1860 vs. 2009
Yesterday, protests were held by the gay community in a bunch of cities across India against Article 377. Drafted by Lord Macaulay in 1860, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. In the past few weeks the government has been making the right noises about abolishing/modifying the article. There have been voices of dissent against the change from various politicians on the grounds of religion, Indian culture and that it will increase paedophilia. If this government does indeed change the article, it will be a miracle. Indian politics is not the politics of democracy. It is the politics of vote banks. But then so is all democracy. The question that will decide the fate of this article will not be a question of right or wrong, it will be, 'Is the gay vote big enough, bigger than the vote of the hardliners who continue to live in 1860?'