“It is not nice to be a ‘criminal’ who has to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases.” – Words of Lawyer Menaka Guruswamy.
These words strike our hearts like an arrow. It’s not easy to be vulnerable when society sees you as a criminal but it’s not impossible too.
The legal crusaders Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju behind scrapping Section 377 have come out as a couple. The verdict was not just a professional win, it was a personal victory too. Isn’t it one of the best news we’ve read today? If you still feel uncomfortable and ashamed, you need to update your perception. After earning international acclaim for convincing the Supreme Court to decriminalize Section 377, this couple has now become our favorite.
From the battle of decriminalizing homosexuality in 2018 to coming out freely today, it had been arduous but kudos to Menaka and Arundhati for their incessant efforts.
These Lawyers had spearheaded the draconian law “Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code” date back to 1861. It was introduced during the British rule of India criminalizes sexual activities including homosexual activities.
Their fight for love freely started in 2013 when the SC upheld Section 377 after the decriminalization in 2009 by Delhi High Court. Section 377 provided for jail up to ten years for the offense. In a historic move, on September 6, 2018, Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality activity between consenting adults and reversed it’s 2013 order. The five-judge Constitution bench gave the verdict after hearing six petitions and interventions filed by NGO Naz Foundation, Voices Against 377 and parents of queer people.
Referring to the December 2013 judgment, Menaka Guruswamy, and Arundhati Katju said, “The loss in 2013 was a loss as lawyers, a loss as citizens. It was a personal loss.” The couple said they wish that the verdict in India will act as a flare for other countries that have anti-gay laws.
At work front, Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju are doing well, they even made it to the 2019’s Time 100 Most Influential people list. Menaka, a Senior Advocate who is a graduate of National Law School of India University. She has taught at the NYU School of Law and also worked as a human rights consultant to the UN. She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Law and as a Gammon fellow for doing a Masters in Law at Harvard University.
Arundhati holds a BA LLB (Hons.) degree and an LLM from Columbia Law School. She has also worked with Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Her pro bono work includes cases of child sexual abuse survivors against their abusers.