Introduction of article 377
Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a section of the Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. It’s a rule which was imposed upon us during the British Raj. First of all, we need to understand that this rule was imposed upon our nation for not making us civilized but to make us feel that our ancient culture, morals, and values are outdated and that the western culture is civilized and is here to help you, which they perfectly did.
Let’s take an example where we are too obsessed with the fair skin tone of our body. A family needs a fair skin-toned bride. Another example where we are ashamed of exercising yoga (originated from India), instead Physical Therapy (PT) is done during school assemblies.
Why was this rule imposed?
British Raj wanted to divide and rule India. They did it by erasing our education system where we never discriminated against men and women, not even between homosexual and heterosexual. Education was for everyone. There was no discrimination against any community as there was no community at all. Everyone was considered just humans with different bodies.
When British Raj came, they not only looted us but also imposed Catholic rules. The British Raj criminalized sexual activities “against the order of nature”, including homosexual sexual activities, under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which came into force in 1861. It was instituted throughout most of the British Empire due to the Catholic beliefs of the British colonial governments.
What happened after the imposition of Article 377?
These rules not only made LGBT looks different but also taboo for society. According to Catholic beliefs, it’s a sin for being in an “Unnatural Sexual Activity”. This Nation before the invasions only cared about knowledge and Spirituality. This Law was so deeply buried in our souls that we started discriminating against LGBT. And today LGBT is a community that we not only discriminate against, we see them as taboo, a sin, and something we should never talk about publicly.
What happened after 157 years?
We need to understand that love strikes down every rule and every border when it’s strong. You can never bind love in any form. This led to the rise of the LGBT community, asking for equality. And finally, on September 6, 2018; love found its way.
The Supreme Court of India stated that the application of Section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults was unconstitutional, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary” but that Section 377 remains in force relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality to maintain law and order.
Finally, a long fight of a community that was never a community before was successful. But this is just a start of a great marathon of acceptance in the community. As the British Raj’s hundred years of rule over our nation have caused us to believe in words like caste, creed, and community. In a nation where inter-caste marriage is a big challenge, the idea of gay marriage is still a very long run.
But this can happen by understanding that we all are connected to one life force. We all are humans and we are born here, just to fulfill our life’s purpose and help society. With our hands united and strong, we can bring our youth to understand two simple things Knowledge and Openness for all the possibilities.
Essential reading for students of gender studies and an invaluable source for anyone interested in gender issues in relation to India.