-Radha, II B.Com
Image source: indainexpress.com
A few days ago, I was scrolling through my twitter timeline and waiting to see the latest updates in the
numerous fandoms I follow. When I looked at the list of topics trending worldwide, I saw the hashtag Section 377.
Now, it’s important to note that I am an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and I try my best to spread awareness and inclusivity. Last year, I wrote an article on the same topic, with Divya Mahesh, and I remember us discussing whether or not we would ever see a day when people could love who they wanted, and identify as they pleased.
I knew the verdict was coming. And I knew the reason that hashtag was trending was because it had come.
But I was scared.
Scratch that, I was terrified.
I did not want to know what the verdict was, because I didn’t trust the verdict to be favourable.
So I didn’t look it up.
I didn’t open the hashtag, I didn’t google the verdict, I didn’t speak to people I knew.
I avoided the verdict like I was a cat with a dog on its tail.
And then, I moved on with my life. I read fanfiction, I listened to music, I cried over lots of fictious people. You know, a normal day.
But something as important as this is never as avoidable as you want it to be.
On my way to college, I was scrolling through tumblr, and I saw the ruling.
I couldn’t breathe.
Section 377 was decriminalised.
An entire community finally, finally had the right to love whomsoever they chose.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried.
It was such a brilliantly beautiful day. So bright, so full of potential and hope. Hope.
So much wonderful hope.
In the article I wrote last year, I said that the only normal thing about humanity was love.
And I stand by that statement. It is our ability to love that unites us. And now, it isn’t illegal anymore. Love isn’t illegal.
As much as I try, I don’t think that words can express the sheer joy of that moment. How overpowering it was to read the verdict, the ruling and know for a fact, that Section 377 was decriminalised.
By God, what a ruling it was.
“Section 377 is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” said the Chief Justice of India
“Tragedy and anguish inflicted by Section 377 should be remedied.” said Justice Chandrachud.
“They (LGBTQ+ community) should be allowed to live with dignity and without pretence.” said Justice Khanwilkar and the CJI in a combined judgement.
And there’s so much more. The five-judge panel were decisive and extremely clear on the message they meant to send with this verdict.
Because it’s one thing for a judge to make a ruling but then distance themselves from it and another entirely for them to stand by what they said and speak out on why they chose to do what they did.
I know that this fight isn’t over. I know that there’s so much more to be done.
But we’ve won something.
We’ve achieved what sometimes felt like an elusive dream.
And like any one who finds an oasis in the middle of a dessert, we have so much more energy to carry on.
We may have to fight more, cry more, bleed more.
But we’ll have something to keep us going.