Long before the LGBT term surfaced or when people had actually started standing up in support of this community, I had come across people, friends who in spite of being kind, talented, compassionate were being mocked or subjected to constant ridicule. Constant criticism or derogatory terms were used not by strangers, but by their own peers and colleagues, friends and relatives, those who never supported, realized or understood humanity.
Some over the years had been accused of having psychological problems and some were discriminated for their sexual orientation. Until one came out as a lesbian or gay, they were treated as ‘normal’. The kind of fear these friends must have lived in for years, can’t be understood. It is similar to being caged in your own house, in your own country and still pretending that everything is normal.
When Apurva Asrani, the eminent and talented editor/scriptwriter of films such as City Lights, Shahid, Satya etc. wrote Aligarh, the film provoked the thoughts on how far cruelty of a society can push a person and criminalise for an act or their disposition without committing an actual crime. Assassins, murderers, rapists, lynchers, molesters, killers all are set free or never subjected through this mental trauma, but people who are considerate, silenced for no reason have been living under covers in fear of being criticised and legally considered as criminals.
On September 6 2018, the Supreme Court, in a historic judgment, passed the verdict to decriminalise homosexuality. “Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults – homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians – cannot be said to be unconstitutional,” said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, as he read out the judgement. The judges in the case had previously said that gay people in India have faced deep-rooted trauma and lived in fear for years.
The law still holds true in some clauses as the Supreme Court has in its judgment clarified under what circumstances Section 377 can still be invoked. “The Section 377 can now be invoked against only those individuals who indulge in non-consensual sexual acts, irrespective of whether the individual is homosexual or heterosexual.” said Anand Grover, a senior lawyer.
Bollywood also applauded and supported the significant verdict of Section 377 being partially scrapped and celebrated across the country in rainbow colours, with the eminent personalities like Karan Johar, Swara Bhaskar, John Abraham, Ayushman Khurana, Sonam Kapoor and many more welcoming the decriminalization with their tweets.
There is already a hate wave going inside many hearts. Between the leftists and the rightists, between fanatics and others, people have forgotten their own identity and the essence of respecting humanity. We either idolise, hate or ignore; we have not learnt to accept situations, people, relations, faith, religions just as they are. Rather than subjugating minds, ideas, people and creating our notions about these under the influence of illogical or extreme ideologies, we as citizens of India first need to respect and accept each other as the way we are.
The historical judgement of Supreme Court will only be a small step in making life easier for the LGBT community. There are many twists and turns ahead, as this step will be unwelcomed by conservative, narrow minded people and advertised by certain groups and a section of media only for their respective TRP ’s.
When Former AG Mukul Rohatgi, welcomed the SC judgment and said, “It is an important decision. I’m happy court has realised the rights of LGBTs, their pain, and gave them proper space in the society. Most importantly, with this decision, they will be given equal rights like others”, he also implied there is still a bigger challenge and path ahead for our friends to touch the real rainbow.
Being human is the biggest attribute one can possess and exhibit. For now, let us be happy that the sun is out and its rays have brought light in the grey sky of despair and hatred, making the rainbow visible!