Dear Supreme Court of India,
Owing to the basic tendency (reduced yet unavoidable) of us, the East, to derive notions and lifestyles from the West, how about attempting it this time, for the sake of humanity and love? Yes, I’m talking about the historic and landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of United States of America that legalized same-sex marriages on 26. June 2015. This date finally restores itself to one of the most glorious pages of American history. But, why just the Americans? Myself being a devoted Indian, is shaking pompoms with my hands of pompous celebration. Equality and freedom, after all, knows no boundaries.
While I read Barack Obama speaking from the White House, declaring the decision “a victory for America“, my heart weeps as I remember reading the various sexist comments by our Prime Minister. While my eyes glitter watching the LGBTQIA supporters sing the American anthem with joy, my heart weeps as I recollect the lines of Tagore from our anthem “Taba Shubha Naame Jaage / Taba Subha Ashish Maage / Gaye Taba Jaya Gaatha. / Jana gana mangala dayaka jaya he / Bharat bhagya vidhata. / Jaya he, jaya he…..” (meaning, “The pray for the blessings,/ and sing by the praise,/ The saving of all people/ waits in thy hand. / Thou dispenser of India’s destiny,/ victory, victory, victory to thee.”)
While the history of pre-colonial India speaks on behalf of the LGBTQIA causes, there lies the curse of an epidemic borne by illiteracy, orthodoxy, ignorance and dark politics on the Indian mass. Ancient texts like the Arthasastra, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, mentions a wide variety of non-vaginal sexual practices which, whether performed with a man or a woman, were sought to be punished with the lowest grade of fine. It is the stagnancy of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that banned homosexual relations by the British government, that has made the Supreme Court of India block away hopes and smiles of the millions.
Asia’s first Genderqueer Pride Parade Festival at Madurai in July 2012, the Delhi Court judgement Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, several ongoing LGBT Pride movements throughout the country, dedications by organizations like Sappho for Equality from Kolkata, and countless prayers of all, seek one wise decision by the Supreme Court of India.
When the voices of America celebrates the victory of love, I offer my plea: “Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”