The one tenet that the Indian constitution has always sought to uphold is that of ‘Inclusiveness’. It mentions in no uncertain terms that all humans must be treated equally, irrespective of any of their distinguishing features.
The notorious Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, that many claim goes against inclusiveness by criminalizing a section of the society, is also actually a lesson in inclusiveness. The law is believed to criminalise homosexuality by rendering homosexual sex illegal. However, what the majority of Indians tend to overlook is that it actually criminalizes any sort of sexual intercourse other than peno-vaginal intercourse thus bringing all other sexual activities, be it oral sex, anal sex or any other kind within its ambit. Thus, the Section is a violation of the basic human right of being able to choose who and how to love, and affects people regardless of their sexuality. This makes it one of the most brutal and inhuman laws to have ever been upheld, and it must be struck down with urgent force.
28 year old Pritam Rajpurohit, Assistant Manager at a well-known couture fashion store in Mumbai says,
“People forget that Section 377 not only affects the homosexuals but also the majority of us, heterosexuals. According to the law, homosexuality is a crime against nature therefore anything non-conservative such as premarital sex can also be treated as a crime under the same law.”
The concern expressed by him is very valid, especially in a country like India that prides itself on being the largest democracy in the world. Most Indians tend to consider Section 377 a law that only affects homosexual people, who many of them don’t even consider people, thus eliminating the possibility of it concerning them. In their minds, the mere mention of Section 377 paints a vividly coloured picture of a community wearing garish clothes, being overly expressive and engaging in anal sex. However, they conveniently tend to overlook the fact that this very law has the power to brand them criminals for what they’re doing in the safety of their very own bedrooms.
Nobody, straight or gay, is safe from the primitive law when it comes to engaging in “unnatural sexual practices”. For this very reason, Section 377 must be strongly opposed by not one, but all sections of the society.
If not for the LGBTQ community, every heterosexual individual should protest against it for encroaching upon one of their most private and essential rights.
The reason we need the law needs to be spoken against is so we can live in a better, more accepting world and create such an environment for our children in the future. As rational, aware citizens, we must fight not only for our rights but also for those of every LGBTQ child yet to be born, so they don’t have to face the struggle so many of our friends silently face.
No law should have the right to punish an act that isn’t a crime in the first place.
To make our voices against Section 377 heard, we at Fifty Shades of Gay have started a social movement called I AM AN ALLY, which features stories of heterosexual Indians who are fighting for equal rights.
We have also addressed a petition to the Prime Minister of India, requesting him to strike the law down and create a safer, happier India for all Indians. We need your voice to help amplify ours. Sign the petition- click here.