Results of the 2014 elections are out and Indian voters have put their faith on BJP and Narendra Modi this time. They have been given a clear and resounding mandate, so much so that there are doubts as to whether there will be any Leader of Opposition in the Parliament. What does all this mean for the LGBT community? How do LGBT activists perceive it? We talked to some of the activists to know their reaction. Here is what they have to say:
Ashok Row Kavi, activist from Mumbai – “Such a large majority may make them (BJP) more amenable to look at our problems. Of course it may also make them contentious of such hated and stigmatised groups like LGBT. We need to lobby carefully and judiciously for a hearing.”
Vinay Chandran, activist from Bangalore and Executive Director of Swabhava Trust – Personally, I don’t want to see BJP in power. What will they do in future is something we will have to wait and see. I don’t think even with a Congress government things would have been easy. Either way, we have a lot of work to do in raising awareness and all.
Pawan Dhall, LGBT activist from Kolkata – An opportunity for both the winner and the loser- BJP and Congress- to overhaul their functioning. Especially for BJP to show that saffron can mingle with all colours of the rainbow, At the very least, LGBTs will be under strain even if not violated outright. The fear factor is likely to play at the back of many people’s minds.
Aditya Bandopadhyay, LGBT activist and Director of Adhikaar, an LGBT Human Rights organisation based in Delhi – I am happy that the Congress dynasty has lost since they had become too corrupt. I am willing to wait and watch since Modi has not spoken on this issue. So I will give him the benefit of doubt. But if he falls in line with the RSS ideology, then we will have to prepare for a long political battle.
Deepan, volunteer with Orinam, Chennai -I am worried as a person concerned about human rights and all minority rights, including dalits, religious minorities, tribal people. I am concerned and scared about the future, especially since it (BJP) has gone on to sweep the elections. In the name of development, it is going to affect minorities and sexual minorities may be the last one they will be touching. But it will affect the religious and caste minorities more. The women will be affected the most because Hinduism, with the backing of RSS is oppressive. I hope I am proved wrong and he sticks to development.
Harish Iyer, LGBT activist from Mumbai -With no intended puns or sarcasm, let me for once congratulate BJP and its supporters. I was on 3 international channels and I gather that people have bought the idea of development and inclusive growth. I think the word ‘inclusive’ is what we all should be watching closely. How inclusive is he really is what only time can tell. To me the issue is not development. The issue to me is human rights and secularism. I never had any hopes from him. I sincerely hope that he doesn’t turn down my friends who have pinned their hopes on him.
Onir, film director -I am very apprehensive about the stand BJP as a majority party/ruling party takes on 377 now. Apprehensive about the future of LGBT movement and minority rights in this country. And hope I am making a mistake in being apprehensive.