Vartanama, Jun '14
By Pawan Dhall
Pawan Dhall aspires to be a rainbow journalist and believes in taking a stand, even if it’s on the fence – the view is better from there!
By Pawan Dhall
July 2, 2014 is round the corner – the fifth anniversary of the landmark Delhi High Court judgment that read down Section 377, Indian Penal Code. Unfortunately, July 2, 2009 was cruelly superseded by December 11, 2013, when the Supreme Court of India reinstated Section 377 and in effect recriminalized queer people. A t-shirt campaign against Section 377 is now underway to emphasize that when it comes to human rights, there can be no giving up on the fight. A few queer activists in Delhi have tied up with FreshMonk to create and sell t-shirts with the ‘No Going Back’ campaign logo set on a black background (www.freshmonk.com/377).
The t-shirts are expected to catch the public eye during protest events on and around July 2, 2014 and the upcoming Chennai and Kolkata rainbow pride events in June and July. By that time, the courts will also open after summer recess and there is a chance the Supreme Court may take up the curative petitions filed against its verdict on Section 377. But elsewhere, on the political front, there is still no clarity on the stand of the Bharatiya Janata Party, now in harness at the Centre, on Section 377.
Not that life has been at a standstill. Despite the pall of gloom, fear and confusion among queer people and other sections of society brought about by the Supreme Court’s verdict, much has been happening. While The Global Impact Project in collaboration with Queer Campus Hyderabad aims to take up gender and sexuality awareness in schools (www.facebook.com/TheGlobalImpactProject), in Kolkata, film production house Bindubot is working with queer support group Amitie’ Trust on producing a music video that highlights the violence faced by queer people.
This issue of Varta also carries stories of queer vigour in India – read about the strides made by the fifth ‘Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival’ held from May 21-25, 2014. And then feast your eyes on Anubhav Gupta’s photographs in Human Rainbow and spare a few moments to learn about skin care facts in Dr. Tirthankar Guha Thakurta’s Skin (S)care!