365 DAYS:


Newsletter May - Aug 2010

Bol, ki lab aazadhaintere

Bol, zaban ab takterihai


Bol, kijaan ab takterihai

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

On 2nd July 2010, the Delhi Queer Pride Committee organised an event to mark the 1st anniversary of the Delhi High Court judgement that decriminalised homosexuality by reading down Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code. This judgement was truly a watershed because ‘reading down’ Sec 377 meant that the Act no longer applied to adult consensual same sex relationships. 

It was a year of many ups and downs, pondering over the oneyear-old-question “kyakuchbadlahai?” An answer to this being a resounding yes, albeit with a disclaimer! It is hard to pin point exactly what had changed and it was precisely this intangible gain that was celebrated at JantarMantar on the 2nd of July. A colourful gathering of members of the LBGT community, supporters and friends waving rainbow flags and balloons added much cheer and laughter to this muggy July evening. Slogans, speeches, songs, dances, poetry readings, personal narratives all added to this celebration of our freedom. The change in law however could not prevent the persecution of Dr. Siras(see ‘Operation Morality, AMU Style - The Persecution of Late Dr. Siras). Lighting candles at the end of the event was a reminder for ourselves that the fight against homophobia is a long one...and one that is not limited to homophobia alone. The recent spate of gruesome killings of young lovers in the name of honour is a sign for us to collectively step up our fight against conservatism, patriarchy and the right to love across religion, caste or gender. 

Sahelis made a new song for this occasion and proudly we must say that we were in tune (mostly)! 

Mashaalein le karchalna, ki ab takraatbaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, ki ab takraatbaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna, ki ab takraatbaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, ki ab takraatbaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 

Mashaalein le karchalna, kibhedbhavbaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, kibhedbhavbaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 

Mashaalein le karchalna, ki homophobia baakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, ki homophobia baakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 

Mashaalein le karchalna, kinafrat-hinsabaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, kinafrat-hinsabaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 

Mashaalein le karchalna, police kidashatbaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, police kidashatbaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 


Mashaalein le karchalna, kipitrasattabaakihai

Garajkarharkadamrakhna, kipitrasattabaakihai

Mashaalein le karchalna… 




One year ago, on July 2nd 2009, the Delhi High Court gave a historic judgement decriminalising adult consensual same-sex sexual activity in private.  The ruling overturned a 19th century British law, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised same-sex activity as being “against the order of nature”! Under this law millions of people in India suffered life-long harassment in schools, colleges, workspace, homes, the streets…along with discrimination and blackmail simply for loving someone of the same sex. This law, coupled with the homophobic mahaul in society, led to forced marriages, suicides and continual violence faced by lesbians, bisexuals, gay and transgender people. 

On July 2nd, 2009, after nine long years of legal battle, the Delhi High Court took a first step in restoring the dignity and rights of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenger, Queer, Intersex) people in India. Citing Dr.Ambedkar’s notion of “constitutional morality” and Pt. Nehru’s idea of equality, the High Court recognized that: “If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of 'inclusiveness'.” And further that, “It cannot be forgotten that discrimination is antithesis of equality and that it is the recognition of equality which will foster the dignity of every individual”. 

While we celebrate this symbolic victory of the LGBTQI movement lets also raise our voice against the violence and discrimination that people continue to face.  We have many challenges ahead of us. The struggle continues to change not just the law but the practices of society and state institutions as well as families and individuals so that they accept and respect our realities, as queer people, while not assuming that any one form of gender or sexuality is the norm.

Let’s get together on 2nd July 2010, demanding that: 

-      The Supreme Court uphold the judgement of the Delhi High Court regarding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

-      Legal measures be taken to ensure that people are not discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation at their work places, schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions.

-      The law should forbid surgical and psychiatric medical interventions to alter sex, gender or sexual orientation, unless the person's complete legal consent is established.

-      Provisions be made so that Hijras, Transsexuals and Intersexed persons be able to record the gender category of their choice in the national Census of India and all government documents.