Earlier today, a five-judge panel of India’s Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the country’s penal code, a 158-year-old prohibition that criminalizes same-sex relations. The law, said Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” But one of his colleagues on the bench, Dhananjaya Chandrachud, found more moving words with which to mark the occasion:

Democracy

It’s coming through a hole in the air …

It’s coming from the feel

that this ain’t exactly real,

or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.

From the wars against disorder,

from the sirens night and day,

from the fires of the homeless,

from the ashes of the gay,

Democracy is coming …

These are the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy,” one of many stirring songs by a modern-day prophet who saw just one more layer of truth and beauty in life that most of us could ever glean. If you’re looking for a sliver of hope in this benighted week, take comfort in the fact that the wise and moving words of a Jewish poet moved an Indian judge to strike down injustice and make the world a little brighter. Here it is, then, for your end-of-week enjoyment, the song that continues to inspire us to be kinder to each other, always and everywhere:





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