An introduction not for nothing, the great German thinker, Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe once said, I am what I am, so take me as I am. Quoting the above lines,
this article is about that community of our country that fought for years and
ultimately after a long, hard and tiring struggle got what they deserve from the
law of the nation. They are the homosexuals or the LGBT community. This article
is all about homosexuality, problems faced by homosexuals by our society,
rejections that they get everyday from their family for being what they are.
The most important aspect of this article is to acknowledge of you the hard and
tiring journey of the human rights activists to decriminalize same sex
relationships in our country which comes under SECTION 377 of IPC (The mot
notorious among them all) which was curbed down recently by the Supreme Court in
Meaning of Homosexuals and Problems Faced by Them
Homosexuality refers to sexual behaviour between members of the same sex or
gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is An enduring pattern of
emotional, romantic and love sexual attractions to people of the same sex. The
most common term for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for
males. Commonly both homosexual males and females are refer to as gay. With
bisexuals and heterosexuals, homosexuals are also one of the main categories in
our society but then too they are penalized from time to time for what the
nature had made them.
Discrimination to homosexuals by the society is prevailing since ages.
different times and in different cultures, homosexuals behaviour has been vigourously approved of, tolerated, punished and banned. Homosexuality was
treated as heinous offence in Manusmriti and punishment for such acts was there.
In Islamic period the Muslim Shariat law treats homosexual conduct as a serious
offence. Therefore in different religion different punishments were provided to
homosexuals of India.
They are the one who have remained victims of violence in different forms
supported by the state and the society. In different part in different ways the
homosexuals are harassed and tortured, secret honour killing are also planned so
that the only way for a young gay man to survive is to run away in the cover of
the night to some city, with no money or social support. In other parts lesbian
women are subjected to family sanctioned corrective rapes which are often done
by their own family members.
Such harassments and punishments make them alone and aloof in the society. Lack
of communication and misunderstanding between parents and there homosexual
children increases family conflict which ultimately leads to family disruption.
Not only this, loneliness makes them a drug addict too. Addiction to alcohol and
drugs are more common in them than in ordinary people according to the survey
made in 2017.
The human right activists fought over many years and finally ended up with a win
in curbing down the laws which stood against homosexuals, in the year 2018.
Putting forward the glimpse of such journey.
The Taste of First Victory
Movement to repeal Section 377 was initiated by AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA)
in 1991. Their historic publication, Â Less Than Gay: A Citizens' Report on
the Status of Homosexuality spelt out the problems with Section 377 and asked
for itâ€™s repeal.
The case again was revived in the next decade, led by the Naz Foundation (India)
Trust, an activist group which filled a Public Interest Litigation in Delhi High
Court in 2001, seeking legislation of homosexual intercourse between consenting
adults. However in 2003, Delhi High Court refused to consider a petition
regarding the legality of the law, saying that the petitoners had no locus
standi in this matter.
The Naz Foundation did not stop here and went to Supreme Court and appealed against the decision of the
High Court to dismiss the petition on technical grounds. The Supreme Court decided that the Naz
Foundation can file a PIL in this Case and further sent the case back to the Delhi High Court to reconcile it
on merit. As soon as the petition got its acceptance, there were many who came out and supported the
LGBT community fearlessly.
To start a movement you have to move out first and then expect others to come
with you said by Rabindranath Tagore, came out to be very true in this situation. Sunil Mehra a
journalist who was in a relationship with Navtej Singh Johar, a dancer (who filled the petition against
Section 377 in 2016) Ritu Dalmia and Aman Nath a writer, are names of those who demonstrated keen
In 2008, in the month of May, the case came up for hearing In the Delhi high Court and on 7th November,
2008 the seven years old petition finished its hearings. Where Ministry of Health of India was in support
with the petition, the Home Ministry oppose the move. Finally, the judgment was delivered on 2nd July,
2009 where Delhi High Court overturned the 150 years old section, thus legalizing consensual homosexual
activities between the adults.
This was the first time when people fighting fir LGBT group tasted their victory, but the happiness didnâ€™t
lasted for long. In 2013, the Supreme Court quashing the High Court order, held that the order was legally
Criticism and Support
People mostly criticize on what they canâ€™t understand, are the lines said by
by Charles Dickens was clearly evident after the judgment by Supreme Court. Not
only the normal public but also peoples possessing high status in the society
went for supporting the Section 377 and criticizing the LGBT group. From Baba
Ramdev to Rajnath Singh, and from P.P Malhotra (Solicitor General) to leaders of
Samajwadi Party, they all were those who who clearly were in support of the
Section and against of Homosexuality. Decriminalising the section may create
a breach of peace in the society, was the statement said by P.P Malhotra.
The person who have millions of followers in the world, Baba Ramdev called
homosexuality a bad addiction which is getting common in the youths.
Homosexuality went also against the Hindutva and Indian Culture, according to
the vice president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Love and affection to someone is a
natural phenomenon that exists in the minds and brains of the people, have now
become a part of distinct religions prevailing in the society. Till now we use
to tie people from any specific religion, and now society is ready now to tie
the minds too.
There were some who were there to support the LGBT community as well ,Vikram
Seth one the greatest novelist and a poet of India freely supported the
community and said In one of the article published by India Today that, To
not be able to love the one you love is have your life wrenched away.
The law also
came in for criticism from several ministers, the most prominent one Anubami
Ramadoss (Politician from Tamil Nadu) and Arun Jaitley (Finance and Corporate
Minister). According to them, Supreme Court should not have altered the Delhi
High Court order which decriminalised consensual sex between the same gender.
Indian National Congress also supported homosexuality and opposed Section 377, Shashi Tharoor one of its old member also introduced a Bill for the repeal of
Section 377 but it was rejected in the House by 71-24 majority in a very early
Though most of them were against them, then to the struggle and the fight didnâ€™t
stop, and soon they were going to get the price for their struggle.
The Price Won: Section 377 declared unconstitutional
In the year 2016, five people filled a new writ petition in the Supreme Court
challenging the constitutionality of the Section. The petition was filled by
Navtej Singh Johar the dancer, Sunil Mehra a journalist, Ritu Dalmia a chef,
Keshav Suri and Ayesha Kapur together. So far this case was the first instance
wherein any petitioner prayed infront of the Court that the Section is against
the constitution of India as it violates right to sexual privacy, dignity, right
against discrimination and freedom of expression. Supreme Court decided to
review the petition and the criminalization of the homosexual activity.
In the middle of all this, in 2017 there came a judgment of the Supreme Court
where the court unanimously ruled that the right to individual privacy is a
fundamental right in the Constitution of India. The judgment also mentioned that
ripght to privacy and right to sexual orientation lies at the core of the
fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 14,15 and 21 of the Constitution. This
judgment gave hopes to the LGBT activists that the Court would soon strike down
the Section as according to them the Section was violative of the articled
mentioned by the Court in the said judgment.
It was in 2018, when the hearing of the petition started to challenge the
constitutional validity of the Section 377 with five judge constitutional bench
comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R.F. Nariman, Justice D.Y.
Chandrachud , Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar.
urged to the court that the Section 377 is unconstitutional and should be curbed
down as it is violative of Article 14 (Equality before Law), Article 15
(Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion , race ,cast, sex or place
of birth ), Article 21 ( Right to Life ) of the Indian Constitution. The hearing
went for four days after which the Court reserved its verdict.
8th September, 2018 was the day when finally the judgment came and also when the
Supreme Court reversed itâ€™s 2013 judgment of restoring Section 377. The Court
stated that using this Section of Indian Penal Code to criminalise homosexuality
is now unconstitutional and henceforth a criminal act. The Court also
unanimously declared that the portions of the law relating to consensual sex
between the adults is unconstitutional. However, the other remaining portions of
the Section 377 relation to sex with minors, non-consensual sex between adults
and bestiality still remains in force.
Criminalising carnal intercourse is irrational, arbitrary and manifestly
unconstitutional, was said by CJI Dipak Misra with the judgment. Justice
Indu Malhotra said:
History owes an apology to these people and their families. Homosexuality is
the part of human sexuality. They have the right of dignity and free of
discrimination. Consensual sexual acts of adults are allowed for [the] LGBT
Not so soon but also not so late, after 157 years homosexuals got what they
deserve, a valid legality to their relationship in our country. Decriminalising
consensual sex between the adults of the same gender made India to join 125
nations where homosexuality is legal. This was the prize that LGBT activists got
for their struggle for seventeen years.
They fought and finally they won. Is this the end to it? The answer is
completely no. The judgment alone does not change peopleâ€™s lives. After the
Supreme Court judgment virtually all political parties appeared to agree. There
were no large demonstrations by people against it. This seemingly ready
acceptance clearly reflected that it is just the fear of homosexuality that
people are having, because they are unaware of the real facts.
People like Baba Ramdev, needs to understand that homosexuality is not an
addiction or a mental state of a person but something innate and natural to a
human being. But we also have to agree to a fact, that change in the society is
a slow process and it requires constant effort on the part of those who wish the
see the change. The Supreme Court judgment already laid the foundation to it.
All we need to do is raising awareness and cultivating empathy because ignorance
is only the main reason for homophobia in people.
So just we need to put efforts for the right thing, and hope for a better, safe
society with equal status given to all.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Yash Seth
Authentication No: MA34179986291-28-0521