Forget Vicky Kaushal, everybody seems to be crushing on the Supreme Court nowadays thanks to landmark judgements which will no doubt have a major impact on the great Indian future. Some of us who don’t believe in invoking love laws made famous by Arundhati Roy—which dictate who should be loved, how and how much—had barely recovered from the happiness engendered by the verdict decriminalising homosexuality when the ‘Men in Black Robes’ put the pedal to the medal and authenticated Aadhar with a few caveats, ruled that adultery is not a crime and women of all ages irrespective of their menstruating age must not be denied entry into Sabarimala.
People considered smarter than me on account of being actual experts have written at length on the significance of these monumental matters, but that is hardly reason enough to keep my opinions to myself, isn’t it?
While it is nice of the Supreme Court to uphold the noble principles of democracy that our freedom fighter ancestors fought and died for, the battle is far from over. After all, as citizens we have seldom felt obliged to honour either the letter or the spirit of the law and every one of us is guilty of a range of minor and major offences ranging from bribery, traffic violations, littering, discriminating on the basis of caste, colour, gender, or if you are a Bollywood star, stashing weapons for terrorists, killing endangered species, running over pavement dwellers and getting away with it not entirely scot-free since concerned officials have to be paid off first but close.
Therefore, it is one thing to declare that it is okay to be LGBTQ by the highest judicial authority in the land but entirely another for a dude to be able to openly date another dude or a transgender person to run either for public office or represent India at the Olympics. Even the celebs don’t seem to be in a tearing hurry to come out of the closet as yet.
And you can hardly blame them. After all this is the land where anti-Romeo squads run rampant and straight couples who marry outside of their caste are hounded or murdered in broad daylight even as the guardians of the law turn a blind eye to the plight of victims.
It cannot be denied that steps have been taken in the right direction with regard to women’s rights. But of course, there is a but.... It is all well and good for the wise men to declare that “husband is not the master of the wife” or “to treat women as children of a lesser god is to blink at the Constitution itself”, but make no mistake words are wind without proper action to back them up.
Dowry harassment, rape, trafficking of little girls, workplace abuse, stalking are real evils plaguing women that aren’t just going to disappear in a puff of smoke, just because women can now visit a famous temple in Kerala.
We need to work harder than ever before if the daughters as well as sons of India, irrespective of their sexual orientation and feelings towards Aadhar, are to feel safe and cherished. Otherwise, even the Supreme Court is just a toothless tiger.
Author of Arjuna, Kamadeva, Shakti, and Yama’s Lieutenant