Section 377 verdict: Shashi Tharoor says it’s about freedom of Indian citizens, not just about sexhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/section-377-verdict-shashi-tharoor-says-its-about-freedom-of-indian-citizens-in-democracy-not-just-about-sex/

Section 377 verdict: Shashi Tharoor says it’s about freedom of Indian citizens, not just about sex

Shashi Tharoor said, "We have allowed the government to interfere in the private lives of people, to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and to infringe on the rights and freedoms the constitution has long upheld."

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Shashi Tharoor said it is about the freedoms of the Indian citizens in a democracy, it’s not just about sex. (EXPRESS PHOTO BY SUBHAM DUTTA/File)

Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict which legalised homosexuality in India and partially decriminalised Section 377 of the Indian penal Code (IPC), Congress leader and Thiruvananthpuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the decision vindicated his stand on the issue. “So pleased to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377 and on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity and constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS,” he said.

“We have allowed the government to interfere in the private lives of people, to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and to infringe on the rights and freedoms the constitution has long upheld. The Supreme Court has today stood up for equality of all our citizens, it has stood up for dignity of individuals irrespective of personal preferences and it has stood up ultimately for the value of privacy which is itself a right the Supreme Court upheld last year,” Tharoor told the indianexpress.com.

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The Congress leader further said the decision is about the freedoms of the Indian citizens in a democracy, it’s not just about sex. “To my mind, equality, privacy and dignity are the key issues here and I deplore all those who reduce it to a sniggering debate about sex. This is about the freedoms of the Indian citizens in a democracy, it’s not just about sex. It’s about how we treat our own citizens and to my mind, the government has no place in the bedroom and the private lives of individuals criminal acts, child molestation are still illegal but private acts between consenting adults, this is something no government should have criminalised, unfortunately we have done since the days of the British raj. I am happy that today is a dawn of freedom for many of our citizens,” he said.

Recalling the time when he was shouted down by the BJP members when he tried to introduce the bill in the Lok Sabha, Tharoor said, “When I tried to introduce the private member’s bill exactly on these grounds the SC has raised, I was shouted down by the members of the BJP not once but twice, after two unsuccessful attempts of introduction by a bigoted majority. I myself said that the only hope for justice for this community will be the judicial system.”