Section 377 Past, Present And Future
- We live in a society of cultures, religions, languages, of 135 crore people. These 135 crore people were brought into this world by two other opposite gendered humans. The one who is or was being brought into this world didn’t have a say to be a male or to be a female or to be a transgender. They didn’t have a say to like male or to like female or to like transgender or not to like anyone. Still, these people are degraded, punished, or sometimes get killed for the crime they didn’t do and now it isn’t a crime at all, at least in India.
What Is Section 377
- On The Historic day of September 6, 2018; the Supreme court of India decriminalized article 377. Article 377 was about criminalizing the activities of homosexualities and gay sex. It refers to any sexual contact between two same-gendered persons and the offender, in this case, the Gay couple gets life imprisonment, 10 years jail, and is also liable to pay a hefty amount of fine. This law was introduced during British rule in the 1860s. Some factors of this article applied to heterosexuals as well, Like oral and anal sex. Sex is still, in 2021, a topic that isn’t getting discussed socially and that’s the biggest reason most people are un-sex-educated. This is the big reason that made India come up with the decision so late. Other developed countries and developing countries honored Homosexuality and LGBTQ rights long before India did. Still, people aren’t accepting their reality and society is still hesitating to accept LGBTQ people and their rights. If we analyze the core of this situation we can see that this article was violating the democratic rights of the people. People in India have the right to freedom, freedom of choice, whom to love is also the choice of the specific person.
What Is LGBTQ
- In modern society, the rights of the LGBTQ community are being given to them, the sexist mentality is slowly and gradually fading away. But in India still, an enormous amount of people do not know what is LGBTQ. LGBTQ is the initials of the words Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. Lesbian means a female’s sexual attraction towards other females, basically homosexuality. Gay means a male’s attraction towards other males, same, homosexuality. Bisexual means a person’s sexual attraction towards both males and females. Bisexual is not gendered specific it a male or a female can be bisexual. Transgender on the other side is a different gender, A person who can’t be specified as a male or female. Then comes the Queer. root Meaning of Word ‘Queer’ is strange or unusual. Here queer acts like an umbrella, For the people who aren’t identified as heterosexual and male and female. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, all of them fall under one word queer. If you are familiar with all this you would be knowing that there is a + sign after LGBTQ. This + sign shows that many other sexual and gender identities are in minorities or aren’t discovered yet.
History Of 377
- We talked about LGBTQ and what does it mean but if we look at our history, before Britishers, India wasn’t orthodox about homosexuality and trans people. When Britishers invaded India economically, they brought some orthodox beliefs which we think were of ours. In 1862 British penal code criminalized homosexuality and anal and oral sex by introducing article 377. This act as we know was decriminalized in September 2018 by the supreme court of India.
In India we have seen transgender people on the streets or at the red light, begging in the name of Shivshakti, the form where god shiva and goddess shakti became one. This shows that how deep Britishers spoiled our cultural values that a sign of god is begging on the street for their livelihood because they are not accepted anywhere. no one gives them a job. There is nothing much that they can do without getting discriminated against because of being trans.
Before 2018 very few people knew what is homosexuality and what is lesbian and gay. At that time, it wasn’t this easy to talk about things like this. If you do you’ll be considered as a queer. There is a word in this community “Out of the closet” or “in the closet”. Out of the closet means if the person is out as gay and everyone knows that he is gay or she is lesbian in the closet is vice versa. Before 2018 there was hardly anyone out of the closet because society wouldn’t have accepted it. And there was a constant fear of government. There were punishments like life imprisonment or 10 years in jail. Also a hefty amount of fine along with the imprisonment. These all factors were there to make a homosexual’s life miserable.
Fight Against 377
- The fight to decriminalize the 377 was long. It was a decade or more long fight between the government and the community and its supporters. It all started in 2001 when Naz foundation files a petition against section 377 in Delhi high court. This went for 2 years and in 2003 Delhi high court dismissed the plea. Naz Foundation appealed the dismissal in the supreme court where sc instructed Delhi HC to reconsider the plea. In 2009 Delhi hc decriminalized homosexuality. After 2012 that various appeals were challenging Delhi hc’s order into the supreme court. Because of all these, SC overturns Delhi hc’s judgment. In 2015 Shashi Tharoor presented a bill stating to decriminalize homosexuality which was rejected because the majority of embers voted against it. In 2016 5 petitions were filed against section 377 for which in 2018 the hearing started and at last in September 2018 sc finally decriminalized article 377.
- Now that the article is decriminalized what are the changes that we saw in society. The biggest change that we saw and the police and government will not interfere if you are 18+ and have a homosexual relationship. Other than that there aren’t many changes we see. The youngsters are more aware of what is LGBTQ, what is homosexuality and they are mostly respecting it. If we talk about one generation above them then they are still not able to talk about this. They still feel it awkward and filthy. They still do not accept them in society, most of them. If we talk about semi-urban and rural areas this thing is still taboo. in youngsters also. If people know about any homosexual relationship around them, they still do not accept it completely. But this decriminalization makes a lot of LGBTQ people come out of the closet. Indian people’s mindset is not that open as of western countries about this particular thing but the future is good.
India, Bollywood And Homosexuality
- We have to agree that movies and cinema have a huge impact on shaping our society. The major film industry in India is Bollywood and the portrayal of homosexuality is shown in many of the Bollywood movies. The movie came after 2018 and has become a sensation for gay people. “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” is the only mainstream that shows homosexuality and reached an enormous public. People appreciated the movie. But hardly a few people learned anything from it. The story of the movie is simply a guy loves the other guy, another guy loves bak but his father is against homosexuality, and it’s all about convincing him for acceptance. Another one is “Made in Heaven”. a web series where a boy and a girl run an event management firm and their struggle throughout the series. The lead male of the series is gay. The story is set before 2018 so 377 is still criminalized. This male was caught having sex with another guy and he had to face many circumstances. He gets arrested by police. A case get filed against him. After getting bailed he raises the voice against 377 and then we get shown that 377 is decriminalized. This series can make people understand the struggles that a homosexual person faces. After that Movies like Kapoor and sons, My son is gay, Aligarh, and Dostana (In a comedic way).
- India is a developing country, as its people’s mind is also developing. We have a lot of issues and this is one of them. In 2018 we saw the demolition of the 156-year-old orthodox article which was against the right of freedom and also was spreading inequality. Just like that, we see a positive way ahead of that person of India will eventually accept LGBTQ and will normalize these things in the society. We see a bright and happy future for the LGBTQ community where they will not have to remain in the closet. By these types of small steps, we can make India develop.
Top 13 Interesting Facts About Section 377 And LQBTQ Community
Article 377 was not only about homosexuality but also was about sex with animals, oral and anal sex.
This article was derived from the buggery act of 1533 in the reign of king henry 8
It was created in 1862 by the British penal code
The British government removed this type of article from their country long before 2018
The first voice against this article was raised by Naz Foundation in 2001 and that is a big thing because it wasn’t easy in 2001. Naz foundation played a big role in achieving this.
A part of 377 is still criminalized and that is the sex with animal and that a + of the government and sc
References of LGBTQ are all over on Indian Hindu historic books, Vedas, and sculptures.
Father of the nation – Gandhiji was against Homosexuality.
India’s first film to show gay was named ‘Bomgay‘. It was 12 minutes short film released in 1996.
There was a dating app launched in 2016 for queer people. Two years before the decriminalization of 377
Transgender mention is there in Mahabharat as well. The feminine trans named “Shikkhandini” daughter of Drupad who was born to kill Bhishma.
First Mughal emperor in India – Babar was not a straight guy.
There is a gay magazine in Mumbai since 1990 and was founded by a queer man named Ashok Row Kavi.