Section 377, Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter ‘IPC’) was enacted by the British colonial regime to criminalize ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. It was rooted in the Judeo-Christian religious morality that abhorred non-procreative sex.
Section 377, IPC reads as:
“377. Unnatural offences.—Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
The law that you see above was made in 1860 and a lot has changed from then .The definition on its own is not self sufficient has became subject to varied judicial interpretation over the years. Initially covering only anal sex, has now come to include oral sex and so on.
Though ostensibly applicable to heterosexuals and homosexuals, Section 377 acted as a complete prohibition on the penetrative sexual acts engaged in by homosexual men, thereby criminalizing their sexual expression and identity and Section 377 was used as a tool by the police to harass, extort and blackmail homosexual men and prevented them from seeking legal protection from violence; for fear that they would themselves be penalized for sodomy.
This all may seem very vague now but was quite real in that age an even today in parts of the world , The law made consent and age of the person irrelevant by imposing a blanket prohibition on all penile-non-vaginal sexual acts under the vague rubric of ‘unnatural offences’ .This stigma and prejudice created and perpetuated a culture of silence around homosexuality and resulted in denial and rejection at home along with discrimination in workplaces and public space.
In the mindset in which India is today which only recognize rape as a sexual offence and disregards others.
whereas rape only scratches the surface of the obscenity that concludes sexual offenses in today’s world of increasing unnatural acts, mindsets
and you know what the irony is that ” we don’t even care ”