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Dear LGBT Community, Azadi slogans are clearly not working, it’s time to chant Jai Shri Ram

There's a need for dialogue between the two factions and there are genuine concerns of the LGBT community that could be addressed after a sense of trust has been built. However, making enemies out of people who are apathetic is never a good idea.

LGBT Pride Parades have become just another occasion for the overt display of hatred against Hindutva and a mockery of the religious faith of the billion Hindus who call India their motherland. It is the same story over and over again where the participants at such rallies appear more concerned with Hindutva than they are about the welfare of their own people.

As I watched the images and videos from the Delhi Pride Parade, one thing that struck me as most obvious was how stupid it was for them to paint themselves as the enemies of Hindutva. Making this a political battle was the most stupid decision any homosexual could ever make and yet, here we are.

LGBT Community needs a reality-check

There are good reasons why I say making LGBT rights a political battle is monumentally stupid. For one, homosexuality was decriminalized during Narendra Modi’s reign as Prime Minister. It is pertinent to remember here that the government raised no objection against the decriminalization of homosexuality in the Courts and it was said that they would accept the verdict, whatever it was.

Furthermore, the secular parties haven’t really done any justice to the LGBT community in any manner whatsoever. They only paid lip service to their concerns and it was necessary for them to do so because their core vote-banks, the minority communities, are resolutely against homosexuality and consider it a grave sin. Even then, it’s only one community that’s continuously targeted in these pride parades and it’s the one that has the most favourable attitudes toward homosexuality.

A section of the LGBT community, in its infinite wisdom, has chosen to paint themselves into a corner where they have portrayed themselves to be enemies of Hindutva. In the process, they have allied themselves with Kashmiri separatists, a state where homosexuality was still illegal until the abrogation of Article 370, which again was vehemently opposed by secular parties and was implemented by the people they consider as enemies.

In no position to fight a Political Battle

I am afraid there’s an urgent need for a reality-check here. Firstly, the LGBT community is in no position at all to fight a political battle. And this is because there is no real constituency for their concerns in India. Our country is not the West, Indians do not want to emulate Western Culture. Therefore, people from LGBT communities should stop expecting India to suddenly turn into the West one fine day. It will never happen.

Hindutva is not an Enemy of the LGBT Community

Secondly, Hindutvavadis have enough concerns of their own. Article 370 has been abrogated, the Supreme Court has paved the way for a Bhavya Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is around the corner, the NRC remains a topmost priority. Therefore, although some political demands have been met, there’s a long way to go. Under such circumstances, if a particular group of individuals paints itself as an enemy of Hindutva, it will receive a political response. And it’s natural for it to be that way.

Therefore, given the fact that Hindutva is overwhelmingly the dominant ideology in the country at the moment, the LGBT community will never gain anything by making Hindutva an enemy. And it ought to be remembered here that Hindutva hasn’t really treated the LGBT community as an enemy. It hasn’t all been lovey-dovey, of course, but the hatred that the LGBT community reserves for Hindutva and people of certain minority communities reserve for the LGBT community, that is conspicuously missing among Hindus.

Read: Dear fellow LGBTQ members, this was a hate parade, not a pride march

There’s a great magnitude of difference between plain ‘dislike’ and ‘hatred’. For instance, Subramanian Swamy, who has the most extreme view on the matter, says that homosexuality is a genetic disorder but even he won’t throw homosexuals off rooftops neither would he advocate for the stoning of homosexuals or issue a Fatwa. There’s a lot of difference here. Thus, the differences between Hindutvavadis and the LGBT community can be worked out through dialogue. It won’t do the LGBT community any good if it makes an enemy out of Hindutva at a time when it is the overwhelmingly dominant political ideology in the country.

Ridiculous Fantasies do not benefit anyone

Thirdly, the LGBT community has enough concerns of its own. It should stop dealing in ridiculous fantasies. For instance, slogans such as ‘Hum lad ke lenge Azadi’ and ‘Tum Police bula lo’ may sound good and feel good but these are not practical. They can’t really go through with ‘lad ke lengey Azadi’. Even the Jihadists in Kashmir lived under that delusion and what did they get? The abrogation of Article 370 and they could do nothing about it.

Read: Leftist Pride Marches with their anti-Hindu rhetoric do not represent the entire LGBT community

Similarly, placards such as ‘Bharat Mata wants a girlfriend’ and ‘M*di is the only dick I can’t handle’ might make you feel good for a day but it doesn’t help you in any manner. In fact, the hatred displayed is so toxic, that by censoring the Prime Minister’s name and not the word ‘dick’, the ones holding the poster insinuate that the Prime Minister is a ‘bad word’ compared to ‘dick’ which is why the former needs censoring, not the later.

LGBT Pride March

The only thing you achieve is you turn people away who would otherwise have been sympathetic towards your concerns. Narendra Modi, like it or not, is the most powerful Indian politician since Indira Gandhi at the moment. And by the time he is done, he will in all probability achieve an even higher stature than Jawaharlal Nehru in the history of India.

Read: Delhi Pride Parade: ‘Kashmir maangey azadi’, ‘Bharat Mata wants girlfriend’ slogans raised at the queer parade

Thus, the LGBT community cannot defeat him, people with much greater resources have tried and failed. And crass remarks against Bharat Mata is the worst mistake they could make. It just doesn’t help their cause in any manner whatsoever. The LGBT community, in the aftermath of the Delhi Pride Parade, should honestly reconsider their strategy because there’s very limited scope for success with their current one.

An Alternative Strategy for the LGBT community

The LGBT Community needs a better strategy if it wishes to have greater acceptance in society. First of all, however, it needs to make peace with the fact that India will never turn into the West. On the brighter side, India will never turn into Pakistan either if Hindutva continues to dominate the country. If they do want greater acceptance within society, they have to work within these limits to maximize their interests.

Right now, they are in no position to negotiate and they are only worsening their prospects with their nonsensical demonstration of hatred towards Hindutva and Narendra Modi. To gain a place at the negotiation table, they should first abandon some of their current political positions and adopt a few new ones. For starters, they should drop slogans in favour of Azadi for Kashmir and Bastar, the insulting placards against Narendra Modi and Bharat Mata.

Next, the LGBT community would do well to abandon their weird sense of fashion that nobody apart from their coterie is fond of. A hairy man dressed in a bra in public view does not inspire great confidence. If you are just like anyone else, then your behaviour should speak for yourself. Therefore, during pride parades, it is not too much to expect that the participants should adhere to conventional norms of decency.

Read: Post 377 era: LGBT community needs to realise what is their biggest challenge and hurdle

After all that, the LGBT Community should consider adopting a few new slogans. ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ would go a long way in building a sense of trust between the most dominant political ideology of our times and the LGBT community. They could do well by making the abolition of sectarian schemes and laws in favour of the minority communities a central focus of their pride parades. Homosexuals stand to gain a lot more by aligning themselves in favour of Hindutva than against.

The leaders of the community, no doubt, would abhor such ideas. But consider this, Azadi for Kashmir has always been a central theme of pride parades and yet, Jammu and Kashmir did not even decriminalize homosexuality when it was done in the rest of the country. What did the LGBT community get in return for their unconditional support for Kashmiri separatism? Absolutely zilch.

Therefore, it’s not too much to assert that all of this is the least the LGBT community could do to gain a place at the negotiation table. Consider Laxmi Narayan Tripathi for example. She is a prominent transgender rights activist who performed a Puja at Kumbh praying for the early construction of a Bhavya Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Transgenders created history in Kumbh by participating in a religious procession at the sacred Hindu festival.

How did the LGBT community respond? They condemned her and disowned her. Worse, they focused on her caste and gave it a casteist spin. But honestly, who is in a better position to negotiate on behalf of the LGBT community right now, those who attended the Delhi Pride Parade or Laxmi Narayan Tripathi?

Need for Common Sense

The LGBT Community stands to gain nothing from adopting Leftist political stances. They will only succeed in alienating people who otherwise would have been sympathetic to their interests. There’s a need for them to reevaluate their strategy if they wish to find greater acceptance in society.

Furthermore, the LGBT Community is not on very solid ground either. They might succeed in winning favourable laws in courts as the Judiciary is not an honest reflection of Indian society and there’s a nexus of foreign-funded NGOs that works to use the Judiciary to push subversive laws. But they will not find acceptance in society if they carry on with their current trajectory.

There’s a need for dialogue between the two factions and there are genuine concerns of the LGBT community that could be addressed after a sense of trust has been built. However, making enemies out of people who are apathetic is never a good idea.

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K Bhattacharjee
K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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