could be worse is if those private activities are brought to the open for our selfish ends. Then we cannot rule out potential crises so far as healthy co-existence in the society is concerned. Well, if the current media is to be believed then, with LGBTQ decriminalization, it seems, the court has also given “licenses” to entertainment houses to trade on it! This will only contaminate the society. 

pride flag, LGBTQ
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. wikimedia commons

But I’m afraid within the current trend controlled by certain non-spiritual forces, the sensitive thing like sex is reeking to high heaven. In a span of a couple of years we are likely to see movies/features on LGBT flooding the society which are portrayed in such as ways that encourage one to indulge in “unhealthy” acts and thoughts. Is not taking out the burning wood from the “fireplace” and get it around a dangerous practice? That fiery wood in hand can cause other to burn when the embers get fallen down. The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex. The heat of the fire can burn an object but the heat of sex can burn the very fabric of the society. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.