Let’s get ready to embrace new norms !!

Three recent complimentary Supreme Court (SC) judgements have broadened the liberal nature of Indian society. Judgments on Triple Talaq, Right to Privacy and Section 377 sent very strong messages to the government and the society at large.

Triple Talaq was declared unconstitutional as it is not a Fundamental Right under Indian Constitution. Article 25 specifies that every citizen has the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of Religion. But, Triple Talaq invalidates the marriage without any reconciliation between the spouses. Supreme Court highlighted the patriarchal nature of the practice and now empowers women to have a fair divorce. The baton is now passed on to the Parliament for the appropriate legislature.

In another judgement, SC declared Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right. The judgement is based on the premise that the privacy is the inherent and natural right of every human being. SC has just made it explicit by recognizing it as Fundamental Right. Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees Protection of life and Personal Liberty. Right to privacy is now a part of it. Article 21 has been evolved with the changing patterns of the society and the addition of Right to Privacy is a mere affirmation to liberal values. For example, Right to go abroad and Right against public hanging, Right against delayed execution have been recognized as part of Fundamental Right under Article 21. SC also validated the use of Aadhar for purposes other than Welfare activities. Thus, providing respite to the government.

In line with these decisions, Section 377, which criminalizes the homosexuality, was struck down by SC. By saying that the law affected a Minuscule population, SC had done a grave mistake of going against the basic principle of Democracy. Now that it has corrected its mistake, the insensitive law is buried passing on smiles to LGBT community. Though the population of LGBT community is unknown, going with US numbers, it might be around 10% of total population. As a collective society, we should try to accommodate these minorities. Further, the constitution just recognises linguistic and religious minorities. It’s time to recognize the minorities based on sexuality.

Above judgements have socio economic and political repercussions. The government may have to invest heavily in infrastructure for securing the digital data collected. The litigation costs for the government may also go high in case it has to go against big corporate giants (Google, Facebook). They are alleged to have collected a large amount of inappropriate data for their business needs. Abolition of Triple Talaq strengthens government resolution to push for Uniform Civil Code. Political leverage can be garnered among the Hindus by BJP. And the economic consequences of recognizing Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right is still unknown. Also, as a society, we need to broaden our thoughts, open our hearts, extend our hands and pull the LGBT community on board to integrate the nation.

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