Why Indian author Vikram Seth is angry

From the BBC:

EthThe celebrated novelist, who is writing a sequel to his epic bestseller A Suitable Boy, is incensed with the recent decision of India's top court to uphold a law which criminalises gay sex – a ruling seen as a major blow to gay rights.

So much so that the usually calm and dapper writer has posed – unshaved, dishevelled and looking distinctly angry – on the cover of India Today magazine holding a plastic chalkboard speaking 'Not A Criminal' to promote hismoving essay in the magazine on gay rights.

No wonder the powerful cover has become a talking point – one doesn't remember any Indian writer doing such a thing ever in the past.

Mr Seth, who took a degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, was once described by The New York Times as a person with a “polite wit”. I found that wit intact when I spoke to him this morning on the cover that is making waves.

Why are you so angry?

I am appalled by the Supreme Court judgement [criminalising gay sex]. The judgement is intellectually shallow and ethically hollow.

It is slipshod in its reasoning and pusillanimous with regard to defending fundamental rights. It was squarely in the province of the Supreme Court to decide the matter, but this normally activist court has kicked the football onto the pitch of an illiberal parliament.

The constitution protects the liberties and rights of Indian citizens. It is not for the judges to confer rights or take them away.

More here.