A note of thanks
Originally Written here
“How strongly must one love knowing that you are unconvicted felons in the eyes of the law” — Menaka Guruswamy to bench of judges at Supreme Court, July 11 2018, during the hearing of petitions against section 377.
On 6th September 2018, the Supreme Court of the largest democracy of the world struck down section 377, a colonial-era law that decriminalises homosexuality. In a unanimous verdict, with passionately written judgements, the law of our land acknowledges the naturality of alternative sexuality and holds hope for further strides for Indian queer community, namely, marriage and civic equality.
It has been an incredible past few months and a historic verdict. Thank yous are in order. I would like to thank, on behalf of all the petitioners and Pravritti, our amazing and courageous lawyers Arundhati, Menaka, Pritha etc for putting up such a moving fight. I express my gratitude to others from Pravritti and the lawyer team that facilitated this petition and rallied to make it happen. We couldn’t have chosen someone better to voice our souls and our concerns, especially Menaka, and throughout this, I’ve been following the court proceedings, articles and everything being tearfully overwhelmed. Thanks to them, and Pravritti and, the struggles of countless other activists who came before us and braved a much more inimical Indian society over several decades paving our way, today alternative sexuality is legal and we’re all free citizens in our country! Fear in our country today is at least delta_x lesser. Queer Indians can breathe freer under the sun in our own soil. I am ardently hoping that this is, but the first step for the queer community in India, and we still have a long way to go to achieve true equality, legally and otherwise. The next fight will perhaps not be fought in courts, but in the hearts and minds of people to vanquish the disgust and walls that the conservative society holds towards us, including the bosom of my mother who was so supposedly humiliated with my role in this case.
Amongst everything, I cannot help but be in awe of our justice system and the foundations of our constitution, it seems larger than life. Being part of this endeavour brings each of us, petitioners, closer to India, looking at our country through a new perspective and being proud to be a citizen of this incredible nation and to experience the foundations of our society from first perspective. Perhaps great civilizations are built like this, drop by drop, and makes one appreciate the freedoms that we millennials inadvertently take for granted and numerous struggles and sacrifices that belie their existence, in this case, the lives of Navtej Johar and Arif Zafar and countless others who lived and died in the shadows and fringes of our society. We’re grateful to have made the tiniest contribution. As for me, this victory dawns upon me a greater ownership to the problems of our country, reinforcing the association between action and effect; sometimes we do not act thinking we are too small to make any difference. But perhaps not.
Harbouring an ocean of energy and hope towards building a new and better tomorrow,
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