On the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to recriminalize homosexuality, Voices against Section 377 launches campaign ‘No Going Back’ committing to continuing the fight to reclaim their human and civil rights
By Team FI
A year to the day Supreme Court of India overturned the historic repeal of Section 377, by the Delhi High Court; the ‘Voices Against Sec 377’ launched a No Going Back campaign marking the anniversary as a day of injustice.
A statement released by the campaign stated, “We mark this day to remind ourselves, the queer community, the public and the courts that we have not and will not forget. We mark this day to acknowledge that we are still here, standing strong to ensure that – no matter the law – discrimination and violence do not shape queer lives. We mark this day to refuse both that we are “miniscule” and that rights should ever be counted. We mark this day to promise to ourselves and to remind others: there is No Going Back.”
An online campaign was also launched on Facebook. Those who wished to participate where asked to change their profile or cover picture to the No Going Back image. The image can be found on the No Going Back facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1505398003075989/. The participants could also update their facebook status with the slogans furnished below and mark every hour from 11 am to midnight with a post on the issue.
Ab ki baar, no going back yaar
Leke rahenge hamare adhikaar
Ek saal baad, hum aur abaad
अबकी बार no going back यार
लेके रहेंगे हमारे अधिकार
एक साल बाद हम और आबाद
Full text of the statement
Voices against Sec 377 marks one year since 11.12.13 when a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court overturned a historic, globally celebrated decision of the Delhi High court in Naz Foundation.
The Naz judgment had argued that, “if there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness’.” It was a judgment that not only acknowledged the dignity, equality and rights of the queer community but restored to all Indians a measure of our constitution’s promise to us. It reminded us that discrimination, prejudice and violence are the same whether they take the form of homophobia, transphobia, casteism, communalism, ableism, sexism or classism.
Over the past year, incidents of violence, blackmail and the threat of various laws including Sec 377 being used against the queer community have been documented across the country. We mark this day to remind ourselves, the queer community, the public and the courts that we have not and will not forget. We mark this day to acknowledge that we are still here, standing strong to ensure that – no matter the law – discrimination and violence do not shape queer lives. We mark this day to refuse both that we are “miniscule” and that rights should ever be counted. We mark this day to promise to ourselves and to remind others: there is No Going Back.
Voices remains part of the curative petition pending in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of 11.12.13. We remain committed to seeing the legal fight against Sec 377 through to the end until our laws are once again unmarked by prejudice.
Events across Indian cities are marking the day in protest and some online.
• Bengaluru : Town Hall, 5-7 pm, 11 Dec 2014
• Chennai : Gandhi statue, Marina, 5 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Hyderabad : Public Gardens, Nampally, 5-7 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• New Delhi : Rajghat, 4-6 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Mumbai : Juhu beach, Shivaji Maharaj Statue, 7-9.30 am, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Kolkata : College Street, 3 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Chandigarh : Plaza Fountain, Sector 17, 5 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Kolkata : Ranu Chhaya Manch, 4 pm, 12 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Guwahati : opp Dighalipukhuri Park, 4 pm, 14 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Hassan : Govt High School grounds to Dist playground, 12 noon, 14 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• New Delhi : A public hearing about s 377 and its effects, organised by Alliance India, 11 am – 5.30 pm, 11 Dec 2014 [FB event page]
• Online : an online protest campaign [FB event page]
• Online : ‘Doodle your protest’ campaign, by Varta [Website]
Dignity First – a booklet
A booklet titled ‘Dignity First’, to mark one year of resistance to re-criminalisation of LGBT lives, published by CSMR, Bengaluru, analyses the failures of the judgment, tracks the legal struggle, maps the continuing and brave resistance by the LGBT community to re-criminalisation, catalogues cases filed under Section 377 and concludes with a strong demand that the Government must repeal Section 377 as it is the bounden responsibility of the Government, sworn to uphold the Constitution to recognized LGBT persons as full moral citizens.
The book can be viewed and downloaded from here.
Dignity First – a film
A short film, titled ‘Dignity First’ has been created, which seeks to capture the anger of the community and its allies at the judgement.