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  SECTION 377: The Right To Love

SECTION 377: The Right To Love

 In Blog

Pre-independent India was introduced to several laws during the British rule; one amongst them being Section 377 which came into force under the Indian Penal Code in the year 1861. This law criminalized sexual activities which were ‘against the order of nature’, and stated that, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the law of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life , or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and may also be liable to a fine”. To make matters worse, most religions consider homosexuality to be a sin and Section 377 somehow gave people the right to condemn the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Other (LGBTQ+) community. Various doctors started referring to homosexuality as a mental illness that needed medication and counselling as well. People were being forced to hide this part of themselves as society didn’t seem to accept them in the way they truly were. The right to love freely was officially being taken away from the LGBTQ+ community and nobody seemed concerned.

As wise men say, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the people from the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones didn’t seem to lose hope yet. After a series of unending struggles which included various protest rallies and awareness campaigns, the Supreme Court of India partially struck down Section 377 on the 6th of September 2018 stating that consensual sex between adults of the same gender is no longer a crime and that victimizing homosexuals was unconstitutional, and henceforth, a criminal act.

In my opinion, it is important to remember that the people from this community are also humans and that humanity comes before any religion, caste, creed or race. The Constitution avails equal rights for all and Section 377 questions an individual’s basic right to choose. Section 377 still doesn’t permit same sex marriages even though it may have permitted the right to choose your partner, which creates a whole new problem altogether. Nevertheless, we still need to be sensitive towards our LGBTQ+ brethren and try to keep an open mind at all times. Afterall our secular culture teaches us to be tolerant towards each other.

Religious fanatics argue that we are starting to inculcate the western culture, but looking back at the history of our culture, I personally think that love was never forbidden in any form. I would rather prefer saying that India is still being decolonized in various ways even after so many years of our Independence and calling this progress westernization wouldn’t be appropriate. The 6th of September was truly a day of great joy for me and has made its way into history as its impact will create more attainable milestones for this community. Lastly, I would like to say that we still have a long way to go but striking down parts of Section 377 is one step in the right direction.

Elvina Dourado

About Elvina Dourado

Elvina Dourado is currently a first-year Bachelor of Vocational Education (Graphics and Multimedia) student. An artist who loves to exhibit her creative flair, she loves writing short poems on various topics she’s passionate about. When she’s not too busy drawing, Elvina is always looking for a challenge and to experience new things.

SHOWING 3 COMMENTS
  • B Rajesh
    B Rajesh

    Very well articulated covering all aspects . The so near and yet so far as regards finality on the whole issue.

  • Flavia
    Flavia

    Well done girl... Striking down parts of section 377 adds to respect for relationships based on consent, it is important to foster a society where individuals find the ability for unhindered expression of the love that they experience towards their partner. Social morality cannot violate the rights of even one single individual. Good article..... lots more to be covered.

  • SteveMaino
    SteveMaino

    Hello. And Bye.

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