Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Conversion Therapy
Mains level: Fundamental Rights
• Recently Madras high court in its ruling on S Sushma v Commissioner of police explicitly called for an India-wide ban on Conversion Therapy.
• It also demanded for legal action against those who practice.
• It is a pseudo-medical practice that falsely professes to be able to change the sexual orientation of the LGBTQIA+ community members.
Need for a ban on Conversion Therapy:
• The therapy is deeply harmful as it subjects the victims to various forms of physical and emotional abuse.
• The UN’s study on gender violence and discrimination found that 98% of those who undergo such therapy experience lasting damage including Depression and anxiety, permanent physical harm and loss of faith.
• The community is being exploited on the entrenched false belief that non-heterosexual orientation is immoral.
• There have been increasing reports of conversion therapy across 5 states, where persons underwent therapy are resorting to suicide attempt.
• It is a dreadful form of discrimination that is clouded by false claims to medical legitimacy has to end.
• It is a misguided and unscientific notion that sexuality can be altered through external intervention.
• The ban will reduce its prevalence and increase the social acceptability of the community.
• Outlawing the practice in India would legally prevent the forced administration of medication and the physical and mental abuse that characterizes conversion therapy.
• Banning will prevent future tragedies of suicides and pain that LGBTQIA+ subjected.
India’s efforts and shortcomings towards homosexuality:
• In India in recent years. Laws and attitudes towards homosexuality have evolved.
• The Indian Psychiatric society already declared that homosexuality is not a mental illness and cannot be changed by external attempts.
• Decriminalization of Section 377 gave legal sanctity to consensual homosexual sex.
But these positive efforts fall short because:
• Still, Mental Healthcare Act does not provide adequate protection against conversion therapy,
• Though it bans medical treatment without consent but it allows consent-based medical treatment.
• Additionally, the act is inadequate for protecting the LGBTQIA+ people’s rights as it fails to prevent categorizing homosexuality as a mental illness.
• At present, India has no law banning conversion therapy that allows the quacks to continue this harmful practice.
• The need for the LGBTQIA+ community in India is a special legislative action that protects them against the real and lasting damage that conversion therapy poses.
• India needs a series of measures to discourage conversion therapy such as:
• Imposing professional sanctions against persons engaging in this.
• Banning conversion therapy involving minors.
• Banning the most egregious forms of conversion therapy.
• India should echo Britain’s pledge to outlaw conversion therapy and such legislations have been already passed in many countries.
• India must take decisive and meaningful action to end this vicious and medically baseless practice.
• India’s actions in recent years towards the vulnerable sections mainly the LGBTQIA+ community is laudable. But its actions fall short in ending the ghastly cases of discrimination such as conversion therapy.
• It is high time for India to implement the Madras High Court suggestions and follow the footsteps of the best practices nations.
Q.1) How far do you think that the creation of National Parks solves the problem of man-animal conflict. Elaborate