The queer community in India is facing yet another setback after the private bill moved by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for decriminalizing section 377 of IPC got blocked in the Parliament. The defeat of the bill in the Lok Sabha has once again demonstrated the unwillingness of the law makers to accept the existential rights for LGBTs in the country. The incident has also created ripples across the social media sites where people have expressed their disappointment.
However, the setback is nothing new for LGBTs in India, where the archaic provision of IPC Section 377 is used to curtail the very existence of queer community by decriminalizing their sexual preferences. It is only two years back the Supreme Court of India has ruled for recriminalizing the LGBTs after the Delhi High Court gave an opposite verdict on the matter. SC was of the opinion that it is the Parliament that should have an ultimate say on the matter.
The queer community faces discriminations of various forms and intensities across the different societal platforms. Right from their homes to schools and colleges, and work places, they are cut apart from the mainstream.
Though it is highly unfortunate and uncalled for the people’s representatives and other conservative groups to oppose the basic rights for the queer community in India, it is heartening to witness more of their visibility across the social sectors. Thanks to their continuous struggles and the public support they receive, lots of people from the groups are emerging as popular faces on media and other public venues. Many of them are also proving their capabilities in multiple fields, while simultaneously fighting tooth and nail the social and governmental oppression.
It is however, the time for India to make introspection into the matter, as most of the progressive countries across the world are embracing LGBTQ people and offering them their fundamental right to live life with dignity. Any attempt to pull back the efforts in scrapping the draconian section will be ultimately detrimental for the country’s move towards a more egalitarian society.