Looking at the nationwide, and worldwide, outrage at the Section 377 judgment, I have to wonder – did the two Supreme Court Justices know what they were doing?
I’ve made, and heard, this complaint so many times regarding the Queer-rights Movement in India – that we’ve lost our momentum since 2009…that we’ve become complacent with our victories. So, I actually see the section 377 judgment as a blessing in disguise. It woke us up.
Someone commented on facebook that at least this judgment showed that there’s an activist within each one of us. And, I agree. If we take a look at any civil rights movement around the world, it is through constant ups and downs…fights…that the minority wins its recognition.
In the past 4 years since the Delhi High Court verdict decriminalizing private, consensual sex between adults, not much has been done by the queer-rights movement in India. There wasn’t much mobilization, lobbying, or sensitization. It was as though the queer community was content with just the reading down on 377. Most people I talked to had no idea that an appeal was pending in the Supreme Court. It was taken for granted that the Apex Court would grant the judgment in our favor.
Well, what does all of this suggest to me? It told me that, as I’ve stated, we became complacent. We took things for granted. Not since the Delhi High Court dismissed the original 377 petition have I seen such widespread mobilization of Queer voices. Had there been such a media campaign in the days/months leading up to the judgment, who knows maybe the verdict might have been different.
So, instead of condemning the Section 377 verdict by the Supreme Court, I thank it for reminding us that we’re a “minuscule minority”. For reminding us that we need to continue fighting for our rights and never get complacent. For reminding the majority that we exist…and that queer rights are human rights.