Friend In Need India shared a post.
Published by Shyama V. RamaniSeptember 6, 2018

What Friend In Need India stands for: Empowerment to all marginalized groups!

Two and a half years back I wrote the post given after this paragraph (published on Feb 9 , 2016). IT NO LONGER HOLDS!!! Today, we can rejoice – WELL DONE! The shackles of the past have been broken! Hurray for the Supreme Court’s overturn of the 157 year old law (introduced by the British) criminalizing homosexuality! We wish all our LGBTQ friends in India a safe and happy future! Freedom has been won again!

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Friend In Need India

Published by Shyama V. RamaniFebruary 9, 2016

What Friend In Need India stands for: Empowerment to all marginalized groups!

My father used to play us songs on the gramophone and we would all sing them with him with great gusto (and with my brother nicely off-tune!). One of our favorite songs went like this [apparently– it’s from an old American documentary titled ‘The inheritance’ and sung by musicians cheering for reform]:

“Freedom doesn’t come like a bird on the wing,
Doesn’t come down like the summer rain,
Freedom, Freedom, is a hard won thing,
You’ve got to work for it, fight for it,
Day and night for it,
And every generation has to win it again.”

What a pity isn’t it? To have to keep on fighting for freedoms that existed in days of yore? That’s the case with homosexuality in diverse parts of the developing world, where in earlier times, it was largely recognized and tolerated, even if not showcased institutionally.

This is in contrast, to the USA and Europe, where till recently it was punishable by imprisonment (and in earlier centuries by death in some). However, there has been a tremendous change of mores in Western countries and same sex marriage has been institutionalized in many of them. This has triggered emulation in many developing countries, with gay groups pushing for the institutional recognition of homosexuality and revision of the laws inherited from European colonial rule.

Such policy emulation has had a catastrophic backlash. For instance, in India, it has been vehemently opposed by faith based groups, and continues to remain illegal under the Indian penal code (inherited from the penal code introduced under British colonial rule in 1860).

This is terrible, but much too often, when developing country groups (i.e. the elite among them) push for imitative emulation of Western country policies, it results in greater problems if the context is not propitious. This is very much what happened in this case. The political power of faith based groups was underestimated. And so the LGBT community has to struggle and regain its lost rights. May the force be with them.

We are with them and we are sure that they will enjoy victory in all secular countries soon. After all, to mark our nature as humans, first and foremost, we have to be humane.

“Freedom doesn’t come like a bird on the wing,
Doesn’t come down like the summer rain,
Freedom, Freedom, is a hard won thing,
You’ve got to work for it, fight for it,
Day and night for it,
And every generation has to win it again.”

Here are some images from the recently held Queer Aazadi March in Mumbai
#MumbaiPride2016