Decriminalisation of homosexuality in India: Is it enough to save the pride?
So the world is rejoicing the historic judgement of Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing section 377 by Supreme Court of India. Given the huge size of the Indian population – over 1.3 billion people – this reform is arguably the biggest, most impactful gay law reform in human history. The media and social platform is busy since yesterday in celebrating the ‘colourful’ verdict to proclaim “Love Is Love”. But, in a country where a heterosexual love story needs the validation of religion and caste and honour killings are still the order of the day, how much effect would this change of law in papers have on the current social situation?
To substantiate my doubt lets scroll through some of the recent news articles
India's Forbidden Love: An Honour Killing on Trial
Al jazeera March 2018
The survivor of a brutal honour killing testifies against her parents in the murder trial of her lower-caste husband.
In March 2016, Kausalya and her husband Shankar were brutally attacked on a crowded street in southern India.
Shankar, who came from a lower Dalit caste, died of his injuries. Kausalya survived and accused her parents of orchestrating an honour killing.
The unique access to both sides shows a family torn apart by a caste hierarchy that remains deeply-rooted in India's social fabric.
Manoj-Babli honor killing case: This mother challenged dreaded khap; here are chilling details
Dailybhaskar.com | Nov 25, 2014, 16:37 IST
Chandigarh: Manoj and Babli, the newly-wed couple, were murdered by the girl's family in 2007. The couple eloped from Karoda village in Kaithal district of Haryana. Babli's family members were influential people and enjoyed backing of the Khap panchayat. But Manoj's mother Chandepati stood against all the odds and waged a legal battle to get justice for her son and daughter-in-law.
Couple hacked to death in Telangana in alleged case of honour killing
The couple got married in a temple four months ago. They had lodged a complaint with the police as they feared for their lives.
Updated: Oct 06, 2017 12:18:54
A couple was brutally hacked to death allegedly by the maternal uncles of the woman in Rajanna Siricilla district of Telangana on Thursday evening after they got married against their wishes, police said on Friday.
According to the police, the victims have been identified as N Rachana (21) and Neduri Harish (22) of Balrajpalli village in Vemulawada block of the district.
Rachana’s uncles – Ashok, Shekar and Nagaraju – who brought her up after she lost her parents did not approve of the marriage as she was a graduate while Harish drove an autorickshaw for a living. Both of them belonged to a Scheduled Tribe and were from the same community
India registered 251 honour killings in 2015 , recording a big spike in murders carried out by people professing to be acting in defence of their family’s reputation. The above three were such three stray cases where the family resented the relationship of their son or daughter is into, because it failed in certain criteria set by the social stigma. In such cases will only the law reforming solve the humility and insults faced everyday? A country where a certain blessed baba proclaims “Homosexuality is a curable disease “ or leader of another religious community declares, “LGBT community are patients suffering from a sinful mental problem”, the fight of the LGBTQ community for total freedom is far from over. A battle is won no doubt but the war is still on. The social taboos must be addressed along with law reforms so that in day to day living the gay couples do not face any discrimination and can shed the fear to come out.
However all is not grim and grey. Law didn't reflect the societal values when Sati was abolished or Dowry was made illegal or when caste discrimination was outlawed. Sometimes accepting and progressive laws have helped in bringing social reforms fair and square. Hoping the same with the current change. Let there be light and freedom for all.