“We have yet to have an inclusive society.”
New Delhi boomed with colour as the Gay Pride parade took hold of the city last Sunday.
The parade was held in opposition of the re-criminalisation of homosexual acts in India.
In 2009, the New Delhi Court made consensual gay acts legal since 1861. But, this was overturned 4 years later when the Supreme Court stated that it was not a decision that should be left to the judiciary. Only Parliament was to make this decision.
The law in 2013 stated: “sexual activities against the order of nature” as reported by The Independent.
33-year-old Saurav Jain shares the view that whilst India has moved forward in its reactions to homosexuality, it also has moved backwards. He said: “There has been a lot of change, and we have gone back also.”
However, not everyone is as hopeful. Rituparna Borah spoke of how the government is unsupportive of homosexuality. Narendra Modi has never supported the gay community in India.
Borah said: “We have yet to have an inclusive society.”
Participating in homosexual acts can result in up to 10 years in prison.
Due to the law’s reinstatement, gay people have reportedly been suffering emotional and physical abuse at the hands of society in India.
Nevertheless, Gautam Bhan, a gay rights activist, is still hopeful of the future for gay people in India. He told The Wall Street Journal:
“What matters is the everyday life of queer people and we’ve seen an expansion of queer spaces everywhere. Since 2013, you see that the power that the law had earlier has diminished, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision.”
The gay community in India may feel alienated, but the cities are slowly coming to accept the community.
Gay activists remain hopeful that the Indian societies will eventually accept them, and the law criminalising gay acts will be repealed.
The Gay Pride parade is held annually to celebrate homosexuality of all kinds.