Section 377: Cautious optimism and enthusiasm of Hindi media

Novelist and editor Rajendra Yadav, who revived the literary magazine Hans, had indicated a few years before his death that how the process of change would take shape in the coming years without any significant resistance in the personality of Indians. His reasoning was that, along with other reasons, doing business with the rest of the world would easily give acceptance to different ideas and ways of life. Perhaps this acceptance also increases acceptance of global campaigns for civil equality. For decades, the response of the Hindi press to civil rights issues is a testimony to this.

Alternative Approach

Even if there are differences in their approach, the editorial pages of Hindi newspapers reflect the advocacy of personal freedom. In this process, Hindi newspapers start supporting the views of their English counterparts in the national media. This became more evident when the Hindi media legalized the Supreme Court’s decision, in which homosexuality was legalized and abolished the provisions of the colonial period with Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Giving a long headline, Dainik Jagran made his editorial comment on the verdict (Supreme Court verdict on homosexuality will also affect countries that are inspired by Indian democracy, September 7), “The verdict is the need of the hour because homosexuality is characterized by disorder. There is no logical basis for not seeing the form or denying equal rights to citizens with different sexual desires. ”

However, the newspaper believed that even after judicial acceptance, the fight for social acceptance will take longer. The newspaper explained, writing, “It will take some time to change the views of a section of society that considers people with different sexual desires to be abnormal and perverted. People with this kind of attitude have different sexual desires, We want to live our lives according to our wishes, we should be respected. Such attitudes towards them should be strengthened. ”

Dainik Jagran also established his editorial on this decision from an op-ed written by a Supreme Court lawyer. It was argued that initiative should be taken to abolish or reform the malpractices of colonial period.

The editorial of Dainik Bhaskar on the decision of the Supreme Court was about the removal of Indian laws from the norms of the Victorian period (Historical Initiative and Supreme Society of the Supreme Court, 7 September).

The newspaper said, “It took 158 years for Indian society to remove this clause from the IPC, which came into existence in 1860 after the efforts of Lord Macaulay. This law was based on the values ​​of the Victorian period. In reality, Indian society I never had any provision of punishment against people who had different sexual desires … Therefore, Indian society, which while living with Victorian values, forgot their realities, now this Ishil decision is likely to accept and face the challenge of understanding what it means. ”

In the editorial of Hindustan (for equality, September 7), the decision to legalize homosexuality was interpreted as an aspect of the larger discourse of modernization of Indian judicial thought, saying “abolishing Section 377 just to the point of homosexuality It is not limited, it is a matter of conforming the Indian judicial system to the modern values ​​that can be used in one’s personal life, thoughts or beliefs. Does not allow to curse. Not only Section 377, but there are many such laws which are unduly burdens of judicial and administrative system. Now is the time that we should get rid of them. It is also necessary to get justice. ”

Change: A Need Of The Hour

Seeing this decision as the vanguard of changing attitudes towards gay people, the population seemed optimistic about the impact of its social acceptance. In its editorial comment (Respect for Privacy, 7 September), the newspaper states, “By increasing acceptance of homosexuality, the Supreme Court has also taken a commendable step towards changing the narrow thinking of society on this issue. When gay people in society If you start living comfortably, then there will be a change in the social outlook for them. ”

The editorial of the Navbharat Times (Late Array), September 7, saw the impact of the campaign to make gay people rights a part of the Indian constitutional framework. In this editorial, the statements of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Judge DY Chandrachud and Judge Indu Malhotra which he said while ruling that it is a firm decision expressing the constitutional belief towards personal freedom, were also printed. The newspaper commented, “We must reiterate our resolve to uphold constitutional ethics in order to sustain ourselves as a civilized society.”

At the moment when India reaffirmed its commitment to personal freedom, the editorial pages of leading Hindi dailies had a vigorous optimism as well as an awareness of future challenges. In doing so, Hindi newspapers agreed with the priority of personal freedom in the scheme of modern constitutionalism.