Condemning the Supreme Court Judgement upholding IPC Section 377, Bhopal Groups demand a just society irrespective of caste, class, gender and sexual orientation.
On 15th December, 2013 a protest was organised by groups in Bhopal and a statement against the SC ruling was released and read out by various people participating in the protest.
We are outraged by the regressive decision of the Supreme Court to uphold IPC Section 377. Section 377 criminalizes same-sex relations between consenting adults and is in violation of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution and an assault on the democratic rights of all citizens of India. Section 377 falls under the category of other draconian laws that take away the constitutional rights of citizens like ASFPA, UAPA, POTA etc.
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is in complete solidarity and supports the woman journalist who has made a serious complaint of repeated aggravated sexual assault against Tarun Tejpal – her powerful and influential director/ employer in Tehelka and Thinkworks – despite her personal distress, and the manifold pressures she has been subjected to.
A First Information Report has been lodged, and there is now no question that anything short of resolute action, under the law against accused Tarun Tejpal, could be acceptable. Fake regrets, deliberate falsification and manipulation of facts, character assassination of the complainant and even the claim that the complaint is politically motivated by the Right wing forces cannot be used to deflect the focus from the crime or trivialize its exigency.
The explosion of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh is the latest in a long series. The collusion between patriarchy and communalism has been starkly exposed in Muzaffarnagar case too. Patriarchal control of women’s sexuality and opposition to the idea of women’s freedom of choices in relationships has been given new dimensions by the gatekeepers of caste and community, who have created the fiction of ‘love jihad’ to camouflage the reality of sexual violence.
As the virus of communal politics gathers force once again in the countdown to the 2014 elections, sexual violence is once again being deployed as a tool to secure electoral gains. We fear that Muzaffar Nagar is only the beginning – there will be more such attempts to turn women’s bodies into battlefields where contending parties vie for votes.
These sentiments were echoed in a meeting organized by Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression a network of women’s rights, dalit rights, human rights and civil liberties organizations and individuals across India, in Delhi on 30th November, Saturday.