India after Section 377 : The Burgeoning Question of the Judgement’s Legitimacy

It was around 9 pm in the evening on 6th September, and *Abhishek was in a party in his college, which was organised to celebrate the section 377 judgement. He had just put up a whatsapp status with a caption ‘Celebrating Pride’, in which he had captured the party scenes. After about half an hour, he gets a call from his mother. The first question she asks is, “Are you gay too?”. She seemed really tense, and couldn’t maintain a calm tone while talking. He repeatedly assures her that No, he’s not a gay. He’s just there to celebrate the beginning of progressive times. But his mother wasn’t convinced. Only after repeated reassurances, she calmed down. But still she couldn’t understand that how homosexuality was natural, and why is it not a disease. Abhishek had answered these questions for her, but still she was too uncomfortable to understand those well argued answers. 

This uncomfortable unacceptance of Homosexual rights is not uncommon in India. When the top educated and progressive tier of the country was in euphoria after the judgement, the rest of India was in awkward repugnance to it. They still can’t undertand the reason why supreme court is caring about these ‘filthy’ and ‘unnatural’ deeds, and giving them constitutional legitmacy. Social Media was flooded with memes like “Boys had to compete with other boys to get a girl before, but now they’ll have to compete with boys too”. By their basic nature itself, these memes are offensive to any sane minded person. But the amount of laugh reacts on such posts reflected that they weren’t offensive to a large section of people. This homophobic replies to the judgement wasn’t only limited to memes. When comedy pages like AIB (All India Bakchod) had changed their profile pictures to celebrate the judgement, the comments on that post talked about how the founders of AIB can easily have sex among them without judgement (all the four founders are biologically males). People who stood up against these ridiculous comments were labelled as ‘Gay’. These stories are not limited to the social media itself. Homosexuality became the topic of discussion on chai shops. Everyone there ridiculed and was disgusted with the judgement. The conclusion which was mutually decided was that ‘Desh ki sanskriti ab aur bhrast hogi’ (The Culture of the country will be corrupted). People started worrying about the continuity of their clans, as they thought that their sons and daughters will now be homosexuals as a part of this new culture. 

The spread of this feeling is too huge in this country. This tussle between progressive judgements and orthodox society creates a paradox in which we all are living today. The judgement, as already mentioned zillion times before, is the first step to make people aware about homosexuality and other gender related issues. The battle is way too long. The euphoria after the judgement was engulfed by the paradox of living in an orthodox society. The legitimacy of the 377 judgement is in jeopardy due to the existence of this looming irony of Indian life. It is only at the base level where we can start the awareness and sensitisation with. With legal and constitutional support, this awareness has some more substantive support. But to actually execute the 377 judgement in the country, a long and wearing battle has to be fought by each one of us, who understand the necessity to stand with the LGBTQ+.

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