Following the non-inclusion of gender minority community issues in the national manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has prompted filmmaker and gay rights activist Onir to announce withdrawal of support to the Arvind Kejriwal led party on Friday.
The development comes just a month after he had officially announced to join the party owing to the pretty open stand taken by the AAP on the issues of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgenders (LGBT).
“The meeting of the LGBT community with several AAP leaders two week ago here (in Delhi) had raised expectations. But the manifesto is completely silent on the issue of LGBTs and there is not a single line about section 377 in it,” Onir told HT.
“Having been officially told that the AAP did not by mistake omit LGBT issue from its manifesto, I withdraw my support to the party. True intentions have to manifest in action and not just oratory. The LGBT community has been let down by AAP,” he tweeted.
The film director, editor and producer, best known for his films such as ‘My Brother … Nikhil’, one of the first mainstream Hindi films to deal with the subject of AIDS and same-sex relationships, had earlier claimed that he joined the party because it supports the demand to repeal IPC 377 that discriminates the LGBT community.
Party spokesperson Atishi Marlena said: “The manifesto need not include issues on which our stand is already known.”
The AAP has already stated that it is disappointed with the Supreme Court judgment upholding the section 377 of the IPC and reversing the landmark judgment of the Delhi High Court on the subject. It also said it hopes and expects that the SC will review this judgment and that the Parliament will also step in to repeal this archaic law.
Onir also said he will not be attending a party meeting slated in Mumbai this Sunday on the issue for discussing the LGBT related issues.
In an apparent effort to appease Onir, Mayank Gandhi, AAP’s Maharashtra state convenor, tweeted, “AAP is committed to supporting the LGBT community. Will discuss with colleagues to get that in the manifesto.”