February 7th, 2016 was marked as memorable day for LGBT community and its supporters alike in the whole of north-east region as they gathered in Guwahati at Diglipukhuri Lake near the High Court. for the Queer Pride Parade of 2016 organized by an independent group known as XUKIA.
After the short but amazing show by the group the group began its preparations to parade through the area, starting from the Dighulipukhri park and back en route BSNL office through Handique Girls College
The LGBTQ+ community is a community of people which is mostly oppressed by the society and is seen as a taboo in many cultures, even though India, which has its roots connected to facts that involved people of that community in a positive way, for example Mahabharata, the great epic of India has referenced transgender as a part of the society, not only transgender but homosexuality is also a part of Indian mythology that people of India today deny to believe in because it "defames" their religion.
The Pride Parade is held yearly by an social-activist group known as XUKIA. The motive of the pride parade is to spread awareness among people that the penal code 377, which was actually imposed by the British during their rule, is like a cancer in the society against the LGBT+ community.
A Parade Worth Remembering
I have had followed up news about pride parades all over the World constantly since marriage equality rights were introduced in US last year, and this year I planned to visit the Pride parade in Guwahati to encourage the LGBT community of my city and learn more about their motive and what is their aim.
The Pride parade was as already mentioned organized by the open group XUKIA. The venue was the Dighulipukri Lake in Guwahati. Over a hundred people joined the parade, security was provided by the state police to diminish and chances of mishaps in the process, which is important looking at the sensitivity of the topic of the pride parade in our society.
Before the parade started, people gathered near the starting point of the parade i.e the Dighulipukhri park entrance, and did a little carpet walk program which was performed by the "Enlighten" group, glorious people walked among gathering.
|A model walking among the gathering for the short carpet walk show.|
A great enthusiasm was visible among the community and the supporters who despite of not actually belonging to the community joined the parade to stand for equal rights for them, which included me, on a personal note.
An Indian parade and no Bhangra? How could one even think of it, drums were rolling and legs were in controlled of the drummers! Bhangra all the way! With occasional slogans on the way, out of which the most prominent was "Konsa kanoon sabe battar? Teen sow Sattatarr Teen sow Sattatarr" which translates to "Which law is the worst? 377.", only in Hindi it rhymes, so it became the best slogan.
(More photos coming soon..)
The pride lasted for more than 1 hour, I personally was in the parade supporting my friends and the whole community for the event that mattered to them and which is supposed to matter to everyone else who wish for a country where we all, regardless of our identity are accepted and treated equally.
News Clippings and Footages
Follow are some news clippings and video footage for the Queer Pride 2016 in Guwahati
About 377 And Its History
IPC 377 is a law prohibiting "against the order of nature", in which if a person is found guilty can be locked up in prison for 10 years!
377 was introduced early in the 1860 during British Rule, during the time of its introduction in India it was also introduced in other countries ruled by the British. If a person at that time was found to be guilty they would either end up in prison for life or would have to go through a medical treatment which eventually made the person ill despite of working the other way, but in 1967 the UK decriminalized homosexual acts in private (when both of the partners attained the age of 21).
India and Homosexuality, Religion and Society.
But India still has not yet disposed the law that goes against India's own ancient and (holy) text for many people, the Rig Veda, which itself states that "Anything that seems unnatural is still natural.".
The ancient India is seen to have no social problems with the LGBT community, the ancient text even depicted the mythological deities Shiva & Vishnu engaging in sexual acts, that being said is not to hurt the sentiments of any person who belongs to the religion who looks upon the God mentioned, but to state that the stories we all see and read, from childhood has a background which involves homosexual behavior, if anybody doesn't recall what I am talking about, it is the incarnation of Vishnu as Mohini, who was persuaded by Shiva for sexual desire.
Next in line is the duality nature of Shiva, the god of ultimate destruction, the God who is known as the God of Gods itself, (whom I personally admire) is one God who has been depicted in the mythological text to have a dual personality, he consists of both Male & Female properties, he binds it all together as one and is the God we know as. Though the topic of God is just a belief, what is being tried to imply here is that it is and was in our culture way before the British came and imposed the rules that criminalized homosexuality. Who is the one has both the properties of a male and female? A transgender, the people who are oppressed in the society and are not given equal rights all for their identity.
See Ardhanarishvara for more on this.
|This is what our ancient text has depicted and still.|
The question goes to all the people in India who is against LGBT - Why do you believe in a religion, who itself has encouraged and depicted homosexual and transgender in most, and not just most, but the majority of their ancient text and myths?
British left, and we continued to believe that homosexuality is a threat against our society, our children, how would you be able to make your children's life better when you wouldn't even let them discover the versatility of nature, the complexities of people in our society when you are against the simple fact that LGBT exists and the members of the community are not disease but people who is just different than what most people are, still, be it different, they are among us, they are the people who make us complete, who makes our India not great, but greatest!
Join In Harmony, Let 377 Die
It's time for the British laws to go away, it's never too late. If the religion of yours taught you to love and respect everyone equally then why are we looking down upon those with an identity which you can't understand, what would this World be if we divided just because we were different.
(blog post was not proof read, please ignore silly errors.)