Recently, the Indian Supreme Court overturned a Delhi High Court decision of 2009, concerning section 377, of the Indian Penal Code [criminal code of India]. This section penalises various forms of non-natural sex [even for heterosexuals, nothing explicitly said about homosexuals]. Delhi High Court had upheld that section to be constitutionally invalid, but the Supreme Court set aside this verdict of the Delhi HC, and upheld the section while maintaining that repealing or amending a section is best left to legislature i.e. Indian Parliament. The media outlets, from mainstream to social to online, are full of brouhaha against the Supreme Court verdict.
I must confess that I was not always in “favour” of homosexuality. I abhorred the idea. Slowly, I came to understand that it may not merely be an “idea” but very well may be a natural instinct in some humans too. For some time, I looked at the legality, morality and acceptability of homosexuality in a society through this prism of “natural instinct”. This argument is usually supported by citing research papers showing homosexuality being prevalent in other species of animal kingdom. I grew up more. I then found this argument of “homosexuality being natural, therefore should be “allowed””, completely vacuous.
I now do not “support” or “favour” homosexuality, just like I don’t “support” or “favour” heterosexuality or asexuality or non-sexuality or just-any-other-sexuality. I have some scientific issues with homosexuality, but I do not rely on “scientific arguments” for homosexuality to be accepted socially, legally and morally. I draw its support from the canon of human rights and individual liberty. This is the strongest and perhaps only tenable argument against the unwilling [to ‘accept’ homosexuality] components of the society and state. I must also confess that, to me, homosexuality is not normal. It may be natural, but not normal. However, even if it is non-natural, should two consenting humans be stopped from going ahead and explore their sexuality? No, they shouldn’t be. Society and State has no right to encroach upon human rights and individual liberty.
In doing so, I have often castigated the Constitution of India, which boasts of being the longest written constitution ever for a democratic country. But the irony is the longest constitution has no clearly stated objectives for its existence and for the existence of republic, and has dedicated just one or two pages on individual freedoms. It is full of warnings, caveats, duties and directive guidelines. The Constitution of India was adopted in 1950, whereas the Indian Penal Code came into force in 1862, through the British Parliament. The Supreme Court verdict, is therefore, to me at least, a resounding reminder of the fact that Indian Penal Code of colonial times, supersedes the Constitution adopted by the free Republic of India. It is a triumph of 19th century Victorian laws over the 20th century ideas, as enshrined in Indian Constitution, by some of its most talented and famous public intellectuals. Indeed, this judgment is a sad reminder of the colonial hangover of Indian public servants, from judiciary to legislature. Because, it is a given fact that Indians, historically, were very liberal about freedoms [from religious to sexual].
I am keeping this post brief. This post is important and not important both. Here, I am just reiterating my views on the matter. I am laying groundwork for the arguments that I am going to make, in the subsequent post, AGAINST homosexuals [not homosexuality per se], and is therefore pushing me to NOT support their “fight” against state and society. What are those arguments? What is turning me off? Why should we be bothered? Why am I bothered? I will answer all these questions in next post on this matter.