The Supreme Court judgment striking down the Delhi High Court’s order on homosexual intercourse is regressive. It is surprising that the apex court seems not to have taken cognisance of the violation this ruling constitutes of Articles 14, 15 and 21. An individual’s sexual orientation is a personal matter and cannot be dictated or regulated by any institution or third party.
Siddharth Samson, Chennai
I welcome the court’s ruling deeming gay sex a criminal offence. The judiciary must uphold our society’s rules of morality, which have taken many centuries to mould. These have evolved over generations of trial and error. It is all very well for supporters of homosexuality to talk about fundamental rights and consensus, but the absence of moral rules will lead to chaos and anarchy. We must not misinterpret liberty as lawlessness.
P. G .Mathew, Kochi
With due respect to the apex court, the heavens will not fall if homosexuality were to be granted legal sanction. When sex is consensual, practised in private among adults, why should some people lose sleep over the matter? Such deviant behaviour and orientation is already very much prevalent. But such persons largely pursue their activities underground, fearing social stigma and public abuse should their preferences come out in the open. The court has put the ball in Parliament’s court, but the situation looks bleak.
Hemant Kumar, Ambala
In these liberalised times, people are increasingly speaking up for the rights of deviants instead of those who have turned refugees in their own country. The Supreme Court's order on Section 377 comes as a breath of fresh air. The argument that 25 lakh persons in the country are “deviant” does not justify the demand for sanctifying this deviance.
A.P.Govindankutty, Cheruthuruthy, Kerala
“Natural, religious, cultural” — are all ambiguous terms used by individuals to enforce their likes and dislikes on others arbitrarily. The court verdict criminalises homosexuality because it is “unnatural”. But how do you define this? Sexual orientation is not something that a person acquires wilfully. It is something that he or she gets by birth or through interactions with society. So, to deny him or her that sexual orientation is the actual “unnatural act”.
Criminalisation of homosexuality is against the right to life as it includes one’s freedom to choose one’s life partner. It is an inviolable right of an individual to choose his partner for life. India needs to recognise gay rights. One must have a broad outlook to analyse the emerging trends and the transformation that society is going through. Homosexuality is a social reality since mythological times, and it has been accepted worldwide. India cannot pretend not to see the reality.
Barkha Tamrakar, Raipur
The stentorian chorus of self-certified activist groups and “progressive” intellectuals has drowned out the need for a deep analysis of the relationship between law and society. When the Delhi High Court held Section 377 invalid, neo-modernists celebrated the arrival of modern jurisprudence. They did not realise that the Indian Penal Code was not based on Manu’s Sastra but that of Macaulay, and there was nothing modern in the judicial dispensation. The courts cannot define with the judicial authority it has, the virtuousness of social conduct. But it can enforce social contracts as defined by the law of the land. In this context, the Supreme Court has rightly done its job of holding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code constitutionally valid.
S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, Thanjavur