It’s been one year since the Supreme Court of India reinstated an archaic law- Section 377 that criminalizes homosexuality by up to ten years and a lot has happened in this time.
Just last week the story of a girl raped by an Uber cab driver hit the limelight. Shortly an open letter to the influential men of the country was doing rounds, asking our prime minister and others to call for death penalty for rapists. They also banned Uber amidst this fiasco. Besides everything that is fundamentally flawed with the death penalty, even if you were to have the death penalty or public castration for these rapists, then a lot of our brothers, fathers and friends would either be dead or impotent so far. Because statistically half our children have been sexually abused, and one third of our women faced abuse in some form. The perpetrators live among us, they’re not aliens.
Also, in this one year the world’s largest democracy elected to power a man accused of direct and indirect involvement in the brutal murder and displacement of thousands of muslims in our country’s worst ever communal riots and we trusted that this man would rid us of our greatest evils. A man under whose reign in Gujarat numerous women were raped, killed, burnt alive. Pregnant Muslim women were flocked naked, beaten, bellies cut open stabbed and stomped over. We trusted that this man will alleviate India’s marginalized and India’s women; a man accused of using state intelligence agencies to stalk a women.
Essentially women of this country are asking such a man, whose conscience did not move when all of this happened right under his nose, to save them! You trust a murderer to save you from being raped. Oh the irony!
The same people would defend Mr. Modi, our Prime Minister by saying that the communal riots happened long back, the judiciary gave him the clean chit. The same people are frustrated because rapists get clean chits all the time, the cases are dragged for decades in one court after the other till they’re forgotten. The same people criticize the courts inefficacy when it comes to delivering speedy and fair decisions because oh well it is but fucked up and the same people hold the judiciary sacrosanct because well it gave Mr. Modi a clean chit.
Uber appointed this man as driver despite his tainted track record and we as a nation elected Mr. Modi despite a tainted track record. We shouldn’t ban Uber, we should ban ourselves, our government, our entire system and our conscience.
The judiciary is not sacrosanct and nor is our Prime Minister whose increasing popularity on media channels bought by India’s richest man, shows the limitless and scary possibilities of unfettered capitalism to shape not only mass opinion but also to make it the only opinion. Why have we stopped criticising our Prime Minister? Why is criticism of Mr. Modi synonymous to being anti-national or secessionist? That’s what happens when the highest office of the land joins hands with the richest men of the land. And for me, I’m already a criminal in this country, call me anti-national for my criminal arse won’t budge.
The judiciary wronged us last year, in what was indeed a shameful decision. It was unfathomable that the Supreme Court would call the citizens of its own country criminals. But oh well, why must I complain. We’re a country that uses it’s army against its own people- Armed Forces Special Powers Act- the number of times Army men have misused their powers has pushed populations to feel alienated and forgotten. 84 million adivasis caught in the fight between Naxals and the government, if they support the government, Naxals kill them, and well the government in any case kills them. We’re a country that has ignored its own civil war for more than four decades! These constants have remained with us even in this on year.
Satta mai baithe hue logon, jara hosh mai aao ( Those in the seat of power, wake up!)
In a population of 1.2 billion it is safe to estimate that the number of non-heterosexual people would be about 50 to 100 million. That’s the population of a few countries put together. We criminalized all of them for obnoxious reasons. The reasons were – ‘we’re a miniscule population’ “so called LGBT rights’ “377 hasn’t been used ever” blah blah blah. The words in the decision did not do justice to the stature of court. And the law says one cannot disrespect the court. These words reek of bigotry, homophobia and transphobia- Here I dare to disrespect the institution that discarded me as garbage.
Dear Supreme Court of India- You fucked us up last year! You were wrong. Your judges did not demonstrate empathy nor did they uphold the basic fundamental rights of a marginalized and vulnerable section of society. Yes, you fucked up. It’s time you self- correct. For shame, Supreme Court for shame.
How does criminalization matter when we’re already out and proud? Because my parents haven’t let me out of the house by my own will in the last two months ever since I told them I’m genderqueer. It matters because while 800 cases of violence against transpeople were reported many thousands of suicides, incidents of bullying in schools, domestic violence and rape were not reported. Because every day I hear a story that makes me sad. Because decriminalization is the first step towards equality. And because
And while you’re at it, shake up your conscience Supreme Court and the people of this country. If you truly want justice for your ‘daughters, mothers, sisters’ then you must know two things-
One, justice must be fair for everyone, even if that man is our prime minister, and two, you can’t ask for equality of women if you ignore several other marginalized sections because we won’t be equal till we treat one and another with equal respect, because if you discriminate others on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation(just the way you’re born a woman or a man, we’re born this way) and by discriminating against us you lose your right to ask for equality. Or well, you can again trust a murderer to save you from a rapist.