The struggle for equality - SECTION 377
Equality has long been a very complicated yet a necessary condition. Does equality only apply to the men and the women in the society? Well, the answer is clearly a “NO”. India, has for a long time, been a very diversified country, not just in terms of caste or religion but in terms of societies as well. With changing times, and changing beliefs, the laws are in a continuous dynamic of change. One such law is the section 377 of the Indian penal code.
Introduced in 1864 during the British rule of India, it has been a section of the Indian Penal Code . Modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533, it has been used to criminalize sexual activities "against the order of nature". The law has been under constant opposition and doubt ever since a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) filed a plea in a High Court, seeking repeal of section 377. The confusion over descriminalization of homosexuality affected every member of the society. Politicians, actors, common people, everyone voiced their opinions either to support or to go against the idea of scrapping the law off.
Governments changed, thoughts changed, but opinions did have a major impact overall. People took to social media, trending #LOVEWINS in every other social platform. Rallies and campaigns too came out and supported the cause.
On September 6, 2018, it all came to the highest law authority in India, the Supreme Court. The five judge constitution bench, was unanimous in its decision. The section 377 was scrapped off after being regarded as “irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible”. The rights of the LGBTQ community were finally restored after years of struggle by people. As quoted by the Chief Justice of India, “The right to privacy as a part of right of life applies fully to the LGBTQ community.”
Equality was restored in true sense for the community after years of living in a a society where they did not have freedom enough to come out and live their lives as they wanted to. As for the community, equality is not only an emotion but a struggle-story.