“There should be no discrimination in India on the grounds of sexual orientation. In the name of humanity and our Constitution, this cruel and discriminatory law should be struck down.” (signed Vikram Seth, Swami Agnivesh, Soli Sorabjee and over a hundred prominent Indians).
Section 377, in case you didn’t know, is a 145-year-old law that effectively criminalises gay relationships. Prof Amartya Sen calls the law “a colonial-era monstrosity”; the Delhi High Court will rule on Section 377 next month. Earlier this year, in January, Seth was blunt, calling the law “barbaric”. His voice should make a difference; he’s one of the most respected writers from the country.
And I still like this relatively early Seth poem:
Some men like Jack and some like Jill
I’m glad I like them both but still
I wonder if this freewheeling
Really is an enlightened thing,
Or is its greater scope a sign
Of deviance from some party line?
In the strict ranks of Gay and Straight
What is my status: Stray? Or Great?