By M.C. Linthoingambee
How many of us are in agreement or in disagreement of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights linked to the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code? Is this an issue worth fighting for? Or should we be more concerned of Anna Hazare entering into an indefinite hunger strike so that the Jan Lokpal Bill shall be passed in the Parliament? With more and more newspaper printing their first pages in the capital with these two issues, debates often come into picture.
With a 60 year legacy of democracy in the nation and the reference to one of the longest written Constitution in the world, we are still in parody of dunking the real issues at hand. So, what exactly is to be taken into consideration is a decision the executing machinery of the country should make in consultation with its Council of Ministers. This time the Judiciary had its fair choice of negating the basic fundamentals of Right to Life and Personal Liberty, Article 21 in the Naz Foundation’s case thereby bringing the LGBT community at the mercy of Section 377 once again calling it Constitutional, this section criminalizes consensual sex between two partners of the same sex in private calling it as fairly being against the ‘order of nature’ with the prescription of charging them with a maximum punishment amounting to life imprisonment. This judgment made way in the Supreme Court on December 12, 2013 thereby going against the decision of the Delhi High Court on July 2, 2009. With more and more people including celebrities, politicians, etc expressing concern over the matter, it is being constantly debated in the limelight. The hope is on the Legislature to look into the conclusion of deletion, amendment or continuance of the terms of words engraved in the Indian Penal Code under Section 377. The world now has 83 countries with laws against homosexuality with India entering into the new additions. Perhaps, history was once discreet of this concern when they decided to depict happenings of such nature in the form of art. We see shadows of these inflicted actions clearly even in the past with the sculptures in the temples of Khajuraho. The ancient epics also depicts of the consummation of Mohini, an incarnation form of Lord Vishnu and Shiva himself in the scriptures. Will these events of the past be a study to change the future?
Marking that there will indeed be a remedy to the judgment, Congress leaders of the Gandhi clan are strongly opposed to the verdict. The Government sources in itself speaks of an Ordinance in the picture to reverse the verdict which would be achieved only after the Parliament’s winter session gets over. While judicial review is in order to contempt against it, a political act often meets coincidences with the elections round the corner. Even the Finance Minister P Chidambaram has expressed concern to correct the right from wrong. There are also various issues raised regarding the basic structure of the Constitution thereby questioning whether if there is indeed a presence of fundamental rights in the manner.
The inhuman harassment of several actions of the past has not served as lessons but they are in furtherance of the aggression thereby giving more powers to those who want to exploit this marginalized community. Does the impact of the verdict perhaps determine the loopholes in the effective exercise of the Nation’s Judiciary or is it an act to befit the role of a restricting parent perhaps overlooking the situation as being against the very order of a natural act?
(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)