Slogans in support of Radical Islamist Sharjeel Imam were raised at the Queer Parade in Mumbai. “Sharjeel tere sapno ko manzil tak pahunchayenge (Sharjeel we will make your dreams come true),” was amongst the many problematic slogans that were raised in the parade. Just to be clear, as per reports, the mastermind of the Shaheen Bagh protests wants to convert India into an Islamic state and is in prison currently for urging Muslims to cut off North East India from the rest of the country.
OpIndia has now learned that there are dissenting voices within the group that had helped organize the pride parade. The event was led by Harish Iyer, who had joined the Congress party during the run-up to the General Elections 2019.
Now, questions are being asked of Harish Iyer as to why he didn’t object to the slogans in support of Sharjeel Imam given the dangerous ideology the Radical Muslim advocates. Apart from the Sharjeel slogans, chants of Azadi and placards demanding independence of Kashmir were also raised at the pride parade. OpIndia has learnt that the slogans were raised by two outfits, one from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and another from Thane, and not everyone participated in it.
People are miffed with Harish Iyer because he was compering the event and they believe that if he had intervened in the matter, then the two groups would have stopped chanting those slogans but he did not. They also believe that due to those problematic slogans, the image of the entire pride rally has been tarnished and Harish Iyer is being blamed for allowing these radical individuals to set the agenda. Now, the dissenting voices are demanding that the group come up with an official statement to disassociate themselves from the problematic slogans that were raised. Harish Iyer is being accused of allowing these two groups to set a tone and agenda that has now tarnished the image of entire pride rally.
While Iyer remains deafeningly silent on the pro-Sharjeel and pro-Azadi slogans at the pride parade, Queer Azaadi, one of the organisers of the pride parade have condemned the radical slogans in support of Sharjeel.
Sunday, 02 February 2020 We are Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), a collective organizing body and permissions team of the ‘Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020’ conducted on Sat, 01 Feb 2020 at Azad Maidan. pic.twitter.com/Tt71ZzHHDZ
— Queer Azaadi Mumbai (Mumbai Pride) (@queer_azaadi) February 2, 2020
Distancing itself from the radical slogans, Queer Azaadi Mumbai has said that those raising pro-Sharjeel slogans were not part of the organising process.
It is notable to mention that the Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to organise the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride March 2020 will be used by anti-CAA dissenters to stoke anarchy in the city. The Mumbai Police while denying the permission claimed that the anti-CAA protesters might co-opt the Queer Azaadi March to fuel their propaganda which may lead to deteriorating law and order situation in the city.