In the world's largest democracy, homosexual activity is still a crime punishable by life imprisonment. A few weeks ago, the Indian Parliament saw MPs of both major parties scurrying for the exits to evade a debate on this anachronistic ban, introduced by the British Raj in the 19th century.
The occasion was a failed attempt by a maverick backbencher to introduce a private member's bill legalising homosexuality. Indian politicians are in no hurry to debate a reform that would annoy religious extremists. And yet India, always a land of contradictions, allows Gay Pride marches in most major cities, has vibrant gay pressure groups and publications and officially accepts people who are transgender.
When I grew up in India's most cosmopolitan city, Bombay, in the 1960s, the very mention of homosexuality was taboo, and absolutely no one was “out”. Last month, I made a personal journey home for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, to explore how dramatically India's sexual landscape has changed in recent years. Read more via Independent