Marriage of convenience; The appendix; Caught in the act
Marriage of convenience
You know there is something fishy when an enfant terrible goes all meek, submitting to the right, recognised authority. Now, when time has come to take a decision on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexuality, the Centre has squarely dumped responsibility on the Supreme Court. But where was this deference when the apex court said mob lynching is a crime? Instead, Jayant Sinha garlanded eight alleged lynchers. When the SC asked the Centre to excuse those who could not submit old notes for genuine reasons during the DeMo drive, the Centre didn't agree. When an SC bench was about to issue a directive to the Centre not to deport Rohingyas, it was stopped by the additional solicitor-general, who said such an order would embarrass the government.
The issue at hand is this. An ancient law - child of a 1533 Act of British Parliament against the "vice of Buggerie" - and a living context. Which of the two deserves saving? Medical science has a name for irrelevant adjuncts - vestigial organs. Doctors prefer to snip these off where possible. BJP's Subramanian Swamy says homosexuality is against Hindutva, nixing 377 will compromise national security. Going by his argument, the good doctor may not have the pulse of the people but he definitely has a deep connect with his appendix.
Caught in the act
As a people, we here are quick to claim what others have cast away. The punishment for buggery in England was death. The last recorded execution was in 1836. In 1861, it was written into the IPC. In 1957, the Wolfenden report was published, which recommended decriminalising homosexuality. It read: "It is not... the function of the law to intervene in the private lives of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour." Ten years later, UK finally acted on this recommendation. Now, that would be the act to follow.