A group full of colours. A part of society that is bringing a new ray of joy and acceptance. But what kind of acceptance? Acceptance that everyone has the right to live, the right to choose their partners, the right to choose their gender and the right to privacy.
Here in this group, we learn that everyone has the right to be happy, and everyone with a different identity and sexual preference is acceptable in their own unique way. This community teaches us that everyone is different and cannot always be in the way in which we want them to be.
LGBTQ+ community is a group possessing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other such shades of individuals having their own definition of love, partner, intimacy, etc.
Now, the question arises whether LGBTQ is a new concept. To find the answer to this let’s go back to Indian history.
EVIDENCE – LGBT NOT NEW TO INDIANS
As we look back in Indian history this idea is not new as we think. Indian history has always been accepting and celebrating all shades of love. The oldest known Vedic Sanskrit text Rigveda shows evidence that the ancient history of India has always shown support towards accepting each and every person with their own unique identity. The phrase "Vikriti Evam Prakriti" meaning what seems unnatural to all is also natural. During the Middle Ages, there was some disapproval of homosexuality but LGBT people were not boycotted from society. The society was tolerant towards them and nobody was hounded for having their own sexual preferences.
PRESENCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE MUGHAL EMPIRE.
QUTBUDDIN MUBARAK SHAH, son of Alauddin Khilji who ruled The Delhi Sultanate between 1296 and 1316, was known to be in a relationship with one of his Nobel men. KING Babur, FOUNDER OF THE MUGHAL DYNASTY, wrote about his love for a boy named Babri and his writing faced no disapproval during his time or after it. There are many such incidences present in history where Mughal kings were engaged with their Nobel men.
INCORPORATION OF SECTION 377 IPC
In 1861, after the arrival of Britishers, sexual activities “against the order of nature” including all homosexual activities were criminalized under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. This was majorly influenced by the Catholic Church’s belief that a sexual act not related to procreation was a sin.
BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA
In 1994, Hijras were legally allowed to vote as a third gender. In 1994, AIDS BHEDBHAV VIRODHI ANDOLAN filed the first petition against Section 377 of the Indian penal code, but it was eventually dismissed.
In 2001, a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION was filed to challenge Section 377 in the Delhi High Court by NAZ FOUNDATION. In 2009, Delhi High Court found Section 377 in direct violation of the fundamental rights of PRIVACY, LIFE, LIBERTY AND EQUALITY provided by the Constitution of India. This meant that LGBT sex was not a crime, but it was still not legal. However, the critics, including Suresh Kumar Koshal, a Delhi-based astrologer, challenged the Delhi high court’s decision in the Supreme Court. This was a huge milestone in the LGBTQ struggle for freedom.
In 2014, the Supreme Court dismissed the review petition filed by the Centre and several other organizations against its previous verdict on Section 377, explaining that the LGBTQ community constituted a “minuscule fraction” of the country’s population and it was unsustainable legally.
In 2014, the Apex Court ruled that transgender people are third-category people and should be treated the same.
On 24th August 2017, the Supreme Court granted the LGBT community of India the freedom to safely express their sexual orientation. Every Indian citizen’s sexual orientation has been protected by the Right to Privacy law. By this time, LGBTQ people had the right to express their sexual orientation, but homosexual acts like same same-sex marriage, etc remained criminalized.
Finally, on 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the part of Section 377 which criminalized consensual homosexual activities which was actually a great victory for the society. Still, the fight for the rights of this community has not stopped yet in other words, we can say we have a long way to go.
In 2018, the Apex Court struck down Section 377 but still people from the queer community do not have the right to marry their partner. Marriage in itself is a bundle of rights that people from this section still cannot enjoy, few basic rights are like opening a joint bank account, nominating your partner in any policy, taking health insurance as a couple, and many more.
From 13 March 2023, a new fight for legalizing same-sex marriage has begun in the apex court, as said We have come a long way from where we started, but we need to know that no law can change our mindsets, and it can only come from the realization that everyone is unique and it is not right to judge someone’s worth based on what we expect them to be.
We cannot deny the fact that since ancient history LGBT has been a part of the community. This is not a new concept for society and granting them equal rights will be a step forward to a secular nation. If tomorrow this community gets legalization for marriage, it will not only impact their lives but will also bring a ray of joy to society as well.
According to me, if the marriage of same-sex people becomes legalized the adoption cases in society will increase because naturally, they cannot have their biological child.
The offence of homosexuality is not something present in Indian ancient history. This was the concept introduced by the colonial government in the British era. So, in other words, we can say our ancestors, before the British era, welcomed and accepted the fact that every individual has their own unique identity and their own personal right to choose their sexuality.