The Delhi high court ruling against the IPC 377 sent a wave of jubilation in India 's homosexual community. Suddenly the criminal stigma of being a gay in India is gone. But the society still has miles to go in accepting gays for what they are. Here's my piece on this topic published at the Outlook Magazine website:
On June 2 this year, an American website Edge (Boston , MA) published a news story. Its headline was "Life Only Gets Worse for LGBT Iraqis"
The story was about two young gay men who were found dead in Baghdad ’s Sadr City slum. They were found wearing diapers and women’s lingerie. The bodies of four other men, beaten to death, were discovered by Iraqi police, each bearing signs reading "pervert" in Arabic on their chests, the report noted.
It was an email from a stranger, a fellow Indian, that drew my attention to this news item.
It was a just few days before the much celebrated Delhi High Court judgment in favour of gays and lesbians in India.
"I am writing to you from India ," Zahid, a young Indian doctor, wrote to me in his email. "I am born with Muslim parents, Al-Hamdu-lillah (praise be to Allah). And I have accepted myself for being the person I am -- gay in orientation."
Zahid was born and raised in Saudi Arabia as his dad had moved there for work. He finally moved back to India in 2003.
Being a fellow Muslim and artist (his words!), Zahid wanted me to condemn the killing of gays in Iraq . "Please just speak of the evil behind any kind of discrimination and human torture," he wrote. "It is not very happy to feel threatened. You see how all this affects life of gay people and again it shows how mob reaction rules over rational thinking and respect for others in Iraq ."
I assured him that I would condemn the act of murdering the Iraqi homosexuals (that’s what I’m doing by writing this article). Sexual orientation is a personal matter and no one has any right to kill a fellow human being on account of his or her sexual orientation. What happened in Iraq was clearly wrong, extra-judicial and illegitimate.
Read the full story here