In a landmark judgment, a Delhi High Court bench has termed consensual sex between adults of the same sex legal.
The judges said, 'Section 377 of IPC which criminalises consensual sexual acts among adults in private is violative of Articles 14, 21 and 15 of the Constitution."
Both supporters and lobbies that oppose it think the judgment is path-breaking. Several Hindu, Muslim and Christian lobbies have strongly opposed it.
The judgment has challenged even the people known for their modern, forward or liberal thinking to take a stand. Kamal Farooqui, chairman of the Minority Commission of New Delhi and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, is known as a modern Muslim. Farooqui is also a distinguished community leader who has done commendable work in giving computer education to poor Muslim children.
Excerpts of a conversation Farooqui had with rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt gives a clear idea that inspite of the HC judgment, gay activists will have to fight a long battle.
You are known as a liberal Muslim. Why don't you see the sexual emotions of hundreds and thousands of people around us? If your son or daughter would have been gay how would you have addressed the topic?
If my daughter or son would have been such, I would have definitely counsel them. I would have explained them this is unnatural and inhuman. Because this will ultimately lead to the destruction of the human race. This (legal right to have sex with the same sex) cannot come under the definition of 'freedom'. All kinds of freedom have some moral context or ethics. We have to follow those ethics.
This is an age-old debate. There are many people who have gone through counseling. It doesn't help. It has been proved that some people can have certain sexual preferences. Many experts claim that it's just a case of biology. So why not allow them to have legal status to their sexuality?
We should certainly allow them to be a part of our society with counseling saying that they should not get into this kind of immoral acts. For some it may not be immoral but we are Indians, we consider it unnatural. This act is against the human race.
Why are you brining in religion when the issue is about human rights?
I have not uttered a word about religion, so far. I am talking straight. I am talking about the survival of the human race. I am talking about reproduction theory. I am talking of natural process of evolution. Tell me from where reproduction will come? If this is the ideal situation they are talking about, then, where will the world go?
Oh, you are going too far. Those people who are normal from your point of view they will carry on with reproduction.
That means, even, you believe these people are abnormal.
I don't think gay people are abnormal. But to carry on conversation I am using these popular terms.
On the contrary, we consider them 'normal human beings'. If some deficiency is left in them we take it into consideration and ask them to change. People do have deficiences. We keep them as a part of society. We give them extra care and help. We hug them and counsel them. But, how can we allow them to have immoral acts just because they have a certain deficiency?
But you or me cannot fix what is moral or immoral. We have the Indian Constitution for that.
The Constitution has given a civilised outline for our lives. I won't be allowed to roam around and do whatever I want. I am 101 percent against homosexuality. It is against mankind and the human race.
Why are you just not understanding the liberal view?
I am listening to you. I am trying to make you understand. If I will bring religion into our debate you may call me a fundamentalist. I am talking to you as a human. I am giving you a human point of view. This (gay sex) is not a natural act at all.
In Indian history there are innumerable mentions of homosexuals. Samlingk is a common Hindi word.
But, in our society it never got approval. Don't dub me a fundamentalist but I will quote one thing. In the holy Koran there is a reference to homosexuality where they have been criticised for bringing a bad name to society and they were punished.
If the Supreme Court upholds the high court verdict what will you do?
We will not accept it. Our society won't accept it. Even if we (Muslims) are left alone we will never accept it.
You are breaking the hearts of gay people.
We are not breaking their hearts. We are considering them as a creation of the merciful Allah! We think it is our duty to help them. We should protect them, we should not discriminate against them. We should give them extra protection.
If some gay people read your views, they will term you as a conservative.
Who is asking for certificates from anybody? I will speak according to my moral values, my religious values. I won't change my views according to you or as per their demands.