Letters to the Editor

Print edition : January 24, 2014

Section 377

THE Supreme Court verdict setting aside the Delhi High Court’s landmark 2009 judgment legalising gay sex between consenting adults is not only a big blow to the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) and gay rights activists but a step towards medievalism and barbarism (Cover Story, January 10).

The Delhi High Court’s judgment against the draconian Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was on the grounds that the LGBT community should not be discriminated against, but the apex court overruling the order will only leave the community open to harassment and humiliation at the hands of society and law enforcement agencies. The court seeing homosexuality as cultural degradation and a sin, as considered by religious zealots, is disappointing because such a view goes against all the tenets of natural justice and the ideas of equal legal protection for every citizen.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh

A NUMBER of eminent personalities in diverse fields have expressed their disappointment at the Supreme Court’s verdict. Sexual orientation is the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

In India, all minorities have the right to exist. If the majority Hindus and minority Muslims or Christians can coexist, why is it not possible for the LGBT community to continue to live in the so-called mainstream heterosexual community? Today it is the violation of the human rights of LGBTs; tomorrow one cannot rule out the possibility of another archaic law being used to clip the wings of some other section of society that thinks and works differently from “the mainstream”.

Except for the BJP and some religious fundamentalist groups, several political leaders have expressed their opposition to and disappointment with the Supreme Court verdict, and this is a welcome sign.

Rajeevan A.K

Deodhara, Madhya Pradesh

IN India, public protests over a court’s judgments, common in nations like the U.S., were previously unheard of. A number of protests by the LGBT community have been witnessed across the country. One wonders whether this is a one-time feature or whether it will become a routine thing. Public protests are a welcome feature.

Deendayal M. Lulla



IT was indeed an unprecedented move by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to seek the public’s opinion on whether or not to form the government in Delhi with Congress support (“Working model”, January 10). Arvind Kejriwal is certainly a man with a difference, and his unexpected success in the Delhi State elections proves that he is riding a huge wave of expectations. In all probability, the Congress party will not pull the rug out from under his feet in a hurry, so Kejriwal must start fulfilling the tall promises he has made to the people.

Bal Govind

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

CORRUPTION is a virus in Indian society. The AAP’s success is a beacon of hope to millions of common people who had been scorching in the flames of injustice. It will be really a tough job for the new government to clean up the system and fight against the long prevailing evils of nepotism and corruption. We should be optimistic that the Kejriwal-led government armed with the Jan Lokpal Bill can provide good governance and that its fruits will go down to the grass roots.

Pious Thomas

Payyannur, Kerala

THE results of the recent Assembly elections have shown that governmental performance was the reason for success. The AAP has brought a new “working model”, a change that evokes great expectations. The nation is looking forward to how it will have an impact on the general election.

A. Jacob Sahayam


IT remains to be seen whether the AAP can run the Delhi government efficiently; only time will tell. I wish it luck. Now the AAP has decided to go national. The good thing that people have shown by voting for the AAP is that politicians have to work for the nation—that is, people at large and not be ruled by self-interest only—and that criminalisation of politics is not acceptable.

Mahesh Kumar

New Delhi


THE exhaustive case made by A.G. Noorani for the need for a Central government commission of inquiry into the episode of spying on a 35-year-old woman by the Gujarat government machinery is commendable (“Snooping in Modiland”, January 10). The Centre has now set up a commission of inquiry separate from that of the Gujarat government. The reports of both will assume much importance in view of the stakes involved in the case.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala

Nelson Mandela

THE essay paying tribute to Nelson Mandela was inspiring and depressing at once (“The Mandela years: Of liberation & betrayal”, January 10). In 1994, when he became the first President of post-apartheid South Africa, I was working as a medical officer at the Government District Hospital in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. The literacy movement was at its peak then. The Chittoor district literacy mission used to publish a weekly neoliterate broadsheet titled “Velugu Bata” for free distribution to 10,000-odd literacy centres. I wrote regularly on health issues.

When apartheid ended, the Chittoor district administration suggested that I try a non-medical subject, that is, South Africa. I took it on as a challenge and prepared a special two-page issue on South Africa. This way we educated neoliterates on the glorious liberation of South Africa. Alas, after such a bitter struggle, liberation and victory, South Africa is drifting towards unfettered privatisation, with jargon such as “glorious to be rich” and “privatisation is a fundamental policy”, and Mandela was a witness to this decay. It is agonising to see Mandela’s South Africa turning into an unequal society.

Araveeti Rama Yogaiah