Thursday, December 12, 2013

Understanding Law, Life and Love: 377

There has been a lot of talk of the now famous number '377' and the lashing taken out on Judges and the Supreme Court and even on India in general.

I am worried about this frenzy that (social) media creates in our lives today. Not many of us often know the real picture. So I had a talk with Arun Arnala about all this brouhaha. I read a major part of the judgement along with him and understood for myself what it is all about. Arun was gracious enough to explain the legalese.
From what I understand, Section 377 is a law that was made more than 100 years ago to protect victims of homosexual/sexual violence through abnormal acts.This is a good law in general. But the problem lies in the fact that it does not mention anywhere point blank that homosexual orientation itself is an offence. It is obvious because such things were unheard of, rather unspoken a 100 years ago. Why, no one wants to talk about it after all these years too!

So, we definitely need a change but it has be made in the Parliament, by way of an amendment. That is the way our constitution works. Scrapping 377 itself is dangerous and not correct, what with the crime rate on an upswing in recent times.

Well, what I wish the SC could have done is, it could have probably passed an interim order (?) saying consensual acts of homosexuality is not a crime by itself. Thus, clearing the misunderstanding about homosexuality in the minds of the average Indian. And the SC could have also given a time period to the Government of India to amend the Section. Well, I am really not sure of the powers of Judiciary vis a vis the Government of India.

Now it is for us to get the politicians to get moving and thinking about the country and not just the elections. Till then, can I request my Indian friends not to insult our country or its people in public forums please? Every country, just like every family has its own idiosyncrasies and ways of functioning. If our country has come this far, it can go further too. Keep the faith.

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