For the past nine years, a vocal group of people have been hitting the city’s streets with the Delhi Queer Parade to celebrates India’s LGBT community.
The parade advocates for issues like gender and sexual equality, as well as the dismissal of the controversial Section 377 of the Indian Penal code that criminalises homosexuality. It also doesn’t miss the opportunity to add a little fun to the proceedings.
On display this year were colourful posters referencing issues that made headlines. From demonetisation to Fawad Khan, participants at the parade turned every thing into a catchy slogan.
For instance, this poster we spotted this suggestion of trading yoga guru Ramdev in place of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan who was forced out of Bollywood due to his nationality.
Actor Fawad Khan, who built up a formidable legion of fans across India, moved out of the limelight after a right-wing organisation called for a ban on artistes from his country. As a result, director Karan Johar cut the actor’s role in his movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to a minimum while the Producer’s Guild pledged to not employ any Pakistani in the industry. Amid the furore, Fawad went back to his home country.
Another poster linked the government’s “surgical strike” on black money to Section 377, asking for a similar fate for the code.
In a surprise announcement, the government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from the midnight of November 8, leaving millions of Indians stuck without valid money overnight.
Some did a play on the issue of ‘ghar-wapsi’ -- which was followed by ‘award wapsi’ -- that created an uproar across the country last year and early this year. The ‘ghar wapsi’ controversy was over certain groups, allied to the BJP, encouraging Muslims to convert/reconvert to Hinduism. In October 2015, writer Nayantara Sahgal returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award given to her, citing concerns over a “dangerous distortion of Hinduism”. He r act sparked the ‘award wapsi’ movement where other academics, writers and artistes followed her example.
Even Harry Potter found a mention in the parade through Albus Dumbledore, the wise Hogwarts headmaster and a great wizard in author JK Rowling’s best-selling fictional universe. A look back to last year’s parade reminds us that the pivotal character in the Harry Potter world was an inspiration for muggle (non-magical) marchers too. In 2007, Rowling had in a Q-and-A session with fans revealed she always thought of Dumbledore as gay.