The t-shirt slogan splashed across the media waves certainly did not fail to catch the attention of the masses, the only major difference perhaps this time being that it did not have the right to be questioned. And with these words has finally risen the once oppressed society of the homosexuals, which has taken the first step to move away from physical, mental and societal seclusion to a real, more equal world; anonymous letters of complaint and blog posts having given way to pride parades and revealed identities, and shame to confidence.
Besides, the calling should have come to us much earlier, as Britain despite leaving a section of India under 160 years of hostility and subjugation legalized homosexuality in England and Wales way back in 1967. But all’s well that ends well… or does it?
A lot of people clearly haven’t taken the High Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality down too well, the factors ranging from religious to personal, some even claiming it to be an irrelevant issue altogether. To this, Aditi Jain, a second year student of Gargi College says, “Tell that to the many sexuality minorities who as victims of a hypocritical, half- baked law get beaten up, harassed and/ or humiliated by the society and authorities alike.” Also, the various historical texts in India seem to defy the cause of protests staged on religious and cultural fronts. As found in Same Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai, formerly lecturers in Delhi University, evidences of homosexuality have been found in literature going back two thousand years into history, and traces of increasing homophobia were only seen after the nineteenth century as a result of the rising influence of colonial legacy and infliction of Victorian morality with the passing of anti-sodomy laws, one example being that of heterosexualisation of qawali poetry which till before colonisation also celebrated homoerotic love.
Times have certainly changed since then. However, fact remains that acceptance of the law and the community will still be limited to the metropolitans where the luxury of approval and retreat lies directly proportional to one’s resources, slowly evaporating as it permeates to still minor places where ignorance eclipses needs. Thus; the least we can do as conscious citizens is give everyone achance to lead a normal life, the normal way. As for the people who’re still finding it hard to swallow, the fact that the act is both legal and consensual leaves nothing to be disputed about.
Besides, jab miya miya raazi, toh kya karega qazi.