LGBT Rights In India

Twisa DebBarma | 19-May-2017

The world today is fashionably upgrading itself in terms of globalisation and all other fancy attributes, but the persistent question here remains are we really “upgrading”? Is it actually happening? If yes then how, when and where?

It is a simple fact, either you are standing for your rights, or you are gone with the wind. We humans largely tend to inculcate the ideas and visionaries of what have been taught throughout our learning process because of which our brain acquires the habit of being less likely to be flexible with broader notions.

When you’re born, you’re human first irrespective of your gender. A person in this country has the wholesome right to choose their own gender. Regardless of much to foresee even with this independence of selection, there are critical judgments across. I think it’s vital now that we think of it as an important subject to be looked into.

LGBT Rights In India

India happens to be one of the countries that did not legalise LGBT Rights yet. Why?

With this buffer, we will continue with the topic of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) Rights in India. India, one of the richest countries in terms of culture and heritage in the world is where LGBT Rights are not legal. Yes! Nothing surprising, it exists. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal under section-377{which means having voluntary carnal intercourse against the law of nature with any man, woman or animal} of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that offers punishment of imprisonment either for an extended term of ten years or the lifetime. And thereby, will also be held accountable to pay fine.

Homosexuals, they are also widely known as gays and lesbians. It is almost a taboo context for discussion in Indian society as well as for the government. As the law stated above makes them illegal in our country. On 2 July 2009 in Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi stated that treating consensual homosexual sex between adults as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s Constitution meaning decriminalisation of homosexuals under the jurisdiction of Delhi High Court.

Naz Foundation (India) Trust is a non-governmental organisation. They filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court for the legislation of homosexual activities among the consent adults should be legal which brought the matter to the limelight. There have been many movements concerning their moral security and social rights. The first gay pride parade was held on 29th of July in some of the Indian cities like Delhi, Calcutta, and Bangalore. In February 2017, the Ministry of Health launched the health awareness program among this group of the neglected population.

Homosexuals! Really… What’s wrong with people? It is just another sexual orientation like male and female. They are discriminated everywhere. Public harassment or being shamed among the co-workers, humiliation has presumably become a part of their lives. For instance, there was this homosexual couple who got engaged and started living together after which they started receiving threats and violence. The rage of protest came up to such a level that police protection had to be given. It’s like saying humans cannot even live like humans anymore.

With the hope that this will change and no further discrimination will cast on them is the thing that the new generation of India is looking for.

For many generations, the transgender (popularly known as ‘Hijra’ in India) is seen in different kind of activities.

It has two sides to it, the primary one being the acceptance side in which they are considered lucky and called for bestowing their blessings to the newlyweds and newborns. And the secondary side allegedly claims that they’re forced or dragged into the dirty business of prostitution and human trafficking. What could be the reason behind it?

Reportedly, there is 450,000 transgender in India. Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, Act no.49 of 2014 was retrieved on 9 March 2016, announcing that it is in the formulation along with the implementation of a complete national policy which ensures the overall development of the transgender people. Also their welfare issues and other matters connected within to be undertaken by the State Government.

Socially, it is very hard for an Indian family to accept that their child is a transgender, to avoid the shameful daggers and hurting comments of the society, they tend to disown their own child because dignity and respect of that particular family could be damaged permanently. After being abandoned when they are out there seeking for jobs, they’re not permitted and also occasionally ill-treated which ultimately drags them down to poverty and so they end up in prostitution. They have always been a prime target of injustice and discrimination. Even though the bill enacted by the Parliament of India provides and secures them from all kinds of social attack but the stigma still prevails. However, we’ve also seen some local warriors amongst them who fight for their fundamental rights. There are lots of ongoing activities for their development. With regards to totally unprejudiced acceptance of them, India will be a better place to live in.

It breaks my heart to see such kind of outcast of segregation among the people living in the same ecosystem. What is so different that we portray them as unacceptable? Why this discrimination? Why such judgments? The section-377 was introduced in the year 1860 by the British rule in India. And we are still following that? I feel very sorry after having encountered such horrendous real life stories which depict that independence still could not free us. Voices are raised; actions are increasing against section-377. One day hopefully, all these initiatives will bring justice to all those souls who lost their lives during the fight and also those who were crushed and victimised to such an extent that they could fight no more. I support LGBT because unlike some proportion of the population in our country, I think they are human and not garbage.

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About the Author
Twisa DebBarma
The writer who breeds more words than she needs; is making a chore for the reader who reads.