How the IPC and the Indian Media seem to be suffering from a case of chronic colonial hangover.
The British were the carriers of many things, the English language, the railways, the industrial revolution and a homophobic attitude literally interpreted from Adam and Eveâ€™s heterosexual mutual transgression. This our governments and lawmakers have internalized and served to condemn in sec 377 of the IPC. It is in protest of this colonial outlook that about a 1000 people from the LGBT community and its supporters took to the streets of Delhi on 29th of Juneâ€™08. The peace march was organized to show solidarity and unity in the face of blind adaptation of the colonial rule. Waving the Rainbow flag this community asked to be accepted for who they are. They ask merely for the same freedom from interference in their lives, which their heterosexual counterparts enjoy.
However, like all colonial hangovers the IPC is the written representative of Lutyenâ€™s Delhi. Where the bureaucracy of the Indian Government is enshrined in aesthetically pleasing colonial structures. So 19th Century British Christian theologyâ€™s outlook on homosexuality gets laterally imprinted on a country that produced the kama sutra, simply because a hangover of 400 years left a headache as lengthy.
To alleviate this headache, The Pride parade was a step in the positive direction, however the media coverage may have served to malign this act.
Most news and print media focused on the transsexual and Hijra members of the LGBT community as its sole representatives. Thus to most people this small proportion of the community ends up reflecting the entire population, which is not the case.
In fact a reporter in a renowned daily even described them as dressed in â€˜tackyâ€™ outfits, referring to the community as a whole. This immediately casts in negative overtones all deviations from hetero-normativity. The media is responsible for constructing mass cultureâ€™s perception of things. Carelessly strewing opinions where the average proletariat can pick it up is gross callousness. With a nation as vast as ours youâ€™d think leading dailies would tread a bit more wisely, yet ignorance after all is bliss.
The question then remains; Heterosexuals do not need a pride parade to demonstrate their sexuality why should homosexuals have to parade in one to fight for their right to love?
Image: Tanvi Srivastava