Like thousands around her, Anjali Gopalan remembers the night of February 1 as one of the most difficult. Neither sleep nor hunger could take her attention away from the anticipation of what could follow the day after. Gopalan is an equal rights activist who heads the Naz Foundation Trust, an NGO that fights against HIV/AIDS, which is one of the petitioners in the case.But moments after Supreme Court decided to allow a re-look into the case, she looked relieved and at peace. As she spoke to several people from the press who gathered around, a few of her friends were seen urging her to take some regular medicines that she had kept aside. “We have been continuing this fight for years; yet we were hoping against hope. This is unprecedented,” said Gopalan. She was surprised at the leniency and liberal overview of the court in the matter, and admitted that that, too, is unprecedented. “I think there is definitely a change in attitudes.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi-based queer activist Rituparna Borah says that for her the battle is already won. “The fact that the apex court has agreed to a hearing is momentous for us, we are happy with that. This is clearly a declaration that we are not wrong,” said a visibly-happy Borah, hugging a friend and obliging photographers at the lawns of the court.Manak Matiyani, a queer activist who is an integral part of the Delhi Queer Pride Committee, said that the SC decision makes him proud of being queer, adding that the struggle will continue, inside and outside the courts, irrespective of what happens hereafter. “I think this decision is highly commendable and I hope that the bench that sits on the case protects the rights guaranteed to all citizens without discrimination in the constitution,” he said.Prominent Mumbai-based gay rights activist Gautam Bhan said that he doesn’t let court decisions bother him too much. “We’ve been fighting out in the court for 15 years, and of course, we need to keep the legal battle alive, but I try and not pay too much attention to it,” he said, adding that the first pride march in India took place much before the courts decided to look into section 377. “It’s simple; now it is a validation that this is no longer an issue of ministerial minority, but a constitutional matter.”Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who introduced a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha to decriminalise homosexuality which was disallowed by several across party members and had also started an online petition, said that the SC decision has “essentially and implicitly accepted that this is the business of the judiciary”.”It’s time to get the government out of the bedrooms of Indians,” he said. About time.
Original article –