LGBT Community and Their Human Rights in Neo-Liberal India: A Sociological Analysis

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Birendra Narain DUBEY, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Central University, Lucknow, India
Like many of the third world countries India became neo-liberal economy after 1990s but tumultuous phase of change has least been influenced by so called universalistic liberal human values. Social system and institutional set up continue to produce and inculcate patriarchal mind set and Indian society still operates within ‘Gender Box’. Disparity does exist in terms of social, economic, political, educational, religious and cultural development. Along with Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT community includes sexual minorities, trans-sexual, cross dressers, transvestites, gigolos, heterosexuals, heterosexuals, hijaras, kotis, queers and gender non-conformists. Individuals with such an identity are generally not treated as equal in the society or by State. Society based discrimination starts from the family, community, peer group and often gets extended to the cultural, educational and economic systems including employment to public and private enterprises. Transgender receives unequal, unfair and mala-fide treatment in all the existing medical systems in India. State sponsored discrimination is reflected remarkably in the Constitution and Indian Penal Code. It provides enough scope and space to discriminate them through the system of Criminal and Civil Law. Such individuals are treated as pathological, anti-social and anti people. This notion gets legitimized through provisions of Indian Penal Code Section 377, Army, Navy and Police Acts. In this context, it appears extremely important to mention that New Social Movements from all over the world have strengthened the emergence of new identity movements in neo-liberal India but is confined mainly to the metropolitans. The time has come for required changes in the Indian Constitution in general and IPC in particular. Equally crucial is to argue that the mind set of people in the society needs to be changed so that gender equality can be assured to millions of LGBT people who are creative, progressive, intelligent and good human beings.