The LGBT community of India, received mammoth support as Harmless Hugs came up, with Delhi’s first ever LGBT flash mob. Isn’t it high time India does away with Sec. 377?
Not too often we find placards saying, “I am gay, will you hug me,” or one reading, “I am queer, will you hug me?,” with a group of young people grooving to Bollywood numbers. This 29th July, Delhi saw its first LGBT Flash mob.
Very recently we all celebrated America declaring gay and lesbian marriages legal. Closer home, the truth is darker and bitter after the Supreme Court of India on 11th December 2013, ruled homosexuality to be a criminal offence setting aside the 2009 judgment given by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court said in its judgment that “We hold that Section 377 IPC does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and the declaration made by the Division Bench of the High court is legally unsustainable.”
Read the whole judgment here.
People from the LGBT group were thrown into a corner unrecognized and worse, criminalized.
People from the LGBT group were thrown into a corner unrecognized and worse, criminalized. There are many stories that talks about the bitter side of being a part of the LGBT community in India. Here is a story of blood and hurt posted by Ajay Gabriel Sathyan, who is gay and was picked up by the local police.
He ends his piece saying, “I haven’t slept in a month and now I’m again deprived of sleep and decided to write about this experience. I’m afraid to close my eyes. This haunting won’t stop. This agony won’t end. Again I’m taking a risk in writing about my second rape. But I’m writing this to you activists, to you community members, to you allies and to you stakeholders. Don’t give up the fight for LGBT rights and please be there for one another. We live among vicious and vile minds which think of nothing but violence, rape, deception and plunder. You, the community as a whole and the allies are all what you’ve got for one another. Please support one another, be there for one another and do not give up the fight. I beg of you.”
When it looks like, all is lost, hope beacons near home. Harmless Hugs, a group working towards the cause of the LGBT community in India, organized a flash mob, where young people from all walks of life and sexuality joined in. It is a brave effort, indeed, to do a flash mob around something which is criminalized by law.
India needs more such efforts. Sec. 377 in the Indian Penal Code is nothing less than a draconian law that takes away the right to one’s sexuality. Sexuality like everything else is a personal choice which the state should not interfere into.
The patriarchs of our country frown at the very mention of homosexuality, saying, “It’s not a part of our culture.” However, if we look back in history, we see that there were many references to people with such an orientation and there have been many references to sexual activity between the same gender in mythology as well as literature. There are several temples that have carvings on them, that depict the joyful communion of the homosexual act. In the past, we see no specific evidence where homosexuality was condemned or negated. The Kamasutra which was compiled by the philosopher Vatsayana as early as the fourth century, not only talks about homosexual relationships but says that these relationships too are woven in love and trust. The Kamasutra also very eloquently talks about, Sravini, “who are independent women, who frequent their own kind.”
The Rigveda says regarding Samsara, “Vikruti Evam Prakriti (perversity/diversity is what nature is all about, or, what seems un-natural is also natural).
The Vedas which forms the basis of Hinduism for many, do not explicitly talks about homosexuality; however the Rigveda says regarding Samsara, “Vikruti Evam Prakriti” (perversity/diversity is what nature is all about, or, what seems un-natural is also natural). Many scholars believe it to be recognition for the acceptance of all forms of living diversity that includes homosexuality too.
As, Harmless Hugs is dancing its way through the norms of patriarchy, the roots of which are deep, we can only hope that one day, Section 377 is not only ripped out of our Penal Code, but every human being is accepted as a part of the society irrespective of his/her sexuality.
Watch here the video of the flash mob by Harmless Hugs, which will go down history as the First LGBT Flash Mob in Delhi. Can we give these brave young people a standing ovation?
Image via Harmless Hugs