Screen grab of the video posted by Humsafar Trust.
While most of India spent August 15 celebrating the country’s 73rd Independence Day, the Indian LGBTQ community came out with their very own version of the national anthem to commemorate the first “real independence day” since homosexuality was decriminalised.
Section 377, which criminalised same-sex relationships, was struck down on September 6, 2018. Since then, India's LGBTQ community has been able to legally experience love as they please, even if society at large has a long way to catch up. So, in an effort to raise awareness of ongoing discrimination, the Humsafar Trust—one of Asia’s first organisations fighting for queer equality—released a rendition of India’s national anthem featuring prominent activists and advocates of the LGBTQ cause.
Such names include Humsafar trust co-founder Ashok Row Kavi and filmmakers Onir and Apurva Asrani, among others.
The video features these figures in rainbow-tinged lighting, singing the national anthem before the words #StandWithPride flash in the shades of the Indian tricolour.Already the video has been massively passed around by people on Twitter, while also airing in PVR cinemas across eight metropolitan cities.Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.