“DISSENT IS queer,” read many posters held up at a gathering in Bandra on Thursday to celebrate the Supreme Court verdict decriminalising homosexuality. Many at the gathering connected subversion to “queer”, now pronounced legal by the apex court of the country. Even as members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex community cheered the verdict, a section from the community took a political stand against the recent arrests of five human rights activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
“I’m no longer a criminal but Sudha Bharadwaj still is,” read a poster. “Azadi” was the keyword at the gathering. Some of the other posters read: “Meri teacher maange Azadi,” “Hinduvad ho barbaad, queer abad!”
Amid posters hailing the Supreme Court were also those that sought that the UAPA be scrapped. “Just as we are euphoric and there is enough reason to be euphoric, we can also see the times we are living in. There are gross human rights violations of activists, social workers and it has been going on for a long time,” said Poushali, an LGBTQI activist. The Supreme Court verdict on Thursday has paved way for a debate on the larger question of human rights, said the activist. “We are talking about human rights for all. Not just about gender sexuality,” said Poushali.
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