By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: Hours after the Indian Supreme Court refused to review its verdict on Section 377 to decriminalize homosexuality, former Miss India, actress and gay activist Celina Jaitley – who is currently stationed in Singapore with her husband and twin children – expressed shock and disbelief at the verdict.
Speaking from Singapore, Celina says, “The honourable court has rejected the petition as it found no merit in it…No merit in it? Millions of lives are at stake and the court finds no merit in the petition?”
Celina thinks holding their homosexuality against the gay community is a crime against humanity. “People with gay tendencies cannot be held guilty for going against the order of nature. Who decides what the order of nature is? To me child marriages and marital rapes are unnatural.”
Celina says she had rejoiced when the Indian gay community had won relief in the courts.
“The honourable Delhi High Court had removed an archaic and primitive law which is both repressive and unjust. It infringed a basic human right that is enshrined in our constitution. And now all hope has been dashed for the community,” said Miss India 2001.
But Celina is still hopeful.
“I hope Parliament will address the issue and all the political parties, regardless of their political and religious affiliation, will come together to uphold the constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens.And that includes those affected directly by Tuesday’s judgement.”
Celina says her heart reaches out to the gay community in India.
“Thousands from the LGBT community came out in the open to protest when their sexual identity was challenged during the past four years. And that too after the Delhi High Court had decriminalized gay sex. Now the gay community is back to square o ne. They face the threat of being prosecuted for choosing the partners that they want.I can’t think of a greater injustice.”