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Being Happy and Gay : Sec 377 IPC

Section 377. Unnatural offences :

Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The the law was introduced during the British rule of India  and was left as it is in Independent India. It was drafted in 1870 , quiet archaic and crying for some dusting !

This is one subject that unites all the fundamentally opposite religious groups and leaders. Religious leaders are strongly opposing the repeal of the law. Truly secular and united at least in this aspect.

The gay community in India has been actively demanding the repeal of the law and today the Delhi High court has ruled an judgment legalizing consensual homosexual act and effectively decriminalizing it. Surely a happy and gay judgment for the homosexual community !


Last few weeks saw rallies in Bengaluru , Chennai , Mumbai and Delhi demanding the repeal of the draconian law which was used by police to traumatize the gay community. So now that consensual sex is legalized , It might well make the homosexual marriage too legalized in India !

The exact text of the judgment is not yet clear but then someone just messaged in twitter saying Sec 177 still stays for non-consensual , non-vaginal sex ! Wait now what is this ? Non-vaginal sex is crime ? Holy cow ! Excuse me we belong to the land of Kama sutra !

Other day , I was having a discussion on homosexuality subject with a friend . We were wondering if “sexually challenged” is the right term for labeling homosexuals. I posed this question in a twitter hashtag .

Someone twitted me saying “certainly not. Homosexuals are NOT sexually challenged, I can tell you that..  No sirree, nyet, non!

and another friend added “I think being gay is a matter of sexual preference while a sexually challenged person is an impotent

While a third one quipped “Chota correction. We dont ‘choose’ to be gay. Its nature. How many ‘chose’ to be straight ?”

Leaving me still wonder , if “sexually-challenged” politically right word ? I feel it is a right term. No one chooses to be a gay . The orientation is within one from beginning till he discovers his orientation. It is definitely a deviation from the normal straight orientation , so isn’t it “sexually-challenged” ?

Personally , I have no complaints with people with homosexual orientation. It is their right to be what they want to be until and unless they don’t stalk others or prey upon others. The same law that governs any sexual activity should apply for them too. So I welcome the Delhi HC judgment decriminalizing the act.

Someone definitely would be going to take this matter to Supreme court , that’s for sure. So the final call may come from SC to end this debate once for all while the politicians would be taking stock of their vote arithmetic’s to see which side they could be. Most of our politicians are still conservation , that’s for sure !

So for all those homosexuals “ Be Happy and Gay ! you got something to cheer about today ” Play safe though !





0 02 July, 2009 India Matters July 2, 2009

About the author

He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan


  1. Johnny

    Well, a step forward by HC 🙂

    but I certainly did not like the comment on kamasutra! sorry to say but I hate when people give it as a reference to justify how Indians are hypocrites about sex talk.

    One persons writes a book and everybody thinks whole of India is represented by it. There are thousands of temples in India but people don’t forget to mention caves of Ajant as if whole of India agreed to make such sexually explicit carvings.

  2. Post author

    @ Johnny

    The reference is given coz down the ages , the book of Kamasutra has survived even when there was no backup options easily available then. That means the society has lapped the concept and passed it on generations down and not burnt down the work of Kamasutra manuscripts like people do it now. That shows the maturity of the society then. This explains the reference of Kamasutra in the context of current times. Same is with Ajantha caves and not just ajanta caves one can find such erotic arts in many other temples too. This is the reflection of the open mindedness of the free society then.

  3. Johnny

    That is not because we subscribe to it but because we are tolerant and/or less bothered by such writings/carvings. So you still cannot give it as example to show we were open to sex one day! We just did not care what he wrote. 🙂

  4. Post author

    Exactly that is what i meant in article ! Society needs to be tolerant to one’s practice and views. Why should non-vaginal sex be an offence ? It should be left to the individual to decide upon. Yes , It should be a crime if someone force someone to do . otherwise it should be individual preference.

  5. Johnny

    We should be tolerant etc but that example doesn’t fit. That book doesn’t represent thinking of India. There are many things that survived ancient India does not mean people had accepted it in society.

  6. Post author

    Well , I find it to be fit and if you have gone through KS , u will appreciate it as an well researched master work 😉 .. Its indeed a good piece of article whatever one opines. And there is nothing to feel shy about in KS and feel that it gives a bad image about India. 🙂

    So i feel , it was right in the context of the judgement and my usage of the reference. 🙂

  7. Johnny

    I never said it is not a good work or the author was not wise etc. I am not even feeling shy that it was written by an indian. I am just saying you cant classify Indians as hypocrite based on one book written 1000s yrs old.

  8. adi thackeray

    Culture changes with time . No one can stop a culture from changing.It evolves and strengthens with time. Homosexuality is not against any culture. It is our short comings ,selfishness and hypocrisy that we dont look beyond our own needs and orientation. Science has proved that homosexuality is not a preference but an orientation. Homosexuality exists in animals too. Who decides what’s natural and unnatural? When what we do has been named as natural by us , we do not have any right to call what others do different as unnatural. Homosexuality is as old as the existance of man. No one can suppress the truth. It can only be delayed by resistance and non-acceptance. We need to look around and help others to be their true selves. In India most homosexuals live a dual life. They marry and have kids and live a life of lie till they die. We have such people in our family and our neighborhood. We should look beyond ourselves and help others lead a life of truth. Be a human in the true sense of the word.

  9. Ravikanth Muthalik

    All this seems to be a conspiracy of the West. For centuries , the West has tried to adulterate and malign the rich Indian values and customs. During the British rule , they abolished The Sati and Child marriages and also introduced education of women in India. This was the start of the ugly westernisation of Indian culture. Why dont they leave us on our own!
    I am completely against any western influence on my religion and culture.
    When my only son told me that he was gay,I got him married off against his will. I thought that this will bring him back to the path of religion . I also ensured that the girl he gets married to be cultured and less educated so that she does not leave him in his difficult times. But he could not live up to the expectations of a married life. Last year he committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a running train. I believe that his untimely death was a result of the sin he had committed of being gay.
    My wife could not bear the shock of her son’s death and she died last month after suffering a massive heart attack.
    I had a happy family but my son ruined my home with his sinful act of being gay.
    I completely condemn what the West is trying do by ruining our culture and values.
    I am against decriminalizing of the section 377. Due to this more gays will be able to voice their opinion and live the way they are born against the norms of our culture and society,leading a sinful life and burning in hell.

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