SEVENTY YEARS since Independence, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community has managed to more or less come out of the closet and is even represented in Bollywood films. Thirty-three-year old Souvik Ghosh, who is gay and working in the IT sector in Pune since five years, however, feels that intolerance has also gone up and is taking us backward in time.
“As a result, the laws are not changing and we stand where we were at the time of Independence. Till date, we have had 100 amendments to the Constitution of India since its inception, yet a Draconian law (section 377) that got copy pasted by an Englishman in 1838 from the law books of his motherland never saw a dent,” Souvik told The Indian Express.
Thanks to the power of social media, public opinion in social and political matters had never been stronger than it is today but at the same time the divide in opinions has never been wider, Souvik said. Thirty years ago, we used to kill each other in the name of religion and caste, today we are killing in the name of morality, he added.
Seventy years, we have grown economically stronger, as a society we have grown more assertive and vocal, but somewhere we haven’t been able to shed the evils injected into our bloodstream by the 200 years of British rule. If anything, we have just glorified them. As an LGBT activist, he also hit out at the manner in which the Transgender Persons Bill (2016) was drafted. “As a transgender community, they are still weak and whoever has drafted the Bill has really not understood their problems,” Souvik said.
Souvik reiterated the LGBT community’s views and said that despite 70 years of Independence, there is confusion regarding a person who wants a transgender identity with one who wants his/her identity to be changed to male or female. Surely, the persons drafting the Bill need to understand the definition of transgender and it needs to be reworked.