Section 377 And Its Long-Term Implications On Indian Social Fabric
At the outset, let’s all wholeheartedly congratulate the LGBT community in their efforts in giving themselves a fresh identity. Homosexuals are no longer CRIMINALS in India. Repealing Section 377 of IPC is a huge step in making India a progressive nation. They have been a minuscule portion of the population trying to get themselves a rightful identity.
I would even argue that it should have been the Parliament in the first place (rather than The Hon'ble Supreme Court) who should have brought this change long ago. But I am sure the Far Right, Centre and Far Left leaning politicians wouldn’t have been able to face their electorate on the Gay Rights, which goes against what our religions taught us so far.
So, what’s next? Now that homosexuals are no longer criminals, is the matter rested? Does this give them a natural & accepted identity in the Indian society? How will we as a society evolve from now on and accept what we have been seeing it as “unnatural”, “unscientific”, “unethical” so far!
To me, the natural next course of evolution seems to be giving the relationship(s) a legality named matrimony. The existing marriage acts in India will have to accommodate for the same-gender marriages. The rules need to be amended. The legal rights and the definition of "partner" have to be changed.
So, will the grandiose Indian Weddings have both the "Dulha"and "Dulhan" be of the same gender? Who knows!
When it is legitimate, why shy away from grandiose?
After marriage, it is obviously kids! Currently, the Indian Adoption Laws (ref: CARA) does have a provision for single parent adoption (with certain caveats) but none for same gender parents. So, CARA has to undergo sea changes to incorporate favorable adoption norms for the Gay Couples. Even surrogacy rules (if they exist) have to incorporate surrogation for same-gender couples. Would be interesting to see the first Birth Certificate of a child born to a same-gender couple or adopted by a same-gender couple!
Once the kids grow up, its their schooling next. In all the application forms, the term "parents" currently implies a male and a female. Even in online application forms, the inbuilt logic is to consider the "Spouse" to be of the opposite gender. That anyways is a minor change. The major change would be to see the same-gender parents coming in for a Parents-Teacher Meeting and kids introducing their parents to other kids…
Will it be like "This is my Mom1 & Mom2 or Dad1 & Dad2" … will be interesting to see how this plays out.
… and how about accommodation — the rental agreements & the owner-tenant discussions!
Owner: Are you siblings, cousins, friends, co-workers?
Same Gender Tenants: No, we are a couple… married couple!
Then comes the rituals and festivals which have specific duties entrusted on each of the partners in the marriage! Twenty years from now, how will a "Karwa Chauth" or a "Satyanarayan Puja" be for a Gay Couple! Will the Gay Couple venture into celebrating these festivals or keep it under the carpets! Again, when it is legitimate, why shy away from grandiose?
Of course, the Bollywoods, Tollywoods and Kollywoods will leave no stone unturned in giving ideas to such couples on how to celebrate our traditional rituals!
So far, the Indian Cinema has always treated the subject of Gays in a comical (Dostana) or in a sorrowful way (Aligarh). There aren’t many movies which show them as regular human beings! Wouldn’t be surprised to see a movie in near future where male villain’s villainy be elevated by his ability of getting men to sleep with him by hook or crook!
May be now, script-writers can dust-off their stories lying in their closets and start adding a more realistic colour to it!
India has always been a nation whose feet are grounded in the conventional past and arms spreading out to accept the progressive future. India will never become fully westernised culture like some of the other South-Asian Countries nor will it ever be in the never-change-a-bit culture of some of the conventional middle-eastern countries.
For a country like India, repealing of section 377 is an unimaginable step forward. India is a progressive nation with progressive ideas and progressive culture. The millennials will see a new India emerge through these reforms. The societal fabric of India has always been based around inclusivity. I am sure LGBTs will become a part of the mainstream India and the discussions will no longer be about their rights but about their achievements!
Thanks for reading!
PS: Apologies if this blog offends anyone in any manner. The intention was to voice out the thoughts and not to hurt!