At the exact spot where Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi launched his ‘Quit India’ movement, Mumbai’s 2018 Pride march started.
The theme of Saturday’s (3 February) march was ‘Section 377 Quit India’, to protest the country’s law outlawing ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.
Section 377 was introduced into the Penal Code by the British during colonial rule.
So it was fitting the Mumbai Pride march kicked off where Gandhi’s mass protest calling for ‘An Orderly British Withdrawal’ from India also started.
India did actually decriminalize homosexuality for about four years, but then the Supreme Court overturned that decision in 2013.
But a recent case around privacy and national identity cards has put Section 377 back in the spotlight.
The Supreme Court agreed to review the law with its ruling due soon. Advocates are hopeful the Court will rule in favor of abolishing 377.
Crown Prince Mavendra Singh Gohil who is opening an LGBTI center on his palace grounds spoke at the event.
‘Homosexuality has existed in our country since the bygone era and we also find evidence of the same in our mythology, culture, literature, art and tradition,’ he said.
‘It’s important for the society to realise that no amount of stigmatisation and discrimination will deter the queer community from fighting for and securing their rights.’