Gay, Straight & The Unfaithful


It took less than a month and India transformed from rainbow nation to a nation with two additional colours to rainbow, blue and pink if not red. Practically, nothing changed on ground, gays were part of our society as much as the straights were and as much as the unfaithful were. Only thing that changed with judgments striking down sec 377 and decriminalising adultery is that the society which talked about sex in embarrassed whispers is discussing sex in open.

Its not that gays and the unfaithful did not exist before, they were as naturally ubiquitous as the straights and the faithful were. The judgments gave legitimacy to gay or lesbian sex and decriminalised adultery and provided fodder for the wise and philosophers to conduct inconsequential but prolonged discussions, nothing more nothing less.

Usually the law should reflect cultural values of the society but in India its reverse, already existing value system of country took an eon to reflect in the law. The cultural heritage of this country has been documented for ten thousand years, when Ram was born and it got documented as Ramayana so was Mahabharata, documented five thousand years later. Both epics have enough to suggest that infidelity and same sex relations were a common place. Mahabharata has its foundation on Satyawati, who conceived and delivered a child produced by union with maharishi Prashar even before her marriage. Entire genetic lineage in Mahabharata, be it Dhritrastra and Pandu or the five Pandavas, were born outside legitimate marriages. The society of those times accepted it as a norm. Paintings and sculptures from yore depict gay, lesbian and so called unnatural sex.

Laws of country can be made and discarded by legislation and the Supreme Court of India, this flexibility in law making and its interpretation ensures the society keeps evolving, keeping pace with the ever changing morals of society.

In striking down Section 377 and in making adultery only a moral trespass and not crime, did the Supreme Court cross the Lakshaman Rekha and defined morality? Defining morality can’t be prerogative of legislation or judiciary, this right rests with the society and constitution of the country makes enough space for it. Interpretation of fundamental rights is so liberal that it will naturally allow society to define morals and keep judiciary and the legislation out of this process. Change in moral values will essentially stem from dissent against existing moral norms, however small the dissent may be.

Morals are bound to change, for good or bad of society, is not known now. The philosophers and the wise will have another opportunity to deliberate upon it in hindsight, their deliberations will be as inconsequential then as they are today.

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