A Stand of Inequality: Parliament’s Indifference on Section 377 

MPs squashed Shashi Tharoor’s move to discuss Section 377, denying equal rights to the LGBTQ community. 

Updated
LGBT
3 min read
India is still a long way to muster enough legislative support to decriminalise homosexuality. (Photo altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

Yesterday we had an opportunity to right every wrong, to set the record straight about homophobia. The empathetic Dr Shashi Tharoor introduced a bill in parliament. This was an opportunity for us to come out of our hatred and to embrace life in all forms.

Yesterday we had an opportunity to make a new beginning of goodness, to surge ahead of our tumultuous past, that was capsised with an overdose of pessimism and discrimination.

Yesterday was an opportunity to build a new road towards equality, to start a new dialogue for freedom, to come out with a clear view that we are not regressive, that we stand with marginalised communities.

But we voted in majority against even considering the bill for discussion. So we’d rather prove that we are nothing but a bunch of homophobes. We proved that we can take a stand – the stand of inequality. We proved that we stand up – for prejudice. We proved that we are still a nation that can penalise people for being who they are.

Parliament decides not to take up Section 377 for amendment. (Courtsey: LSTV screengrab)
Parliament decides not to take up Section 377 for amendment. (Courtsey: LSTV screengrab)

I am so truly ashamed to be an Indian. I live in a nation that doesn’t stand to the values of equality that is enshrined in our constitution.

I am so ashamed. So damn ashamed of our ministers. You have officially lined yourself with Saudi Arabia and other extremist nations. So damn shameful.

I should say, our homophobia was famously infamous. It just was not confirmed. Thank you BJP; now officially, we are a nation of homophobes.



There is a growing call to decriminalise homosexuality in India, but our elected representatives refuse to even discuss it. (Photo: Reuters)
There is a growing call to decriminalise homosexuality in India, but our elected representatives refuse to even discuss it. (Photo: Reuters)

Our prime minister promised development. What will I do with his version of “development”– a big highway, a bullet train – when I have to spend my life stripped of my dignity to be who I am.



Gay rights activists shout slogans during a protest against the verdict by the Supreme Court in Mumbai, December 15, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
Gay rights activists shout slogans during a protest against the verdict by the Supreme Court in Mumbai, December 15, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

I may be stripped of my right to be, but I will exist, I will persist, I will insist that there should be change. And it will be so, one day.

Life is all about becoming truer to who you are with every passing day. I will be myself, better every day. I will celebrate myself, in this country. I will find my freedom one day.

Hum Honge Kamiyaab. Hum Honge Kamiyaab. EK DIN!

We Shall Overcome. We Shall Overcome. We Shall Overcome One Day. Deep in my heart, I do believe, We shall overcome one day.

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals. ‘Rainbow Man’ is Harish’s regular blog for The Quint)

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