What is Section 377 of the IPC?
Section 377 of IPC states ‘’whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man. Woman or animal shall be punished with 1 (imprisonment for life), or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years. Shall also be liable to fine.” Section 377 was an ancient law which was made in the British era. which probably dates back to 1861. And this law criminalized sexual activities against the order of nature.
But who are we to decide the order of nature, is the question.
In the year of 2009, the Delhi High Court raised its voice on Section 377. Describing it as the violation of the fundamental rights. which are guaranteed by the constitution. But this was not taken positively by many groups and masses. Many religious groups felt offended. They thought that it was against their religion. They were against this opinion of the Delhi High Court. Moved the Supreme Court against the verdict.
The Supreme Court had overruled the Delhi High Court’s order in the year of 2013. And it continued reinforcing that homosexuality is a crime. But this time the LGBTQ masses chose to be not quite anymore.
The LGBTQ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) highly criticized the judgment made by the Supreme Court of India. Denying someone of their primary and fundamental rights.
After that massive mass of LGBTQ community rose up. Who did silent rallies and used various means to explain to everyone the need of their fundamental rights. They started voicing themselves. It started reaching the masses. In the month of January 2018, the Supreme Court reconsidered the previous judgment. That a larger group of judges would examine Section 377, and its validity.
In September 2018, the Supreme Court overruled its own 2013 verdict, saying that homosexuality is not a crime anymore. There were four Supreme Court judges who gave a judgment.
One of the judges, Chief Justice Dipak Sharma stated ‘Take me as I am’honoring, gay pride.
Justice Chandrachud quoted Leonard Cohen saying, ‘’shadows of a receding pasts controls the quest of LGBTQ for fulfillment.” He later added that ‘’what is the order of nature? The state cannot decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not… It is a majoritarian impulse to subjugate a sexual minority to live in silence.”
In our country India, there are innumerable societal and economic problems; some of these are unemployment. Population, poverty, crime, rape, molestation, etc. Why silently? Because talking openly about sex or our sexuality is a taboo in India. Therefore without much knowledge and without much sex education. The society decided for itself. what kind of relationship one person can have with another.
A human being does not get to choose his or her sexuality; he is born with it. India took many years to realize it, but it is never too late. Today the LGBTQ community’s happiness knows no limits.