The Delhi Queer Pride banner, loud and clear. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
377: An ancient law. Perhaps more ancient than this tree. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
The colour of love, the colour of Pride, blending into one. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
SWAG = LGBT. That's right. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
There's no room for sympathy for those who feel Pride. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
If not the Kamasutra, perhaps Baba Ramdev could read this? (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Prem Ratan Pride Payo. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
This car ain't going straight. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Dancing, singing, merry-making, at the Delhi Queer Pride. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Dil Toh Paga(a)l Hai. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Saat rang ke sapne. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Spotted: Akhil Katyal with his "Homos hate BJP" banner. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Carrying her heart on her chest. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
#SelfieWithPride: Crowd at the Delhi Queer Pride. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Because love. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Rainbow flags raised high at Delhi Queer Pride. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Celebrating oneself: The Delhi Queer Pride stage. (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Flowers for a loved one? (Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Nizamuddin Dargah to Pride: Queeriosity makes new friends. (Photo:Vikas Kumar/Catch News)
Rainbow vs saffron: #DelhiQueerPride takes on BJP govt
The rainbow colours were there. The crowd, with and without snazzy masks, was also there. But this was no gay pride. It was a lot more than that.
While the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) flags waved high, they represented other voices of dissent. Because Dalits, Muslims, differently-abled, and other 'othered' voices also deserve to represent their pride. Delhi Queer Pride Parade 2015 joined what now is being called the 'intolerance debate', and unabashedly so.
The pamphlet of 'demands', popularly called the parcha, this year reads, "We march in solidarity for a whole range of freedoms that are under threat. Intolerance and violence towards Dalits, Muslims, women, and rationalists surrounds us. This year, we assert that queer freedoms are inseparable from a broader culture of respect for dissent and difference. Many movements have stood by the queer struggle in the past, we stand by them in return today."
And true to their objective, those who joined the rainbow hued dancers included Occupy UGC protesters, FTII students, the folks at #HappyToBleed and many others. Perhaps this feeling of rising intolerance makes them appreciate the long drawn struggle that the LGBTQI community continue to crusade against. And perhaps, all these converging voices will one day assimilate to form a formidable majority.
Akhil Katyal, Assistant Professor at Shiv Nadar University who moonlights as an LGBT poet, walked around with a green placard that read, "Homos hate BJP." While talking about how this Pride was for everyone who "stood by LGBT people for 7-8 years" including various writers like "Urdu writers, Hindi writers, Kannada writers" who have been protesting against the current government, Katyal said, "The BJP has become a threatening force."
Katyal's comment comes a day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke about reviewing Section 377 that criminalises 'unnatural sex'. Transgender rights activist, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, while chanting "LGBT rights are human rights," told Catch, "[Arun] Jaitley should stop hypocrisy. They should discuss it in Parliament."
The personal is political, it is often said. But the manifestation of just how political personal can get could be seen here. Arun Jaitley's well-timed comment, though appreciated for its intent, was dismissed casually by almost everyone we spoke to.
As one of the organisers of this crowd-funded Pride, Dhrubo Jyoti put it, "Mr Jaitley, thank you so much for coming back to the modern way of thinking, but we want to tell you that LGBT freedom is not isolated. So if you want to repeal Section 377, great, we love you. But you also have to look at freedom for Muslims, lower castes. You can't do Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad."
The ball's in your court, Mr Jaitley. We hope you're listening.
Photos: Vikas Kumar
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