India, a democratic country, attained freedom from the British Raj in the year 1947. However, what it could not gain freedom from was the British mentality (yes, Section 377 is a leftover legacy of the British). According to this country’s constitution, its citizens enjoy six fundamental rights. The first one of them is the right to equality, but India has no equality as far as choosing to lead a life of your choice is concerned. The next one being the right to freedom, there is hardly any freedom. Yes, you don’t have the freedom to be what you are and be with someone you like or love. People continue to categorize human beings on the basis of straight, homosexual, transgender and what not. It is a shame to say that we are free, free of all the inequality and injustice.
But, why has India not been able to free herself from the clutches of such bias? Well, nobody wants to or has been able to answer this question. Why can’t all human beings be treated as equals? Why does he or she need to be classified as straight or homosexual? And, the biggest shock is when you see an educated person practise such discriminatory behaviour. When you being a straight person have the freedom to love someone and get married to him or her, then why not Gay and Lesbian people? Why can’t they have the freedom to live with their partners? Make a life with a person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with? There are so many questions like these that might be haunting a lot of people every day. But, the only problem is that we don’t know who will or should answer them.
Actually, since India is a democratic country and we have the right to equality and freedom, then we don’t need any judgemental and/or prejudiced answers. One important thing that we must understand is sexuality is not a choice. It is something that that we were born with. Some were born straight, some gay, some lesbian and some transgender. The common thing is that we all are human beings and we should respect everyone for whomever we are. When a gay or lesbian person looks just like a straight person, eats the same food and breathes the same air, how can he or she be a curse to the society? It is high time that we Indians understand as well as accept that every human being, irrespective of straight, gay and lesbian deserves to enjoy all the rights meant for them. Being a homosexual does not make us less human.
On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled homosexuality to be a criminal offence setting aside the 2009 judgment given by the Delhi High Court. Section 377 of the IPC was read down to allow for same-sex relations. The court of law itself seems to be confused about the entire homosexuality issue. One makes it legal and the other calls it a criminal offence. Is anyone doing anything about that?
One more Indian stereotype about gay and lesbian people is that homosexuality is all about sex. No, it is not just about having sex with a person who belongs to the same gender. It is about feelings, emotions and the need to be loved and cared for. A gay or lesbian couple experiences the same feelings that you and I experience for our partners. Then, why can’t they have the freedom to live with their partners?
Why, even after 67 years of attaining freedom, are homosexuals in India not really “free”?