INDIA’S SECTION 377: BITCH, YOU’VE BEEN DISMISSED

Written by on November 29, 2018

Story by: Chuck Tackett

INDIA’S SECTION 377: BITCH, YOU’VE BEEN DISMISSED

It is Thanksgiving night as I am writing this article. Quite by accident, I just found out that India’s Section 377 Law has been abolished by their Supreme Court. I am ecstatic.

For those of you who may not be aware, India’s Section 377 Law has plagued their LGBTQ+ community for over 100 years. This British colonial-era law made it illegal people of the same sex to have consensual sex with each other. Breaking this law, folks could spend up to 10 years in prison.

Several years ago in a Chuck’s Chat article, I wrote about India’s Prince Mavendra Singh Gohil, who is openly Gay. To refresh your memory, he was disowned by his family for bringing dishonor to them. Price Mavendra appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in October 2007. He was one of 3 guests featured on the show entitled “Gays Around The World.” Prince Mavendra started a charity called “The Laksha Fund,” which works with the LGBTQ community in his country. From what I understand, Prince Mavendra recently opened up his 15-acre palace grounds to help vulnerable LGBTQ+ folks who have nothing, who are homeless, because they came out to their families. I have not been able to find any remarks from the Prince about the decriminalization of Homosexuality in India.

If you are a regular reader of my column, you might know I do have a readership in India. I send Chuck’s Chats to my Facebook friend, who is an LGBTQ activist there, and he shares it with other LGBTQ folks in meetings, and those he personally knows. I haven’t heard from him lately. When he does contact me, we catch up and he apologizes for being so busy with his political activism. I tell him he has nothing to apologize for. When I talk to him again, I hope he can give me an update and some insight on what’s next that they are trying to accomplish.

All that I do know is that Section 377 was overturned by their Supreme Court, burying India’s colonial past from the British. Chief Justice Dipak Misra declared the law was, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” Besides decriminalizing consensual Gay sex, the judges went further stating India’s LGBTQ+ populace be accorded all the protections of their Constitution. From the beginning, I have never truly understood why some people feel they can dictate who is a full-fledged human being, deserving of equal rights. LGBTQ+ folks have every right to be here, in India, or wherever they are in this world, as anyone else.

Right-wing Conservative politics is sweeping India as well. India’s LGBTQ+ population knows that the fight is far from over and that the landscape is treacherous. They realize that they have to remain politically active to make gains and retain what they have accomplished.

For now, the stains of British invaders have been dismissed. Besides imprisonment, Section 377 was used to intimidate, blackmail, and abuse those who may not have been LGBTQ+, but as an instrument of fear.

Even though I have just found out about Section 377, it is my understanding it was dismissed in September 2018. Regardless, congratulations and a job well done.

Chuck’s Chat operates under an open authority. Opinions and comments are always welcome. Send them to soultraindancingh@yahoo.com


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