India: What fundamental right to privacy means for India's LGBTQ and Section 377

A friend of mine put things in context with an inspiring message this week: "Woke up on the right side of the bed today, but the government won't know which side anymore because right to privacy." In its dark comical tone, what the post really put into perspective is the sheer value the right to privacy has in the lives of citizens.

During the past week, which has been marked by constitutional victories, the elevation of a right to a guaranteed fundamental right is not the result of popular demand, but a move to protect the element of choice over the disdain of majorities. With this ruling, the apex court has set things in motion to protect its integrity by really announcing that constitutional rights are not guaranteed only when their exercise is favourably regarded by majoritarian opinion. They are binding in nature, and hence need to be uplifted by the true vanguards of justice.

The Supreme Court's historic ruling on August 24 - declaring privacy as a fundamental right - not only looks at dethroning the master puppeteer off its damning hooks, but also allows ordinary citizens to flaunt their identity. This looks like the ray of optimism that could have a snowball effect, and pave the way for more democratic decisions as well as to further incentivise the policy framework. A lot of deadwood colonial era laws need to go, and the right to privacy could just be the domino effect this country needed.

The decision, however, shouldn't be seen as a tactical manoeuvre to woo emerging classes but as a primer to how things could turn out in the near future - and the lingering schools of thought that surround Section 377. But there is no apprehension whatsoever that the consensus the nine-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court reached sought to drain section 377 off its powers. Read more via Daily O