Those making a cultural case for Section 377 need lessons in South Asian history.
- Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, criminalising gay sex, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, was passed in 1860 by the British who were then steeped in Victorian mores.
- Today, while the former colonisers have ensured equality through legislation, irrespective of sexual preference, for their citizens.
- Indian politicians are clinging to the cloak of colonialism and representing it as Indian culture.
- India is not one culture. It is and always has been a mosaic of cultures.
- Mid-18th century South Asia was teeming with communities that allowed sexual freedoms which left the colonisers very uneasy.
- Most laws passed by the British from the mid-19th century onwards,including Section 377, emerged from their cultural views, not ours.
- The recriminalisation of gay sex will also have high economic costs.
- The law can also be misused against political opponents, criminal conviction of Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, of sodomy being a case in point.