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Celebs walk for Gay rights

art and culture Updated: Jul 02, 2009 21:47 IST
Girija Duggal
Girija Duggal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Tomorrow, over 2,000 people are expected to splash the city’s streets in rainbow colours as part of the 2nd annual Delhi Queer Pride Parade. And, like last year, giving the cause a boost will be Delhi’s high fliers — only this time, the list is set to be much longer.

Among those expected to attend are designers Namrata Joshipura, Rahul Jain, Nikhil Mehra, Shaan Thadani and Krshna Mehta, emcee Ramneek Pantal and socialite Shaleen Jain.

“I most certainly will go… considering I’ve so many very close gay friends,” informed Joshipura. “99 per cent I’ll be there,” said Jain. Mehra said, “I’ll most probably go, and I’ll take my wife and kids along, too.” When contacted, Thadani, who has confirmed his participation on Facebook’s ‘Delhi Queer Parade 2009’ community, said he was uncomfortable discussing the issue. We were unable to contact Mehta, who has also confirmed his presence on the same group.

Ramneek Pantal, who plans to “absolutely” attend with choreographer friend Ajay Bisht, is going because “I want to be there for my [gay] friends”. Shaleen Jain is “absolutely confirmed”.

The list of ‘maybes’ includes Puja Nayar, Vijay Arora, Gaurav Gupta, Shibani Kashyap, Amanpreet Wahi and model Talia.

Last year, designer Manish Arora and chef Ritu Dalmia were among the handful of known names at the do.

But opinion is divided over the importance of celeb endorsement for the cause. Mohnish Kabir, Delhi Queer Pride committee member, says, “Giving it a flashy touch isn’t the way...the problem has to be eradicated at the grassroots level.” Chef Ritu Dalmia puts it succinctly: “Everyone who’s educated — celeb or not — should be out there supporting the cause.”