The Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride’s “solidarity gathering” in Mumbai at Azaad maidaan was used by anti-CAA propagandists to link the cause of the LGBTQIA community with the Azadi slogans raised against the Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and NPR.
Following the denial of permission to carry out the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride March from its traditional starting point-August Kranti Maidaan, the Queer Azaadi Mumbai(QAM) managed to winkle permission from the Mumbai police to organise a “solidarity gathering” at Azaad maidaan on Saturday, 1 February, from 3 pm to 6 pm.
However, the gathering was put to use by anti-CAA protesters to promote their propaganda. A large number of anti-CAA protesters attended the rally which was essentially meant to be a solidarity congregation for the queer community, for celebrating queer pride and a platform to raise their concerns. The anti-CAA protesters not only raised Azaadi slogans but also carried and wielded placards denouncing the new Citizenship Law that intends to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
— Pooj (@poojasriganesan) February 1, 2020
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As can be heard in the video attached in the above tweet, the Queer Pride March event saw participants chanting slogans of Azaadi against the Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and NPR.
One of the placards also demanded independence of Kashmir, along with criticising CAA and NRC.
— Agents of Ishq (@AgentsofIshq) February 1, 2020
It is notable to mention that the Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to organise the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride March 2020 will be used by anti-CAA dissenters to stoke anarchy in the city. The Mumbai Police while denying the permission claimed that the anti-CAA protesters might co-opt the Queer Azaadi March to fuel their propaganda which may lead to deteriorating law and order situation in the city.
While most of the media channels remain remarkably vocal against the most mundane of issues, they had been deafeningly silent over the denial of permission to carry out the traditional Queer Mumbai Pride March by Mumbai Police under the ‘secular’ government of Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi. Though, subsequently, QAM was granted the permission of organising a truncated event- “solidarity gathering’, but it doesn’t absolve the media channels of their pusillanimity in bringing to light the denial of permission to an annual march which has been organised in Mumbai for the last 10 years.