Dharavi Responds to the Supreme Court Verdict on Section 377
What does Asia’s second largest slum have to say about homosexuality being legalised?
In a historical judgement, the Supreme court partially read down section 377, giving the LGBTQ community the right to love who they want. Love is love, and that’s all there is to it, said the Supreme court.
I decided to go to Dharavi, which is the second largest slum in Asia. I asked people there what they think about the landmark verdict. But first, I had to explain what the whole section 377 was all about. It was not an easy task to first explain what the LGBTQ community stands for and what brings all these letters together. The concept of gay men or lesbian women was largely alien to them.
But after the explanation bit, when I asked them how they felt about it, I was pleasantly and not so pleasantly surprised by the responses. While some were downright insensitive and ignorant, a lot of people said if there is consent, then who are we to stop them.
To challenge that statement I got a little personal with them by asking them what would they do if they had a son, brother or friend who came out to them as homosexual. Sadly, only two people said they would accept him unconditionally. The rest were not averse to throwing the person out of the house or even beating him up.
This video is light-hearted because it’s too serious a subject to get people to normally open up about. The insensitivity is clearly not their fault - lack of education and awareness about the LGBTQ community is as much there in Dharavi as most other places in India.
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