Since the time of the decriminalization of Sec 377, it has garnered ambivalent responses from different quarters. The LGBTQ obviously harbored the path-breaking verdict with open arms along with individuals who were cognizant that homosexuality is ‘normal’ as against the stale popular belief of it being ‘unnatural’ and a ‘disease’. It was a day of the triumph of human rights. However, backlash sprung from religious organizations, certain politicians and individuals who chose to remain unaware and anachronistic. Homosexuality for them is pathological because it is immoral. Dig deeper and they would retort it threatens the sanctity of the procreation of newer generations.
This very sanctity of procreation is astoundingly not maintained in situations of sex-selective abortion or female infanticide and becomes a weapon for discouraging abortion among pregnant women who are unwilling to become mothers (recollect the incident of Indian woman who died in Ireland who was denied abortion and died). The preoccupation with procreation not just deems the homosexual community as pathological but also women who cannot become biological mothers. Her “incompleteness” is reminded to her through ostracization from certain rituals, ridicule to valorisation of motherhood and how a woman receives fulfillment through motherhood.
I am not anchoring my contention in the domain of infertility but how the notion of biological procreation determines, reproduces and entrenches certain beliefs.
The “otherization” that is a framework of reference in conducting social interactions structures the majority-minority relationship. The majority strengthened by the collective force of shared ideology needs constant endorsement and approval of its status-quo through state policies that pampers them, legal sanctions that empowers them at the cost of dis-empowering the minority and codes of conduct that strives to privilege the ‘jubilant’ majority and alienate and shame the minority of “others”. This “otherization” is further perpetuated and promulgated through naming and shaming of the dis-empowered minority in the public discourse so that it lives in the public memory and succeeds in achieving distinction followed by discrimination.
The consecration of recriminalization of homosexuality is not just to be conceived as the slaughter of humanity but also the “otherization” of a community whose travails and struggles are already complicated by ignorance and hatred. The LGBTQ community that has toiled endlessly along with the support of human rights groups found new direction in life on July 2, 2009 when a section of the Article 377 was amended. It beamed a ray of hope ushering in faith in the legal system, boosting their confidence to come out of their closeted identities and take on further challenges in ensuring a dignified life for the LGBTQ. But their struggle and undaunted spirit has been crushed to pieces with the recently concluded verdict. It has once again ushered in fear, insecurity and self-loathing among the LGBTQ and will compel them once again to take recourse to a hidden or dual identity. It will give the police the license to harass and extort money against “unnatural” sex; they will be labelled as deviant and criminals against expression of their sexual orientation clearly sermonizing that heteronormativity is the majority and everything else is a minority hence your feeble voices can be ignored especially by the political leaders who calculate vote banks as their priority. Most importantly this identity-crisis that a homosexual individual faces at the whims and fancy of the society is a deeper violation of human rights. If ignorance and anti-equality is all that we stand for then human rights becomes a mockery. Wake up India! March if you believe in democracy, March for its underlying spirit!