In a decision that surprised a lot of people this month, India’s Supreme Court Wednesday reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex that enables the jailing of homosexuals. The law — section 377 of the Indian penal code — prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and had been ruled an infringement of human rights in 2009. India, one of the world’s largest countries, rejoined the list of 77 countries that outlaw homosexual acts.
The law has been met with anger and exasperation from India’s LGBT community and their supporters. Today, India Today, an English-language magazine with a circulation of 1.6 million, published an article by Vikram Seth, the celebrated author of A Suitable Boy, one of the longest books ever written in the English-language.
The striking cover gives you an idea of what lies inside:
Inside Seth writes a short but powerful article on love, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. “To not be able to love the one you love is to have your life wrenched away,” he writes. “To do this to someone else is to murder their soul.”
Talking to the BBC’s Soutik Biswas, Seth — who identifies as a bisexual — explained why he felt compelled to write the article. “It takes a fair amount to get me incensed,” he said. “And a judgement which takes away the liberties of at least 50 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in India is scandalous, it’s inhumane — and if you wish, you can remove the e at the end of that word.
You can read his entire India Today essay here.
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