While the society and the apex court may be unsure about accepting homosexuals, students at one of the country’s premier institutes made it clear that they would not be discriminating against gay peers on campus.
Students of IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) were the first to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and to drive the point home, held a candlelight march on the campus on Thursday evening. In addition, they stated that Saathi, a group formed for on- campus gay students, would remain intact. The group has been sensitising other students about issues pertaining to the LGBT community.
Despite the ongoing holiday season, the event witnessed a massive participation from students who expressed solidarity with their gay peers and displeasure over the Supreme Court’s verdict. Nivvedan S, founder of Saathi, said, “It was an impromptu decision to hold the protest. Despite the holidays, many students supported the cause and protested against the SC’s decision.”
While speculations have been raised that the SC’s verdict might even force a few members of the LGBT community to end their lives, students who participated in the march believed such expression of solidarity would send a stronger message to the society.
“With Saathi, several students opened up because they knew there were people on campus who would understand them. Moreover, we have sensitised the students towards the issue,” said Nivvedan. Suman Rao, one of the editors for the in-house magazine Insight, said, “IIT-B students have resolved to protect the tolerant and inclusive nature of the campus towards gender diversity, and therefore held a candlelight protest to express their solidarity.”
Meanwhile, members of the LGBT community in the city have decided to protest against the apex court’s verdict tomorrow. The decision to protest at Azad Maidan was changed due an ongoing religious event. The rally will now start from Meenatai Thackeray statue at Shivaji Park and will conclude at Chaityabhoomi, Dadar (W).