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Nelson Mandela once said “To deny people their HUMAN RIGHTS is to challenge their very HUMANITY”. Good morning, Ladies and gentlemen. Today I am here to talk about the campaign of decriminalizing homosexuality in India.
Homosexuality is not a choice neither a disease nor a crime. It is simply a romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender which is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences not willingly. Hence why should it be a criminal offence? Why are we punished for something caused genetically not intentionally?
We don’t choose to be straight or gay and being homosexual does not change ones human nature. It does not make a person thief or a rapist or a convicted criminal. So why do we discriminate them from their basic human rights, call them foul names, ask our children to stay away from them and treat them like patients with an infectious disease? It is always us the society which starts with this discrimination In Indian culture, Homosexual act is vividly displayed in the carvings of Khajuraho temples and the Kamasutra. So why do we consider it a criminal offence if it is found within our very own culture? During the British Raj, Section 377 (popularly known as “act of buggery”) was entered forcefully into Indian constitution in 1861. Section 377 of the Indian penal code bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” which is punishable by life imprisonment.
According to the Independent news forum, the ruling party – Bharatiya Janata, is seen hostile to LGBT rights and runs on a platform of Hindu nationalism which stresses the importance of traditional Indian masculinity. How does being gay show non-masculinity? If it does, then, does raping a girl, killing a girl child, showing power over weak show masculinity? Masculinity is a set of behaviors and roles set by the society for the males and boys. It is not a genetic trait so how could anyone judge anyone on being masculine or not. Moreover, as per Times forum LGBT activists say the Hindu nationalist party, which is expected to give a strong performance in the polls, has failed to take a clear position on LGBT rights, while some of its members have made statements openly denouncing homosexuality. The Supreme Court of India has rejected the claim of making LGBT legal so many times from 2003. The ministry of home affairs called being homosexual is immoral. Why? The Supreme Court safeguards fundamental rights of citizens and settles disputes. They are not supposed to judge by the blinded faith of the societal norms because they are just stereotypes not true.
According to the Independent news forum, the gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who was ostracized by his father, the Maharaja of Rajpipla (Gujarat, Western India) after coming out publically in 2006, opened up his 15-acre palace grounds to vulnerable LGBT people. The big taboo in Indian society is that, sexual intercourse between two people of the same gender is punishable by law in the country. How does having sexual intercourse with people of the same gender make it a punishable offense? The homosexuality being illegal and unsupportable in India affects the psychology of the LGBT people lowering their self-confidence and self-esteem as they are scared to share their feelings to be judged negatively by others. We have no right to jugde. From the time we are born, all our choices are made following certain societal norms. By those pre-societal norms we are only supposed to be attracted to the opposite gender. Why? Is it too much to ask for our own freedom to choose?
We are calling ourselves modern and sophisticated but sadly, it is not reflected in our actions. Still now those old stereotypical beliefs are believed quietly. The most important aspect of life the thoughts of acceptance didn’t change, through the time only our clothing, technology and prospect living has changed. In most of the countries like America, UK, Australia homosexuality has been made legal and they are not being criticized or discriminated at their every aspect of life. This is why they are more developed than us. Even the Britishers, who bought this rule in our country made it legal in their country. At that time they forefully made the law which was non-existent for us. So why are we still holding onto that law and making many individuals life miserable in the process. So many activists are fighting for the termination of this clause from the constitution but only recent progress was made. On 2 February 2016, the Supreme Court decided to review the criminalization of homosexual activity. In August 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the right to individual privacy is an intrinsic and fundamental right under the Indian Constitution, giving hopes to LGBT activists that the Court would soon strike down Section 377. The Court had also mentioned that “a person’s sexual orientation is a privacy issue”.
The termination of this law can be the considered as the first step towards breaking the taboo surrounding homosexuals in India, but stereotypical beliefs followed by the generation before us in India, would be hard to break. And the fact that India is a very conservative country it will be hard but, definitely not impossible. If one alone like the Prince can come by to fight for the LGBT then why cannot we? We, the youth of this generation have the power and knowledge to understand things in our own way. I strongly believe that every person should have their freedom to love anyone without being criticized by the society. Everyone has a personal right and deserves happiness. Hence just because one is a homosexual, no one can steal their rights from them. It’s their fight for their right so the least we can do is support them and stand by them through the whole journey.
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