Reading Down Section 377 : The Road Not Taken by Trishna Das & Saujanya Sreejan

The Authors: Trishna Das & Saujanya Sreejan are Law Students Studying at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur

INTRODUCTION

“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?” -Earnest Gaines

In the true sense of the word, this quote from Gaines did not apply to our Indian culture, not until the British arrived in the sixteenth century and embarked the amalgamation of the western culture with that of the east. From the treatises such as Arthashastra and Kamasutra to the sculptures at Khajuraho, they all bellow and clamour that the notion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) is not something alien to this land, and certainly, was not condemned by the society as they have been for the past 150 years. In fact, they were characterized as ‘third nature’ as opposed to people involved in activities ‘against the order of nature’. Vikram Seth has rightly quoted, “Of all the cruelties that we as human beings can visit on one another, one of the most cruel is to say that you shall not love or make love with the person you love, not because of excessive youth or because of unwillingness, but because he or she comes from a different religion, a different caste, the same village, the same gender. You may say you love each other, that you are happy with each other, that you give each other solace and courage and delight, but your love disgusts me. It runs counter to custom, it is an offence in law, it is against the order of nature, it brings dishonor to our family, it will dilute our blood, it will bring about kali-yuga, it will corrupt everyone around you, and it is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. It must be forbidden.”[i]

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