I didn’t write about this when this first happened because I was so shocked when it did happen. When the verdict on law 377 of the Indian constitution was overturned by the supreme court making being gay in India a punishable offence I didn’t know how to feel. I didn’t deal with this thought much because I didn’t want to believe it was true, but as of a month ago, I am a criminal in my own country.
People don’t understand this because its hard to comprehend. I told some of my friends this and they were understandably sympathetic but none of them understood what this means.
Effectively someone could complain against me now for whatever reason and they could arrest me just for my sexuality. Anyone could discriminate against me, hurt me do anything and it would not be called a hate crime. At the very best it might be assault but why would the same government that made me illigal in the first place choose to help me when I inevitably get discriminated against.
I love my country, but I have never felt more like a stranger.
When I first came out to my mom, she had told me to go to a foreign country where I could live without this fear and at the time I had told her that I couldn’t leave India, not forever; later these sentiments seemed to bear fruit when the high court made it legal to be gay in India.
I can’t tell you how proud I was that India had come to that decision so much quicker than other nations. I was proud and hopeful, but the recent amendment in law pushes us right back to the dark ages.
I watched an interview lately which was conducted by one of my media heroes “Barkha Dutt” who without any dilly-dallying went straight to the point of how this undermines the very nature of our human rights. I will link the debate here; I hope you all watch it and that it gives you an insight on the happenings in India.
I’m not sure how to bring this feeling to the forefront so that everyone understands this; but just imagine that everything that you fought to understand, everything the you fought against others for so that they would understand, everything that you yourself understood about yourself and everything that made you the person that you are now, was taken away by the prejudiced and uneducated decision by a group of victorian minded judges who are upholding a law that was never part of our culture to begin with. The law was only added by the British who have themselves changed their minds on the issue.’
Our culture has never advocated bigotry and discrimination and whatever cultural and moral standards that these judges are following is not mine and neither is it a part of my India.