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Good News from India

July 7, 2009

This isn’t about my novel, but after mentioning the gay pride parade that was held in Chennai last Sunday I must mention the astonishing and terrific news that this week the Delhi High Court wrote down (whatever that means) Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, effectively legalizing homosexuality in India. Section 377 of the IPC was a relic of the British colonial era, prohibiting unnatural carnal sexual relations. This was interpreted to mean that homosexuality is against the law.

The case was filed in 2000, and it took the court only 9 years to reach a verdict. Nine years is swift justice by the Indian judicial system.

Celebrations were held throughout the country.

Surprisingly, no newspaper that I saw devoted an editorial to this landmark judicial ruling. I was also astonished that reporters appeared to completely fail to understand why Section 377 of the IPC lead to the persecution of sexual minorities. Reporting on the ruling, reporters interviewed senior police officials who claimed that Section 377 had been used only rarely to book cases against homosexuals.

But this wasn’t how Section 377 was abused. As far as I understand, Section 377 was used by street-level constables to extort money and sex from anybody they suspected of being a sexual minority.

At a time when most news is either depressing or alarming, it was tremendous to read that judges had ruled in favor of extending human rights to all Indians.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Arun permalink
    July 20, 2009 12:55 pm

    All the channels were only talking abt this!!! I felt i was a bit overhyped.
    Its more of a social issue rather than a legal issue(Indian society cant accept homosexuality even though it been around for 1000 years!!!)

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