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Same sex relationship is now legally accepted in India. Supreme Court's verdict, decriminalizing homosexuality, is our country's a step forward towards social progress.
Same sex relationships are now legally acceptable in India. Supreme Court’s verdict, decriminalizing homosexuality, is a big step for our country’s towards social progress.
This day marks a historic victory for human rights in India with the Supreme Court passing a unanimous verdict decriminalizing same sex relationships, thereby diluting the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 377, a part of the 1861 law, banned ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’ which included homosexual sex. The Court however stated that acts of sodomy or bestiality, that is sexual acts involving minors or animals will still be punishable under Section 377. Apex Court said that the members of LGBTQ community have the same fundamental rights as any other citizen of the country.
After decades of fighting, this marks for a major victory for the LGBTQ community of our country. Earlier, the NGO, Naz Foundation, which has been fighting for the rights of same sex couples for over a decade, had challenged Section 377 in 2001. In 2009, the Delhi High Court had ruled in the favour of decriminalizing Section 377; however, the decision was overturned by a two judge bench of Supreme Court in 2013.
At least 32 individuals had filed petitions for the scraping of this medieval law that criminalized a human being’s right to love whosoever they want. Some of the prominent petitioners were: Navtej Singh Johar (59), a renowned classical dancer and winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and his partner for over two decades, Sunil Mehra (63), a journalist and former editor of Maxim’s Indian edition, Ritu Dalmia (45), a celebrity Chef and the owner of the restaurant chain, Diva, Aman Nath (61), owner of the Neemrana chain of hotels and a renowned author in the fields of art, history, architecture, and photography, and Ayesh Kapur (23), actor (best known for her performance as the young Rani Mukherjee in Black) and businesswoman.
Let us understand why this verdict is important. While the notion of sexuality and gender are increasingly evolving with the passage of time, it was highly unfortunate that even being a homosexual couple was considered illegal in India. Imagine hiding your sexuality or your relationship with a consenting adult for your entire life, because who you choose to love is illegal in your country!
Currently same sex marriage (nationwide or in some parts) is allowed in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Same sex marriage is soon due to be recognized in Austria, Costa Rica, and Taiwan. And then when we looked at India, forget about marriage, even a relationship between same sex couple was deemed against the law.
It was high time for India’s administrative and judiciary powers to recognize how regressive it is to criminalize same sex couples under Section 377. Let us hope that this is just the beginning of a better era for the LGBTQ community and we’d soon see India under the list of countries where even marriage between such couples is considered legal.
Image Source – TOI Video
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Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).