Sunday, July 02, 2006

Marching with pride

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Alternate sexualities. Everyone pretends we don't exist. Like the air we breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. You are not conscious of it. Maybe you don't want to be. Remember this song? But don't sing it--speak it: Kuch na kaho, kuch bhi na kaho. Kya kehna hai, kya sun-na hai. Tumko pata hai, mujhko pata hai. Samay ka ye pal tham sa gaya hai.
Time--at least the law--has stood still. Aren't more than A Hundred Years of Locking Us in the Closet Enough! An obnoxious British Raj law that criminalizes people of the same sex for loving each other, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, stands on the books. Meanwhile the rest of India prides itself on being a sovereign, democratic republic, even the world's largest democracy. Human rights? Yes, but only custom-fit, convenient ones only please--we are Indians! Shame on you, Heterosexual India.
Hate begets hate, love returns manifold. Nafrat karengay, nafrat milegee; pyar karengay, dugnaa milegaa. Sun le tu dil kee sadaa, pyar se pyar sajaa.
Thirty per cent of the population is NOT heterosexual. Family: You, mummy, papa, dada, dadi, nana, nani. Wake up and smell the coffee, at least one of you IS gay or bisexual. Queer India, it's time to come out wherever you are and face yourself in the mirror. Breathe the air, feel it in your lungs. No more hiding; it's Truth AND dare. The truth shall set you free. Satyamev Jayate!
The Pride march this year started from the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the maidan and ended at Rabindra Sadan. But this march of self-affirmation shall go on, until India Shame becomes India Shining: "Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high..."
Agay bhi hoga jo uska karam, yeh din to manayenge har saal hum. This march of self-affirmation shall go on, for we have promises to keep to our forebears and miles to go before India Shame becomes India Shining:
Pictures from my second Pride march can be found on the links below. The first march in which I took part was also the first ever in India and again in Kolkata, in 1999.

My set of Pride march 2006 photos

The same set of pics is also on my Yahoo! 360 page

5 comments:

Mitesh said...

can you add my blog to the list of queer blogs on bombay-dost site?

the url is http://babu_81.rediffblogs.com

Thanks

Mitesh

leena said...

i love this post, and your pictures!

dgboiler said...

Awesome, I saw the pics from the Kolkata Pride march. We need to create more awareness in India. It is such a pity that we as a society have become more conservative through the course of time. Hopefully, we will see acceptance in our lifetime.

Thanks a lot !
and here's my blog
dgboiler.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

pardon! 30% of population is gay/bi? are u serious. I thought its 4%

Nitin Karani said...

@anon: sorry, I missed your comment so far. Yes, if I remember right, according to one Indian survey, 30% of the sample reported homosexuality or bisexuality. The 4% number was for men who were exclusively homosexual throughout their life and that was a different survey, probably not in India. Someday I'll dig out these details from my clippings stash.