Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) has been forced to disassociate itself from the slogans that were raised in support of Sharjeel Imam at the recent Queer Parade in Mumbai. This is the first time that the organizers of a pride rally have officially distanced themselves from the radical slogans and placards that are regularly spotted at pride rallies. The said pride parade is said to have been led by Harish Iyer, who had joined the Congress party during the run-up to the Lok Sabha Elections in 2019.
The statement by QAM said, “We completely disassociate from and strongly condemn the abrupt radical slogans in support of Sharjeel and/or any other slogans against the integrity of India at the gathering.” QAM also clarified that these slogans were raised without the consent of the organizers and that the QAM was not informed in any manner regarding the intent or content of the sloganeering.
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The statement said, “It was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organizing process or permissions process with us.” QAM also said that permission for the rally was secured on express conditions and “irresponsible sloganeering under the garb of dissent not just affects the safety of individuals who signed the permission but QAM as an entity.”
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QAM reiterated its commitment towards the integrity of the Indian nation and asserted that they will “cooperate with legal processes that may be required by law enforcement systems in this matter.” We had reported earlier dissenting voices within the organization were demanding an official statement from QAM disassociating itself from the slogans that were raised.
Slogans in support of Radical Islamist Sharjeel Imam were raised at the Queer Parade in Mumbai. “Sharjeel tere sapno ko manzil tak pahunchayenge (Sharjeel we will make your dreams come true),” was amongst the many problematic slogans that were raised in the parade. Just to be clear, as per reports, the mastermind of the Shaheen Bagh protests wants to convert India into an Islamic state and is in prison currently for urging Muslims to cut off North East India from the rest of the country.
This is the first time that the organizers of a pride parade have disassociated themselves and condemned the problematic slogans that are invariably spotted at such events. Hinduphobic posters and slogans of ‘Kashmir Mangey Azadi‘ have also been heard at such events. However, until now, the organizers of such events have never bothered to disassociate themselves from the hate that is often observed towards Hinduism or the slogans against the integrity of the Indian Union.
One reason for QAM’s statement could be the fact that the slogans in support of Sharjeel Imam were a vow to fulfill his dreams and unfortunately enough, Sharjeel Imam’s dream is to convert India into an Islamic State. Moreover, the possibility of homosexuals and transgenders being caned in public or thrown off rooftops will increase exponentially if India is converted into an Islamic State. Therefore, a significant section of the LGBT community is naturally not comfortable with that and hence QAM’s condemnation.