Posted By: Ruth Chawngthu
There’s no denying that the queer community in India remains largely divided on the basis of caste, creed and religion. With the rise of Hindu nationalism in the previous decades, there is no doubt that there has been a rise in Hindutva sentiments within the Hindu queer strata. With the recent landslide win of the NDA in the recent Lok Sabha elections, we have been observing a spike in hate mongering within the queer community itself.
I personally observed that in many of the queer support groups, many have shared their experiences with and interaction with these so called Sanghi queers who think that the BJP is ostensibly in favour of LGBT+ rights despite the fact that the BJP has consistently voted against LGBT+ bills in parliament and introduced anti-LGBT bills such as the Trans Rights Bill which seeks to gender police trans and gender non-conforming persons, the anti-trafficking bill which seeks to make sex work more unsafe, as well as the surrogacy bill which excluded LGBT+ parents. Not only this, they were perhaps one of the few political parties who did not include any legible LGBT+ inclusive policy in their manifesto.
So why did Hindu queers vote for NDA? The answer is simple. Hindutva sentiments and Hindu nationalism has pervaded the consciousness of the average Hindu’s mind so much so that they would rather choose their Hindu identity and supremacy over their queerness. They would rather maintain and preserve their Hindu upper-caste privilege than gain progress as a queer community. We saw so many outrage on social media, jokes were made by a lot of “woke” Hindu folks. Their jokes comes at the cost of actual human lives. The 5 year NDA regime might just be a discomfort to them but for us, it means violence, rape, deaths. How can we be silent when our country is homicidal?
I hope we understand that we are all indirectly complicit to the radicalization of our peers, our family members and those around us. We are responsible for the privilege that we carry and therefore must educate them. Ignorance does not happen in isolation. It happens because the far right political pundits and politicians use layman terms to lure their supporters and it is easier to understand their language and politics. As someone coming from one of the smallest states in India, and as a tribal who has had to fight for most of my knowledge, please get rid of the academic jargons. Stop the divide.
As long as voices of Queers, Dalit, Bahujan, Adivasis as well as voices from the Northeast are ignored by the left, it will not gain popularity. And I can’t emphasise this enough, lose the academic jargons and move away from your campus and on to the streets. Let’s move away from our echo chambers.