There was an inevitable question that was asked as I was in my cousin’s house.
“Why the heck is your profile picture rainbow? Why is everyone doing it?”
I smirked. “Because they legalized same-sex marriage across USA.”
It has been a massive achievement, simply because of how powerful USA is as a country and how influential their decisions usually are. Also because this has been a long time in coming. We have seen perhaps all the facets of the debate by now, the ugly side, the bitter side, the happy side and we have all chosen our own stances. Then again, as a person who takes pride in being a part of the LGBTQA community, I can finally say that while gay marriage has been legalized in USA for a while now, the country has not plunged into ruin.
Yet, there were countless debates on the topics. I had friends messaging me to deal with some people they met on various statuses asking me to debate with them. It was fun, but, it was also enlightening in a bad way. You see, I have met Republicans who said they were fine with gay marriage, who went on to say that this was wrong in every way, I have met old Indians who just cannot get along with the kids celebrating pride.
Even in a world where gay marriage is legalized, it is not socially accepted everywhere. But, debates mean we can change, we can create a more sensitized generation, a more informed generation.
Then, I read “the Hungry Tide”. I spent the whole day in my cousin’s home reading because I could not abide by the way they behaved with my nephew. I can never get behind anyone who insists on teaching the child slang language and makes them watch porn. God, I have been protesting this for so long. A child’s mental health is not something you play with.
So, I read “The Hungry Tide” by Amitav Ghosh.
Amitav Ghosh transfers me to the Bengal of old, the Bengal i fell in love with. He does it with style.
And reading about the love story that cuts through, the personalities, I also realised how much important pride is to us as people. We need to be fiercely proud of who we are, just like Piya is (in the book) to survive this world that is out for our blood. “The Hungry Tide” brings out a different sense of stubbornness in the people through words. The resilience that must be in the blood of every man who has been in the flood country.
Resilience is something that has marked Pride from the start. It was always about love, about never giving up love because people did not agree with you. And it was needed, every moment of Pride has been needed. This is because for every member who is proud of their sexuality we can have a teenager saved by using their example.
India needs it now, when the politicians dare to say that we are just people who are “genetically handicapped”, and we have to hide from everyone for fear of prosecution. We need the Pride in ourselves. We need to read more, learn more and debate more.
There have been numerous talks of how society does not even accept inter-religious or intercaste marriages here and you know what? We need to fight against that too. Same sex marriage will face that huge stigma in the US too.
but, right now heterosexual marriages are legal and what we need is to educate the society, that is something that would happen. People have to realise that we do not even have freedom to have sex since Article 377 was re-instated.
Legality is important, love is important, and we need to take a step forward.
The world is changing, and I believe India can change too.