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Gay Judgment in India:How Acceptable is it? Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : Shail Raghuvanshi Posted on : July-14-2009 Total Hits: 1962
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The Delhi High Court Judgment passed on the 2nd of July 2009 is a breakthrough ruling legalizing gay sex among willing adults. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that had criminalized sex among lesbians and gays was considered a violation of the fundamental rights of Indians. This is great news for same sex couples. While there has been a lot of celebration regarding this judgment, it is understood that the law is legalizing an act which is slightly deviant from the common widely accepted male-female sex acts practiced for ages.


For India to come to terms with such a ruling may take some time considering the fact that we are a traditional and slightly conservative society. Anything new and different from what is already being practiced is looked at with scorn as is being done for same sex acts. Even today, men and women with same sex inclinations are not encouraged and are discriminated against. This is because people find it difficult to accept something that has been considered taboo for ages. Suddenly legalizing this occurrence and hoping for the common masses to accept the ruling whole heartedly is expecting the almost impossible to take place.


India is a mixture of different kinds of faiths, customs, beliefs and lifestyles which makes it stronger as it is able to gel with diverse cultures, habits and inclinations. But when it comes to the common sexual life, Indian society becomes disinclined to discuss it or bring it out in the open. This is because the private sexual lives of people have always remained too personal to become a debatable topic. Some of us might even carry our faiths on our sleeves but our sexual inclinations are discouraged from even being discussed. Of course, the modern generation is greatly influenced by all things Western, so such an open and blatant dialogue was expected. Secondly, the Western culture is more open and broadminded than India as far as lifestyles are concerned. There have been many people in Western history especially in the arts field who have been gay so, the public there has no qualms accepting it. India too has a homosexual history seen in the Khajuraho sculptures for example. Homosexuality was also rampant in the times of kings and queens but somehow, over time, India started to adopt a more conservatively heterosexual existence leaving gay preferences to fend for themselves hidden in closets, away from public gaze.


How acceptable is a gay lifestyle to the ordinary Indian public? Are we ready to have gay couples marry and express physical demonstrations of love and affection? Are we prepared to see gay couples raising children? There are lots of doubts and fears lurking in the minds of heterosexuals about the homosexual kind of lifestyle. Could children raised by same sex couples be influenced into become gay themselves? But then, there are arguments that state that people who make ‘gay’ choices have the right to do so as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. After all, India is an independent country and anything which is not harmful can be practiced even if it is not the normally accepted procedure.


While there are people who argue that same sex tendencies are mere situational choices, gays and lesbians state otherwise. For them, it is a choice that comes from within and something that they feel comfortable with. Scientists feel that sexual preferences could be genetic with the individuals practicing homosexual or heterosexual sex due to the genes with the person having no say in it at all. Whatever be the case the ruling has caused a lot of uproar in the country with each individual be it the ordinary public, the politician, religious leaders and other people expressing their approval or disapproval about the judgment.


Whether the gay ruling is reflective of a progressive India or a move away from the culture of India is a debatable topic. Till then, people will continue having a conflict in their minds as to whether they should accept such a sexual practice or not. For the gay couples it is a moment of celebration, a step towards recognition and less discrimination. Acceptance? Now, that is debatable.



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