The Indian Supreme Court Ruling on Section 377: Part Three

Loose use of terms such as “Colonial Era Law,” “Archaic Law” are in poor taste.

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Credit: The Echo of India

The loose use of terms such as “colonial era law” to run down a nation’s judicial processes is in poor taste and attempts to trivialize the processes of the world’s largest democracy. Why, wasn’t the Bill of Rights created back in 1789 and ratified in 1791? And, isn’t it way older than 1861 when Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was created?

So, by that logic, the Bill of Rights is more archaic than the Indian Penal Code. Name-calling is the prerogative of the ill-informed and motivated. There is absolutely no exercise of restraint or a bonafide attempt to empathize with the subject in question or those who it affects.

Interestingly, despite all the brouhaha raked by celebrities and socialites in India and beyond, not a single one has urged for a change through legislative means. In the failure to understand India’s constitutional functioning, most indulge in the easiest of follies… bashing the state and for any reason whatsoever.

If it isn’t the inept handling of a natural disaster like the Uttarakhand disaster, it’s the “regressive” stand adopted by the highest court of the land.  It only seems fashionable and in that narrow sense defeats the very purpose of the gay cause.

All political parties are aware that anyone takes an anti-Section 377 stand may risk losing the support of its “regressive” voter base and hence never ever risk such a move. So, it pays to stay quiet and provide the regulatory lip service as and when asked.

Also, who will risk taking on such an issue barely months before the battle of the millennium during the next general elections? The deafening silence of almost all political parties in the entire Section 377 imbroglio underlines the fact that while most of the closet gays have come out in the open vis-à-vis their leanings following global support and the Delhi High Court ruling of 2009, a sea of closet gay-haters continues to thrive. While they provide the loudest support in social media and all over, their stand remains suspect.

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Political parties had been waiting for the Supreme Court to bell the cat while they publicly flay the legal move and relinquish all responsibility for the act.

Part four in the five-part series will survey other nation’s attitudes toward marriage legislation.

Gajanan Khergamker is an independent editor and legal counsel with over three decades of experience. He heads DraftCraft – an India-based media-legal think tank. His areas of expertise include policy, inclusion, foreign affairs, law and diversity. His firm’s website is www.draftcraft.in and he can be reached at gajanan@draftcraft.inRead other articles by Gajanan.

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  • shankar pai

    we need a ‘ open mind’
    ability to see the subject from everybody’s angle ,
    how to restrict without ‘ restricting ‘
    and allow adults to their privacy
    and
    at the same time ‘ not to encourage / faster multiplication ‘ of this behaviour.
    A DEBATE / DISCUSSION / DIALOGUE FROM
    1) LEGAL ANGLE
    2) SOCIAL ANGLE
    3) CULTURAL ANGLE
    AND STUDY HOW THE COUNTRY / PEOPLE CAN COPE WITH THIS .. ?
    S.S.Pai and Co Advocates HighCourt