Written by Ibtisam Ahmed.
In 1860, the Crown implemented Section 377 in the British Raj, outlawing sodomy and immoral sexual acts. The ruling imposed a set of foreign values on a region where gender and sexuality had been conceptualised very loosely in the past. Since then, the queer community has faced a constant struggle against being branded “undesirable”, made even more complicated by the supposed need to fulfil neoliberal Western markers of success in the modern age.
Christian Moral Utopia
One of the main driving forces of British imperialism was its ideology of being a civilising mission. Drawing on the rhetoric of early settlers, colonialists planned on using Britain’s territorial superiority to impose British values on the colonies. A notable and oft-remembered example is politician Thomas Babington Macaulay and the impact of his Minute on Education, which resulted in the ingraining of the English language in the South Asian curriculum, an impact that lasts to this day.