It was 8 PM on a chilly evening when we, the team at stayuncle, were on our routine marketing drill at Connaught place. we promoted our company regularly by informing travelers, students, families, shoppers, and everybody chilling at CP about our services and why to prefer us over our competition.
For a change that day, we were approached by a group of young people. They held a mike and were filming something in the area for a while. As we introduced each other, they prepared us to stand in the camera frame and held the mike at us. Maybe, the signboards in our hands-“Couples need a room, not a judgment” certified us as liberals.
The folks with the camera were from JNU and were creating a movie on the state of LGBT rights in India. They were capturing the public awareness and opinion on section 377 of the Indian Constitution, which criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”, arguably including homosexual activities. I was blank as I was not aware of a thing they were asking about. however, Uncle Blaze seemed to have a lot of knowledge on the issue and he started off with reference to ancient Hindu mythologies and spoke of instances including the stone carvings in the temples depicting same gender intimacies. I am not sure why a firangi (well, Macedonian) had read so much about India. That enlightening activistic interview went on well and he obviously did not forget to skillfully place our product in between the process.
Days usually started late at stayuncle, as we worked till late midnight catering our customer bookings. We were woken up early on 29th November 2015. After the interview last night, Uncle Blaze had looked up on the internet and found about the Delhi Queer Pride Parade-2015. The parade attracted social thinkers and would be covered by media. People from various backgrounds would walk in support of LGBT community. Uncle Blaze, who was the co-founder and Cheif Marketing Officer at stayuncle and never missed any opportunity to promote the company. So, I had to go along with my camera.
We caught the metro and reached CP. As we walked to the intersection of Barakhamba road and Tolstoy Marg the environment started changing around me. It was like walking to a fair. The festivities had caught up and the place was colorful. Happy faces greeting, hugging, and painting each other. The signboards, sequin masks, balloons, and various other props filling the area. It was like nothing I had witnessed before. Unlike, the protests and demands of many other social groups. This was peculiar. Community members, allies, and supporting of queer communities had gathered and were marching peacefully exhibiting the diversity, joy, togetherness, and were only asking for inclusion. They were requesting for support to build a society which is open, free, fair and overall a less prejudiced nation.
I silently photographed the moments and appreciated the joy among the community who were standing up in synergy and demanding equality and compassion. Marching along with communities is a great experience and makes an individual understand the oppression and inequalities in the society. knowledge gained from the inputs and realities through such close experiences molds our perspective on communities whom we often tend to look down with our prejudice.
The witty and creative signboards were the highlight of the parade. The images below sums up the march and its objective.