“Gays should pay taxes, water and electricity bills, they should vote and contribute to ushering in a new kind of politics but they should not do what they want to do in the four walls of their house," says 26-year-old Mohnish Malhotra, a Delhi citizen, a PR executive, a passionate upholder of same sex rights. His eyes, he tells us on the phone, are bloodshot, while around him, his friends are crying as if they have lost their parents.

When anger and disappointment, threat and injustice, discrimination and disgust get coiled into the nerves and consciousness of a people, it is bad news for a country. Very bad news. And that is exactly what the bench of justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya have set the stage for, by delivering their verdict on Wednesday against the 2009 verdict of the Delhi high court, which decriminalized gay sex and had read down Article 377.

This morning when three female news anchors on TV channel Times Now said: “Today is the day when the Supreme Court will decriminalize homosexuality," even the most cynical of us wanted to let error pass. It was only a presumption but a sound one at that, you could say, defending the anchors. Given the mood of the nation, where almost every gradation of every fundamental and human right is in a see-through blender, the most obvious thing to expect is that the Supreme Court will gauge and feel it, too. That it will respond, not just by being a thoughtful spectator, but by participating.

But the law is really blind. Isn’t it? It is unable to see what India wants, why the ripples against the Delhi gang-rape case are not only about rape; why the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s politics of idealism has been washed up centre-stage and is not only about a fatigue with corruption. Idealism is a consistent, wholesome reality. It cannot exist unless all fundamental rights of every citizen are protected and upheld. You cannot attempt to stand up for women’s rights but call the sexuality of 30 million people criminal. How can we even think of being a nation of idealists or even quasi-idealists where same-sex freedom will be punishable with a jail sentence, the maximum being life imprisonment?

This is the same court which passed the landmark Kesavananda Bharti versus the state of Kerala judgment in 1973. With that, it saved the Indian democracy by holding that Parliament could alter or amend the Constitution as long as it did not change the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution. That judgment was the culmination of a serious conflict between the judiciary and the government, then headed by Indira Gandhi. This is the same court which upheld the much debated Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment, even jammed the paths of killer blue line buses in Delhi becoming instrumental in stopping their road menace. It is the same court which did not flinch while ordering an enquiry for a sexual harassment charge against justice A.K. Ganguly, one of its most erudite supporters of human rights.

This court now tells us that two men or two women having sex and expressing love in the privacy of their own homes is a crime. This court tells us that while predators roam freely in our cities and will even find a champion or few, the community of homosexuals must face humiliation, ridicule and segregation.

Malhotra, who had set out this morning in a pink sweater all prepared for jubilant celebrations planned later in the day, told us he was going back home to change into a black sweater to join and lead the protests. Protests that will remind us all that we live in an old, pedantic India, where every second week, one section of citizens or the other must fight for the least that our country owes us. Where modernity or free thinking comes out looking like one of the biggest shams, limited to editorials of newspapers and television studios.

Worse, by referring the decision on Article 377 to the government, the Supreme Court has overlooked the fact that India is already beginning to reject the idea of the present government. The growing rejection for the Congress is hardly a secret. Is it this government which will lead us from darkness to light? Or does it mean the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where the prime ministerial candidate keeps hoisting the politics of conservatism as his calling card?

You have no idea justice Singhvi how your swan song (we are told Wednesday is your last day at work) is one of the shining examples of an unequal music.

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