“A transformational constitutionality must go beyond just being who we are,” writes Gautam Bhan in the Hindu. “It must instead ask: who can we be? Who must we be to ourselves and each other? How can we use constitutional morality as a transformative power to speak not just of equality on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity but on all that divides us? After Thursday, our work must merely begin so that we may not be the cause of injustice from having once been its inheritors. It is only then that we will truly be free.”
Dhamini Ratnam and Dhrubo Jyoti in the Hindustan Times write about how a “pink book” paved the way for equal rights for the LGBT community in India.
“What does this freedom feel like in India today?” writes Menaka Guruswamy in the Hindustan Times. “It is the incoming monsoon, the smell of wet soil; it is the colourful kurtas and blue jeans of our young scientist clients amid the sea of black and white lawyers’ gowns. It is the twinkle in their eyes as they bob up and down in expectation of their lives to come. It is what India feels like today. It is what it felt like many monsoons ago in 1947 when it made its tryst with destiny.”
“The link between LGBTQ individuals and couples who love across caste and community lines is not just the disruption of existing lines of social authority,” writes Manish in Firstpost. “Queer lovers are also inter-caste and inter-religious lovers, and sometimes love involves crossing multiple social lines, some of which themselves cross each other. Equal citizenship then is about celebration of diversity, recognition that individuals are composed of multiple identities in addition to gender and sexuality and acknowledgement that many people face oppressions other than Section 377, and that these fights will continue.”
Shyam Divan writes in the Hindustan Times about how the 377 verdict will “bring cheer across the globe to other communities seeking their place in the sun”.
“After the shock of the 2013 verdict, many predicted LGBT people would be so traumatised that we would never fight back,” writes Vikram Doctor in the Economic Times. “In fact, the opposite happened. Partly from fury of being so badly treated, and partly from the absurdity that just increased with time of an essentially open and tolerant society like India being blinkered on this issue, more and more LGBT people started asserting themselves.”
“September 6, 2018, seems a lifetime away from December 11, 2013,” writes Dhrubo Jyoti in Hindustan Times. “The court then said they didn’t recognise a minuscule minority, the court now says ‘Take me as I am’. I have not been able to stop smiling since the morning. The tears are gone. Civilisation is brutal, as the judges say, and the shame of queerness will take some more time to lift, but there is a rainbow at the end of this tunnel.”
Poorva Rajaram in the Hindu Businessline explains why those in the LGBTQ community who are not one of the “G” may be indifferent to what happens to 377: “Some of us within the community have felt that among the different laws affecting queer lives in India, Section 377 is not the one doing the most damage. The belief meant that the LGBT did not sit well together between themselves. Section 377 was chosen on the rationale that it was a tool of extortion and blackmail against gay men picked up by the police. While this may have been true, not everyone had the same social standing or networks to lose.”
“A country decolonizes itself slowly,” writes Samanth Subramanian in the New Yorker. “The Supreme Court’s decision on Section 377 snips away one more tether binding India to its colonial past. But the verdict resembles a strong beam of light only because it pierces through the stormy, illiberal weather around it.”
The Big Scroll
Section 377 verdict: What you need to know about SC’s decision to decriminalise homosexuality, by Sruthisagar Yamunan.