“Take Me As I Am”
This week will go down in Indian history as the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment overruling its own 2013 decision, partially struck down Section 377, a controversial British-era law that banned consensual homosexuality. Not surprisingly, one of the nation’s leading luminaries, who was part of the crucial five-judge bench of the Supreme Court deciding upon this momentous verdict, was our very own Justice Rohinton F. Nariman… continuing our Community’s tradition of holding high the Parsi presence and contribution to India’s crucial milestones.
Whether our lives are impacted directly, indirectly or not at all by this verdict, it would be naïve to miss out on two very pointed precedents set by the Supreme Court, no less, which we, as a Community, could do very well to imbibe…
Firstly, much like the Supreme Court overruling its own earlier decision to “bid adieu to prejudices” so as to pave the way for empowering all citizens… setting the precedent to be open to the much-needed change that does away with that which is redundant and neither serves the greater good of the very people it was made for, nor fosters peace or wellbeing amongst them. In fact, such hurtful and non-inclusive beliefs/laws foster insecurity and phobia, leading unfailingly to discrimination, to ultimately tear down the very fabric of unity.
And secondly, and perhaps more importantly, in the words of none other than the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, raising a toast to universal acceptance and respect for all, immaterial of one’s diverse beliefs or preferences – “Take me as I am.” …These words, which symbolize genuine acceptance, are the need of the hour, as much for India, as for our Community. ‘To accept’, as opposed to ‘agreeing to disagree’ or ‘to tolerate’ or worse, ‘to overlook’. Many of us believe the three latter phrases indicate acceptance – but they don’t, or at least, not ungrudgingly. But that is not acceptance. Acceptance, simply put, is to have a heart big enough to be unconditionally happy for another’s equality in happiness, and a mind broad enough to embrace our differences, which is what makes each one of us unique in the first place.
It is said happiness can exist only in acceptance, and our Community would be a whole lot more united and happier if we embrace and apply the simple yet profound intelligence that lies within the ground-breaking verdict, ‘Take Me As I Am’.
Have a stress-free weekend!