All the girls’ school ladies out there! We’ve all made homosexuality jokes with our girlfriends and that for sure was a symbol of strength of the friendship, right? But in India, this better be only a joke!
A SCHOOL IN SOUTH KOLKATA ACCUSED 10 STUDENTS OF BEING LESBIANS
It’s no surprise that present education system Of India Needs a lot of change too
• The Headmistress said that on receiving complains from some students, the authorities confronted the accused and they admitted to it in writing.
• The parents are accusing the management of having used force on the girls so they admit to it.
• West Bengal Education Minister, Mr. Partha Chatterjee said he’ll ascertain from the school authorities what prompted them to secure written admission from the girls and added that if this was indeed true, it was against the Ethos of the State.
While I would not like to comment on the details of what’s happened in Kamala Girls High School until the enquiry is complete, I have no doubt about the fact that homosexuality is a criminal offence in India and so much as talking about their rights is largely unacceptable in our society. And most people have a misconception that this attributes to the non- acceptance of homosexuality in Indian culture.
HOMOSEXUALITY A CRIME : SECTION 377
Consensual sexual activity, marriage and civil partnerships for same-sex couples are illegal offences in India under Article 377:Unnatural Offences, of the Indian Penal Code, with punishments for the CRIMINALS going as far as life imprisonment and a fine.
And the explanation to this is most often in line with the one that came up in this story. Hence, I would like to elucidate on certain points.
Indian CULTURE AND HOMOSEXUALITY
A GAY COUPLE
- Oldest Hindu texts are in 2 groups: The Srutis and The Smritis. The Srutis have no mention of sexual orientations at all. A lesbian soul which stands by simple living, selfless service, etc. will attain Moksha like any other soul doing the same. The Smritis, which contain the socio-religious codes, have never advocated harsh punishments for homosexuality.Hinduism on Homosexuality
- Hinduism believes that every individual has male and female elements. According to their dominance, tendencies show up and may change.
- Hindu epics such as Mahabharata have several characters who demonstrate a range of sexual orientations. For instance, Chitrangada (wife of Arjuna), Shikhandi,etc. None of these characters were discriminated against for their sexual tendencies.
- Works like Arthashastra and the Kama Sutra have mentions of numerous LGBT individuals and these are seen practising different professions, free from persecution.
- Islam also had toleration for homosexuality in the Pre- modern societies.
• Section 377 is a British Colonial era law from 1860. The ‘Alien Legacy’, a Human Rights Watch(HRW) Report talks about how over three dozen countries are abiding by the conduct as per homosexuality law imposed on them by the British.
SECTION 377 OF THE CONSTITUTION: A CHRONOLOGY
- Though a Third Gender is recognised in India and since 2014,the transgender can change their gender without sex reassignment surgery, their other rights are:
- Cannot render Military Service.
- No protection against discrimination.
- Recognition to relationships not granted.
- No adoption rights.
• July,2009 Decriminalized by Delhi High Court
• 11 December,2013 Re- Criminalization by the Supreme Court of India with the explanation that the amendment/ repealing of Section 377 is the domain of the Parliament.
• 24 August,2017 Right to Privacy.Supreme Court stated that the protection of sexual orientation lies at the centre of the Fundamental Rights.
• 2018 Supreme Court set to reconsider the legalization of same-sex partnership.
I take PRIDE in the fact that I stand for The Right to Privacy for all.