Seeing young men and boys holding hands in the streets is a common thing in India. It doesn’t mean they are homosexuals, it means they are friends. However, homosexuality ( most of the time male) is not a rare thing. Because sexual relations between boys and girls are prohibited before the marriage, more and more teenagers are making love with companions of the same sex. In the university campuses, it’s a discreet practice. But it’s becoming more and more widespread.
In India, nobody would dare to display his homosexuality because it is punishable by law and ill-considered by the tradition. ( Male homosexuals are scorned in the Kamasutra, the famous sexual treatise, and female homosexuals are scorned in “The laws of Manu”, an ancient law ( and philosophy and religion) book still respected by hindus.) The article 377 of the criminal code prohibits “unnatural sex between men, women or with animals” and sanctions of imprisonment the homosexuals. That’s why the police makes arrests. “Preys” are tracked on Internet where policemen pose as gays on dating sites. If India sanctions homosexuality, this is also one of the country where the aids rate is increasing very fastly ( 8 % of the homosexuals have aids.) To stem the spread of the disease, the authorities are considering to decriminalize homosexuality. It could help to evaluate more properly the number of HIV-positive persons.
Since july 2, 2009, it’s done. Indeed, the High Court of India has assessed the article 377 was ” a violation of the fundamental rights”.