Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju

Crusaders for LGBTQ rights in India


Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy are public-interest lawyers known for litigating the 2018 Supreme Court case that struck down elements of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, thereby decriminalising homosexual sex in India. The case has been a step ahead for the LGBTQIA+ community and is celebrated internationally as a victory for human rights. 

Arundhati Katju is a lawyer qualified to practise in India and New York with over 13 years of experience. Her law practice ranges from white-collar defence, civil litigation and public interest cases. She has litigated some of the most significant issues, including- the decriminalisation of Section 377, the case of a trans man illegally confined by his parents, the 2G spectrum corruption case, Jessica Lal murder case and the Augusta Westland bribery case. 

Menaka Guruswamy is a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court, B.R. Ambedkar Research Scholar, lecturer at Columbia Law School (2017-2019), and visiting faculty at Yale Law School, NY University of Law and University of Toronto. She has worked on some of the most notable cases, including the decriminalisation of Section 377, the AgustaWestland bribery case, the Salwa Judum case, the right to education case, bureaucratic reforms case and the alleged extrajudicial killings of 1,528 people in Manipur. 

Awards and Accomplishments

Awards and Accomplishments

Guruswamy is the first Indian and the second woman to have her portrait hung in the Milner Hall at the University of Oxford. In 2019, she was featured in Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers. 

In 2019, she was also featured in the Forbes List of ‘Women-Power Trailblazers’. On International Women’s Day, Harvard Law School honoured Gurswamy as ‘Women Inspiring Change’ in a portrait exhibition. 

In 2019, Guruswamy, along with Arundhati Katju, was on the ‘100 Most Influential People list. 

Arundhati Katju was awarded the Human Rights Fellowship by Columbia University and the Human Rights Fellowship Program at International House New York. 

She was awarded the ‘Herman N. Finkelstein Memorial Fellowship’ by Columbia Law School. In 2018, she was awarded the U.S.- Italy Young Leaders Fellow.  

In 2019, Queerty named her one of the Pride50′ Trailblazing individuals who ensure society moves towards equality, acceptance and dignity for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Why Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil ?

Guruswamy has been an advisor for the U.N. Development Fund and UNICEF New York and South Sudan on International Human Rights Law aspects. Both Guruswamy and Katju have tremendous civil rights experience and have worked on many pro-bono projects to make society better. 

You will often find them speaking at events, corporates, educational institutions and forums. Acceptance, inclusivity and diversity are some of the key ideas these speakers personify as they bring their voice to the LGBTQ+ community.

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